Using Computer Software for Color Formulation

When creating or designing a new color, manufacturers will need to formulate the color for production. This color formulation process requires trial and error to achieve the ideal close match to the target color. This process, when done manually, could mean repeated efforts until you get satisfactory color.

Computer software for color formulation, such as Colibri®, will save quite a number of trial and error steps and closely match to new color with minimum attempts. The color formulation software saves time of color formulation and saves the cost of waste produced in the formulation process. It will be a significant saving in the process. A formulator needs to create samples of their product ingredients and measure them with the software for material characterization. In the coatings industry, samples are generally drawdowns (letdowns) of the pigments and base material at different concentrations.

At Konica Minolta, our application engineers work with customers to ensure they have the information to create these required samples for material characterization. This step is critical to the formulation process to calculate recipes to match the new color from the ingredients defined in the colorant set. Once developed, you can use the recipe to reproduce the color accurately whenever needed later.

Opacity is crucial to achieving good hiding power for a coating. In Colibri® ColorMatch, you can set a target opacity, and the software will generate recipes with the smallest pigment loading or pigment cost to achieve the hiding requirements. The color and opacity of translucent samples can also be calculated for different substrates, should the coating be designed specifically for a different material than a contrast card.

Colibri ColorMatch® characterizes the binder (base material) separately from other ingredients. Therefore, you only need to create calibration samples for the new binder with white pigment and black pigment to create effective recipes. Calibration samples for the other pigments are not required. This is a great time saving for paints and coatings applications when the resins are identical or similar and using different kinds and or amounts of additives to create other bases or product lines.

With the constant arrival of new paint colors and a wide variety of paint types to manage, paint material also needs to shift to meet the latest environmental requirement as paint-manufacturing technology evolves. An advanced color formulation software can benefit efficiency and stability to paint manufacturers.

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