Enhancing Efficiencies With Automated Color
Pioneer’s main plastics product lines are bowls, cups, cutlery (i.e., forks and spoons), and trash cans. Their primary customer base was focused in Europe and the Middle East, with approximately 30% of their production targeted for Thailand. When the company decided to target more of the local market, it opted to put in place the latest color technology from Datacolor in their color and production labs. Their goal was twofold: to support the potential increase in production and to maintain their high standards when designing and manufacturing customized molds.
After a careful and extensive review process, Pioneer chose color matching software designed specifically for the plastics industry, Datacolor Match Pigment, and combined it with the Datacolor 650, a top-of-the line spectrophotometer known for ultra precision when measuring color on virtually any type of sample.
Overall, Pioneer was seeking the efficiency achieved by automating color recipe creation. Like many manufactures with a long and successful history, the company had relied on the deep experience of its employees to produce the right color. A master shader, for example, can hand mix pigments and adjust a lab batch for scale up and supplier effects based on his vast color matching expertise. This method, though, has built-in limitations.
As Pioneer’s Assistant Managing Director Mr. Chansak Puengchanchaikul explains: “In the past, when customers needed new colors, they would send a sample to us and we would then mix the colors visually which was time consuming and wasteful and required the presence of a color master to do the formulations.”