Color Reader: CR-10 Plus: An Interview with the Developers
The CR-10 Plus is the newest addition to the easy-to-use, hand-held Color Reader CR Series. What makes it unique is its ability to remain accurate and repeatable in everyday harsh conditions.
In the development of the new CR-10 Plus, the engineer’s key objectives were to deliver a color measurement instrument that can offer durability and comfortability for extended periods of time. To achieve these specifications, the developers went through many challenges.
In this interview, we’ll take a closer look at the design process and the details of the CR-10 Plus development.
Achieving both light weight and robustness
First, we spoke with R&D Division’s Shigeaki Tochimoto about how the attention to detail in the internal construction of the CR-10 Plus led to its increased durability.
Why did you place so much emphasis on the durability of instruments?
We placed so much emphasize on durability because if an instrument can’t withstand being used every day in the harshest of conditions then we have not met the needs of our customers. If a color measuring instruments become unusable due to poor construction, then inspections will become impossible, resulting in poor color management.
What challenges did you face in your quest to increase the durability of the instrument?
The main challenge we faced was trying to increase the durability while making the instrument lighter.
We were able to accomplish this by reinforcing the case with protective ribs where the stress on the optical unit is most concentrated to protect the instrument from shock. By optimizing the rib design, we were able to achieve a perfect balance of strength without increasing the dimensions or weight. This required multiple CAD simulations and verification of how much impact the new CR-10 Plus can absorb.
For increased protection to improve the overall durability, we also implemented a design that allows the force exerted on the instrument to be absorbed by the structure, the cover, and other areas before reaching the optical unit.*1
Making it easy to hold with superior ergonomics
Next, we spoke with Sei Mitsui of Design Center to learn how the instrument design was able to achieve improved comfort and ergonomics.
What design aspects did you focus on and incorporate?
We focused on the how the instrument would be held and used in a field setting.
The most important design factors were how easily the instrument could be held and how effortlessly the measurement button could be pressed from a customer’s perceptive. Another important factor was the comfort level when measuring over extended periods of time while being used for multiple measurements per day.
What design techniques did you implement to make the instrument comfortable to use over long periods?
An important design technique we implemented to increase the overall ergonomics and comfort was focusing on how the fingers are placed while holding the color reader in a field setting. When designing the instrument, the finger rest area was made wider to accommodate comfortable finger placement for all hand sizes no matter how the instrument is held.
To create a more precise and comfortable grooves in the grip, we had to increase the diameter of one part of the body because the internal structure of the mechanism does not allow the design of a recess in case. If the size of the case is enlarged, users with relatively smaller palms will experience hand fatigue, which led to a minimal increase of only 0.5mm. To ensure that we meet the comfort and ergonomics expectations, we created multiple prototypes and ran vigorous field tests. After receiving all users’ feedback and rating, we were able to decide the best design. *2
Overall user experience
Could you both please offer a few closing words to our customers?
In the development of the CR-10 Plus, we were able to achieve improved ergonomics and durability while maintaining the dependability and accuracy. With a more reliable and durable instrument that can be used for an extended time with minimum fatigue in the harshest of conditions, CR-10 Plus is the perfect instrument for a variety of on-site color measurement situations.
*1 The CR-10 Plus is not guaranteed against all types of impacts.
*2 A design registration has been filed in China for this design.