The significance of quantifying color and gloss in one measurement

For many industries, both color and appearance measurements help maintain an acceptable visual quality of various samples. For the appearance portion, the most common, and in many cases, the most critical quantifiable measurement is gloss. Historically you needed two pieces of equipment to measure color and gloss, a spectrophotometer (or a colorimeter for some applications) to measure the color, and a gloss meter to measure gloss. For years, you could find these two products sitting side-by-side in many labs and production lines.

Within many spectrophotometers, there is an ability to present a "correlated" gloss reading. While this is sometimes helpful, the angle of measurement is not common nor available within most gloss meters and is not a true gloss measurement. There will also be some delay as the unit will need to take measurements in the SCI (specular component included) and SCE (specular component excluded) positions, not to mention an added calibration sequence. Due to the nature of its configuration and optics, this is not an option found in a colorimeter.

With new patented technology, Konica Minolta offers the ability to take a true gloss reading at 60-degrees (the universal gloss angle) while it measures the color of the sample. This technology will save the operator a great deal of time, as they will only need to calibrate one instrument one time. In most cases, once you turn an instrument off, recalibration is necessary. By having a true gloss meter incorporated within a spectrophotometer, you need only one calibration cycle. Also, and probably most important, the measurement will be done in the same spot for both color and gloss. Taking two measurements from the same spot is a crucial factor, especially if there is any variation in the sample's surface. Lastly, you will eliminate the need to invest in and maintain two separate instruments, saving you money on the initial purchase and future maintenance and servicing costs.

Products such as the CM-25cG, CM-26dG, and CM-36dG all offer this complete solution of simultaneous color and gloss measurements. Using such high quality, close tolerance equipment will improve your speed to market and time to manufacture while reducing rework and waste due to variations in color and appearance.

Maintaining Consistent Color in High-Performance Decking

Composite decking has become increasingly popular with homeowners and contractors over the past several years. Some of the benefits of this type of building material are lower maintenance and increased durability/longevity over traditional wood decking.

However, one of the biggest challenges in this industry has been the look of the material. When introduced, composite decking had a very "plastic" feel about it compared to traditional wood. With experience and technology, companies who produce these materials have replicated a look that better emulates natural wood, offering variants from the base-colors of grey, brown, and red.  After establishing an acceptable look for the product, it is essential to maintain it throughout production, with the consistent color of the product being a key aspect of quality control. Producers of these high-quality products want board 0 to look the same as for board 100, with consumers expecting that all of the decking material be of the same color and appearance. Consistency is of paramount importance in this industry.

To maintain consistent color and appearance, the use of a properly maintained, multi-featured instrument, such as the Konica Minolta Spectrophotometer CM-26dG, can be highly beneficial. A spectrophotometer is a scientific piece of equipment that easily allows users to objectively measure, monitor, and help control the color of their products. While maintaining color is very important, so too is appearance. The CM-26dG also has a built-in gloss meter that provides true gloss measurements at 60-degrees (also known as the "universal angle"). Varying levels of finish can affect how we perceive color, and sustaining proper gloss levels will ascertain the composite materials' overall desired appearance. This instrument allows for simultaneous measurement of both color and gloss, minimizing the risk of inconsistent readings.

Creating a process based on standards using this type of equipment allows for communicative consistency throughout the production life cycle, from development to production to consumer. These standardized values are digitized and sent to other manufacturing facilities using the same equipment allowing all locations to produce materials using the same acceptance criteria. Having the ability to maintain and control the color and gloss of composite decking material allows manufacturers to sustain quality, reduce waste and rework, and most importantly, give their customers the finished deck they have envisioned.

Color evaluation of aluminum material in anodizing process with a portable spectrophotometer

With the increasing demand for customized color and appearance needs in private houses and office buildings, aluminum architectural material suppliers present various kinds of color and gloss/matte variation in products, such as window frames, doors, curtain walls, etc. Controlling color in the anodization process is important to maintain uniformity and quality.

From color development to appearance maintenance in stucco

From color development to appearance maintenance in stucco

Stucco is energy efficient, durable, fire-resistant, low maintenance, rot-resistant, sound dampening, and adds great curb appeal to a building’s exterior. Stucco is used as a decorative coating for walls and ceilings, external building siding, and sculptural and artistic material in architecture. It can also cover less visually appealing construction materials, such as metal, concrete, and brick.

How Ceramic Manufacturers Set Color Standards for Raw Material Suppliers

Every manufactured product has multiple processes that produce the final product, and ceramic tiles are no different. Making ceramic tiles involves raw materials such as clay, silica, quartz, feldspar, or zirconium. High temperatures from kilns then make these non-metallic solids (also known as Ceramics) harder, denser, and less porous. This process results in a tile suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Before this process begins, raw material suppliers procure impure clay materials.

Obtaining the raw material used in the ceramic tile creation process happens in one of two ways. The traditional way of acquiring these materials is through mining natural earth deposits. The more "modern" approach uses a chemical fusion that produces 'ultra-high' purity powder.

Ceramic manufacturers work with suppliers to ensure raw materials meet tight specifications. Manufacturers set quality standards and grades for their suppliers using color measurement instruments and tri-stimulus values using a color space, such as CIE L*a*b*. Taking accurate color measurements is critical to both the manufacturer and supplier as raw material prices are set based on a material's color classification.

Determining the quality of raw materials requires creating ceramic bisques from the raw material samples. The bisques are then sent to the lab for physical analysis and sorted according to their lightness (L*) and yellowness (b*) values. Color shade is one of the primary indicators used in classifying ceramic tile quality. Shade difference among ceramic tile is inevitable. Almost every ceramic tile has some degree of shade variation. Using shade classification systems to define and sort tiles into different groups can help solve issues caused by shade variation. Using shade classification systems to define and sort tiles into different groups can help solve issues caused by shade variation. When developing a shade classification system, a standard value (using L*a*b*) is established for each shade group. To determine which group the ceramic tiles fall under, they are measured.

The Konica Minolta Sensing Spectrophotometer CM-26dG can measure the ceramic bisques based on their CIE L*a*b* values. With high repeatability of σ∆E*ab 0.04 and good inter-instrument agreement of ∆E*ab< 0.12 (average of BCRA 12 Tiles), the Konica Minolta Sensing Spectrophotometer CM-26dG ensures measurement result remains consistent even between multiple units.

New CM-36dG Series Benchtop Spectrophotometers for High-accuracy Color Management, Including Two Models that Offer Simultaneous Measurement of Color and Gloss

Contributing to DX of supply chain globalization

Ramsey (January 13, 2021) - Konica Minolta Sensing Americas, Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced that the company will launch the new CM-36dG series of benchtop spectrophotometers, including the CM-36dG horizontal-format and CM-36dGV vertical-format models, both of which offer simultaneous measurement of color and gloss, and the CM-36d entry-level model for reflectance color measurements in February 2021.

The CM-36dG, CM-36dGV, and CM-36d are the successor models to the CM-3600A and CM-3610A benchtop spectrophotometers that have been widely used by material suppliers in the automotive and IT equipment fields. These instruments are targeted mainly at color-matching and quality control applications for paint, plastic, textile, etc. material suppliers, where simultaneous measurement of color and gloss*1 will increase the efficiency of inspection processes and high measurement accuracy enables outstanding quality control. In addition, they are equipped with a function that compensates for slight shifts in measured values due to ambient temperature changes, etc. to offer high stability and reliability. Measurement operation usability has also been greatly improved over the previous models which will lead to increased operator productivity.

With the Covid-19 making it difficult for people to travel and the continuing globalization of supply chains, digitalization and IT usage in production areas are now accelerating. By converting color and gloss information into digital data with high accuracy, these new instruments contribute to the digital transformation (DX) of manufacturing by realizing quality control without relying on target samples or the eyes of skilled workers.

*1 CM-36dG, CM-36dGV only


Value provided by CM-36dG Series

  1. Simultaneous measurement of color and gloss for improved inspection processes

The CM-36dG and CM-36dGV are two-in-one instruments that measure color and gloss simultaneously. For paint color matching, measuring both color (spectral reflectance) and gloss increases the parameters for color-matching calculations, contributing to improved quality. For quality control of plastics, measuring both color (material color) and gloss (surface conditions) realizes high-level quality evaluation and improved work efficiency.

  1. High measurement accuracy for outstanding quality control

With the CM-36dG and CM-36dGV, differences in measurement values between instruments are exceedingly small (inter-instrument agreement is exceedingly high), so when these instruments are used consistently from suppliers through finished product maker, higher inspection process efficiency can be expected. Colorimetric inter-instrument agreement is within ΔE*ab 0.12 (average for 12 BCRA tiles), a 20% improvement compared to previous models, and gloss inter-instrument agreement is also the same or better than the performance of gloss-only instruments. This enables more efficient work in the supply chain when using multiple instruments or instruments in several locations.

In addition, since measured value differences with previous models are also kept exceedingly small, previous data can continue to be used as is, minimizing the work involved when switching models (for SCI data only*2).

*2 SCI: Specular Component Included. An illumination/viewing method in which the sample is diffusely illuminated and the measured light includes specularly reflected light.

  1. Optional Wavelength compensation function for high stability

CM-36dG Series instruments can be equipped with a WAA (Wavelength Analysis & Adjustment) function*3 which compensates for slight shifts in measurement values due to external factors such as ambient temperature changes, etc. Together with annual calibration and maintenance, it can help minimize problems for stable operation.

*3 WAA license required

【Concept of how accuracy is maintained by WAA】


  1. High usability for improved operator productivity

CM-36dG Series have several features to help improve worker productivity.

The sample viewing function*4 uses an integrated camera to provide a view of the sample from inside the integrating sphere for accurate positioning of measurement subjects. Plus, a status panel shows the measurement status and condition settings to reduce operator error, and a measuring button lets the operator take measurements without having to switch back to the computer for improved work efficiency. Plus, the transmittance chamber opens widely to enable measurements of even large sheets or panels without having to cut off a sample. And 4 measurement areas (3 on CM-36d) are provided for flexibility in choosing the appropriate area for the measurement subject.

*4 Software such as Konica Minolta SpectraMagic NX Ver. 3.2 or later required.


Three models are being offered: the horizontal-format full-featured CM-36dG, the CM-36dGV with the same features as the CM-36dG in a vertical format for easier textile or paper measurements, and the CM-36d with basic features for lower introduction cost.

Photo 1: Sample view image

Photo 2: Status panel

Photo 3: Transmittance chamber

Photo 4: Vertical format CM-36dGV


【Product positioning】


Main specifications

The information, specifications, and product appearance provided in this news release are subject to change without notice.

Model CM-36dG CM-36dGV CM-36d
Color Illumination/viewing system di: 8°, de: 8° (diffused illumination, 8° viewing angle), SCI (specular component included)/SCE (specular component excluded) switchable

Conforms to DIN 5033 Teil7, JIS Z 8722 Condition "c", ISO7724/1, CIE No.15(2004)、ASTM E1164 for reflectance measurements


Illumination area

LAV: Ø25.4mm/Ø30mm

LMAV: Ø16mm/Ø20mm

MAV: Ø8mm/Ø11mm

SAV: Ø4mm/Ø7mm

LAV: Ø25.4mm/Ø30mm

MAV Ø8mm/Ø11mm

SAV: Ø4mm/Ø7mm

Repeatability "Colorimetric values:Standard deviation within ΔE*ab 0.02

(When a white calibration plate is measured 30 times at 10-second intervals after white calibration under Konica Minolta standard measurement conditions)

Colorimetric values:Standard deviation within ΔE*ab 0.03
(When a white calibration plate is measured 30 times at 10-second intervals after white calibration under Konica Minolta standard measurement conditions)
Within ΔE*ab 0.12

(Based on average for 12 BCRA Series II color tiles; LAV/SCI. Compared to values measured with a master body under Konica Minolta standard measurement conditions)

Within ΔE*ab 0.15

(Based on average for 12 BCRA Series II color tiles; LAV/SCI. Compared to values measured with a master body under Konica Minolta standard measurement conditions)

Transmittance measurement Possible(Measurement area: Ø17mm)
UV setting 100% / 0% / Adjusted (Instantaneous numerical
adjustment of UV with no mechanical filter movement
required)*5; 400 nm and 420 nm UV cutoff filters
No adjustment function (UV100%)
Gloss Measurement angle 60°
Measurement area MAV: 10 × 8 mm ellipse / SAV: Ø3 mm
Repeatability Standard deviation within

0-10GU: 0.1 GU

10-100GU: 0.2GU

100-200GU: 0.2% of displayed value
(Measured 30 times at 10-second intervals)

Inter-instrument agreement 0-10GU: ±0.2GU

10-100GU: ±0.5GU
(MAV. Compared to values measured with a master body under Konica Minolta standard conditions)

Size(W×H×D) Approx. 248×250×498 mm Approx. 300×677×315 mm Approx. 248×250×498 mm
Weight Approx. 8.4 kg Approx.14.0 kg Approx.8.3kg

*5 Numerical adjustment of UV requires UV Adjustment Software (included with optional Konica Minolta SpectraMagic NX Pro Ver. 3.2 or later)


About Konica Minolta Sensing Americas’ Business

Konica Minolta Sensing Americas, Inc. provides a range of high quality designed and hand assembled color measurement instruments recognized in the industry. Our color measurement instruments help you quantify, measure, and control color. Consistent color reduces manufacturing downtime and material waste while improving product quality. With an array of applications, our products serve many industries. You can find our equipment on the production line, in the laboratory or out in the field. Known for precision and accuracy, our instruments are the standard of the industry. Turn to Konica Minolta Sensing for all your color measurement needs.

Controlling color in recycled plastics

The latest color formulation technology in recycling plastic

Brand owners already made commitments to use more recycled material in their products, choosing resin from recycled sources. Suppliers are making a constant effort to provide a high quality recycled polymer. Color is one of the most important factors in the quality of recycled polymer.

Multi angled evaluation of cosmetic effect pigment

Multi angled evaluation of cosmetic effect pigment

It is no secret that color is critical to the cosmetic industry. Color affects consumer emotions and drives up to 95% of purchase decisions (Pigments in Cosmetic Formulations - Effect Pigment Symposium 2020). Color's importance weighs so heavily on the cosmetic success that the industry uses a scientific approach to ensure product quality.

Measure Color in the Cosmetics Industry

Color is an important element in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry, whether it’s to meet quality standards, enhance the appearance of a product, or evaluate how the human skin reacts to a makeup sample.
From raw materials to final product, Konica Minolta Sensing offers complete color measurement solutions. With performance instruments, software, and controlled lighting booths, researchers and manufacturers develop high quality products more efficiently. These solutions allow you to accurately evaluate and control the color attributes of various samples, including powders, pills, dip strips, liquids, and the human skin. As a result, consistency can be maintained and quality standards can be met with less waste, time, and effort.

Simultaneous measurement of color & gloss

Products around us all have unique appearances. Each year many industries release new color trends. A new color is developed by the design department at a brand owner or at a manufacture then the color is applied to a product or a newly developed product after verifying production feasibility. Color is one of the essential factors to quality control, and a spectrophotometer plays a vital role in evaluating the color quality of a product.