First Challenge: Consistent Colors
Even though suppliers were using the correct color codes to submit lab dipped samples, the batches still exhibited differences, so DK Company recalled the physical standards being used by their dye houses to measure each for accuracy. A Datacolor 500 spectrophotometer revealed significant variations between copies of the same color standards.
“You can imagine how frustrating it was for the designers to discover this,” says Hall. “You believe you are doing everything right, following the standards, using a lightbox to evaluate color, but still getting inconsistent results. To find this variation was unacceptable for them.”
Next, DK Company did a close inspection of samples that had been sent to Denmark for approval from the dye labs. Again, using a spectrophotometer, they uncovered that 95% of the samples had been cut from the same batch. Prior to this revelation, a great deal of time and effort was spent choosing the “best” sample because designers believed they were seeing 4 different dips, not realizing they had come from the same formulation.
“This was a combined case of cutting corners and miscommunication on both sides, but it was a problem that needed to be addressed,” explains Hall. “The best solution is good specification, good procedures and good communication.”