Inline colour measurement system

Written by: Tom Austin-Morgan | Published:

As well as measuring parts at high speed in-process, the colorCONTROL ACS7000 colour measurement system, from Micro-Epsilon, can also inspect the colour of injection-moulded parts as they are extracted from the mould, without having to wait for the parts to cool down. Micro-Epsilon claims that this reduces cycle times and allows for 100% quality control of colour.

Even with a temperature difference of 20°C, colour deviations of more than 2 Delta E units can occur depending on the colour monitored. Colour measurements carried out using the colorCONTROL ACS7000 system and temperature measurements using Micro-Epsilon's infrared thermoMETER CT sensor, enable a master curve to be generated at several different temperature levels that describes the thermochromic behaviour of the coloured polymer. This allows colour values determined on a warm component to be converted to room temperature colour values.

These pre-calculated 'cooling curves' stored in the system software allow the colour values determined during the de-moulding process to be converted into a reference temperature. This enables the colour to be automatically checked earlier in the process, which reduces cycle time and optimises productivity and output, compared to conventional sample checks.

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