Use of Spectrophotometer for Color Quantification in Packaging

Reviewed by Anurag Mishra (Sr. Technical Consultant)

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Precise colour control is the key behind successful quality management in the packaging industry. With the invasion of advanced colour measuring devices, accurate colour matching has become possible. Portable Spectrophotometer is the backbone of packaging and printing industry. The human perception is strongly influenced by the substrate on which the inks are applied. This colour observation of different ink colours is strongly affected by bright and white paper backgrounds, especially fluorescent whitening. This is one of the biggest challenges that industry is facing.

Testronix offers a wide range of products for accurate colour measurement of packaging. Now, precision in the colour matching can be increased efficiently. With the implementation of advanced testing devices, the colour quantification has taken a revolutionary turn, making things easier to an extent for R&D and Manufacturing units.

Challenges faced by printing and packaging industry

As the designers are getting creative, the challenges for printing industry is rising. It is easier for them to print bright colours, multiple colour combinations. But sometimes it becomes tricky to get fluorescence colours, metallic colours, transparent inks on substrates. If printer manages to get them right, the exact coloration becomes difficult, as equipment were not capable of reading such colours. Nowadays, the translucent ink printing is gaining huge popularity among the designers, but it is actually creating problems for the quality management team to create exact replicas. Here major problem that is being faced is creating uniformity in different batches. This requires high precision and accuracy in an observation made by the device.

What is the need of employing colour measuring devices?

Packaging Colour Measurement material impacts the printing result. The colour of ink cannot decide the final print on the package. The material, its colour, texture, etc. contribute a lot in spoiling the prints. Something that looks brilliant on the computer may become unattractive when printed on corrugated fiber sheet. With appropriate colour measuring techniques, packager can take precautions before starting mass printing.

The density of ink determines the amount of ink in the defined area. This is often confused with colour checking. What looks right is not always right. Similarly, a colour which looks exact matching may need to be matched exactly. For checking the colour, a specialised instrument is to be used. This estimate if the print is matching the specification of the client or not.

When conditions or printing apparatus changes, how to adjust the colour specifications of a new machine. Here test prints need to be analysed using precise devices to avoid any discrepancy in printing from new machines.

For an instance, we assume that you don’t need a color measuring device. Then, how will you control the quality of print on packaging? Mere visual inspection or color matching software is not enough to do this job. Because there are many factors that contribute in creating discrepancy, like finish of the surface, texture of surface, color of surface, lighting conditions, density, etc. In such a scenario, you cannot take the chance of skipping quantification, especially when your client is a reputed brand.

  • Different Color measuring devices offered by Testronix:
  • Colorimeter
  • Spectrophotometer

TP 800 and TP 810 is a portable device that is used to assess the intensity of light to determine the known substance in the test sample. A group of sensors is used to spate the illuminance as per the wavelength range. Portable Spectrophotometer is touch based model and has the capacity of storing 1000 standards and 15000 samples for comparison with master. This model can work with test samples of liquid and powder form.

Precision Color Device

TP 200, Colorimeter is used to quantify the color of the sample, as the name shows. This is one of the best tools available for color comparison. For quality maintenance and management, this device gives very reliable results by measuring the intensity of color and comparing it with the master color. This is actually a microprocessor based device and has the capability to take decisions, if programmed.

Large Aperture Device

TP20XE is a device used for measuring color of objects with complicated surfaces. It has vertical structure and a large aperture, which is why it has eliminated the need of immersion of device in the sample. You just need to touch the aperture to the surface of the sample, and that’s it. It has the aperture of 20mm and powered by a software, which makes it one of precise devices available in the market.

Testronix provides high precise color measurement devices which are suitable for different industries like Printing, packaging, F&B, textiles, Paints and coating, etc. For more information, contact us.

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