600 Imaging Spectrophotometer

  • Non-Contact Color Management
  • Full Color Spectrum Sampling
  • True Accurate CIE Lab Delta E
  • Accurate Delta E vs. Conventional Hand Delta E Color Spectro’s
  • Can be used on Virtually Any Shape, Texture and Size
  • Measure Color Over Large Areas
  • Extremely Small Measurement Capability

A New Way to Accurately Measure Color

TRICOR’s Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer is an exciting new product for measuring color. Unlike other imaging colorimeters, the Model 600 can be used to measure radiated sources, reflectance as well as transmittance from 380nm to 780nm. This spectral information can be used to calculate various color coordinates; by convolving the spectral curve with a user specified type of illumination and standard observer. The software allows for any combination of illuminant (11+ types) and standard observer (CIE 1931 or 1964). Resulting color units include XYZ (Tristimulus Values), xyz (chromaticity coordinates), L*a*b* (CIELAB 1976), Lab (Hunter Lab 1946), u’v’ (CIE 1976 UCS), L*u*v* (CIE 1976 CIELUV) and CCT (Correlated Color Temperature).

The “Imaging” portion of Imaging Spectrophotometer refers to the system sensor, a camera, used to acquire spectral data over the measurement area. All this functionality can be done on an image as opposed to a single point. Every pixel location represents a virtual independent spectrophotometer! Therefore, a 1280×960 image is equivalent to having over 1.2 million independent spectral reflectance curves.

Many other color systems on the market use the tristimulus method of measuring color. The tristimulus method has a major distinct disadvantage compared to the spectrophotometric method. The limited tristimulus method simply measures a red, green and blue reflectance over an area with a single illuminant. These devices give no information regarding spectral/reference content; and therefore lack the capability to directly detect metamerism.

We are only beginning to scratch the surface. Color measurement applications will continue to push the operating envelope of this system. It will continue to improve, as new emerging technologies become available to increase performance, capabilities and ease of use.

Sensor
  • Silicon CCD camera
Resolution
  • 1280 x 960 pixels
Lens Options (FL; FOV H x V)
  • 35mm; 7.0° x 5.1°
  • 24mm; 10.2° x 7.3°
  • 15mm; 16.3° x 12.7°; Fisheye²
Resultant Image
  • 1280 x 960 x 10bits
Optical Bandwidth
  • 380-780nm; 20nm
Spectral Reporting
  • 380-780nm; 20nm
Measurement Units
  • Tristmulus Values: XYZ
  • Chromaticity Coordinate: xyz
  • CIELAB Space: L*a*b*, Abs & ΔE
  • CIE 1976 UCS Space: u’v’, Abs & ΔE
  • CIELUV Space: L*u*v*, Abs & ΔE
  • Hunter Lab: Lab, Abs & ΔE
  • CCT (Correlated Color Temperature): °K
Short-term Repeatability3, 4
  • 0.026 CIELAB DE (average)
  • 0.019 CIELAB DE (sigma)
Short-term Reproducibility3, 5
  • 0.06 CIELAB DE (average)
  • 0.05 CIELAB DE (sigma)
Measurement First Time¹
  • 60 seconds (@ 100 ft.L ˜D65)
Minimum Measurement Time¹
  • 30 seconds (@ 100 ft.L ˜D65)

Some Typical Applications

  • Printed Products
  • Food Products
  • Textiles
  • Consumer Goods
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Construction Products
  • Automotive Displays

System Component

Mechanical Properties
  • 9 x 7 x 4 inches (w/o lens)
  • 22.8 x 17.8 x 10.2 cm (w/o lens)
  • 7.2 lbs (3.3kg) (w/o lens)
  • ¼”-20 Mounting interface
Interface/Connections
  • IEEE 1394; Type 2 (4 Pin) (Camera Interface)
  • USB; Type B (Serial Comm Interface)
  • USB; RJ11 (6 pin) (External Lamp Interface)
  • USB; RJ45 (8 pin) (External I/O Interface)
Temperature Ranges
  • Operating: 0° to 32°C (32° to 90°F)
  • Rel. Humidity <85% @ 32°C (90°F)
  • Storage: -20° to 55°C (-4° to 131°F)
  • (no condensation)
Power Source
  • Internal Power Supply
  • 88 – 264 VAC (47 – 63 Hz) 15 Watts
Includes ISPControl

    , Basic Operating software; Carrying Case; Power Cord; USB Cable, Type A to B, 2M length; IEEE-1394 Cable, IEEE-1394, Type 2 to 2, 2M length; IEEE-1394 Adapter, Type 1 (male) to Type 2 (female)

Customer Requirements

Computer Recommended Minimum Hardware
  • Intel Dual Core Processor, 2.9GHz (or greater)
  • IEEE 1394 Connetor/Port
  • USB Connetor/Port
  • 4GB, High Speed SDRAM
  • Recommended Display Resolution 1920 x 1200
  • ¹Acquisition times are dependent upon computer processor, bus speeds and sample brightness.
  • ²Fisheye lenses inherently contain some image distortion but does not affect color readings.
  • ³Specifications based on the following environmental conditions: 25°C; 35%RH.
  • 4Used white BCRA tile.
  • 5Used 12 BCRA tiles.

Packaging - Hair Products

Some of the most difficult printing applications are ones that contain hair color and skin tones. These types of products can include hair products, and in particular, hair color products. A large percent of marketing is done at the point of sale. If a customer dislikes the color shown on the package, then the chances of that customer purchasing that product is greatly reduced. If the color on the package is misleading then the chances of that customer repurchasing that product is also reduced. Shown below is a sampling of the types of hair color packaging.

The print layers on these types of packages can be quite complex and difficult to maintain color across the entire package. Most often, these packages include color tables that exhibit the sensation of hair color across the entire package. So, this begs the following question:

Why do you only measure spots when you can measure the entire package?

In this application write-up, we will demonstrate the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer and how it allows you to measure the “entire package” for complete color management.

Application Considerations

  • Non-Contact type measurements are preferred.
  • Package color content is highly variable.
  • Requires the ability to evaluate color difference to a digitally stored master.
  • Requires the ability to evaluate color difference (i.e. Delta-E) over large areas.
  • Users should pay particular attention to the following…
    • Package flatness which is accomplished by use of the optional vacuum table.

Measurement Demonstration

  1. Select and setup system with appropriate lighting modules.
  2. Turn on system in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
  3. Calibrate system.
  4. Set software specifications to the desired Illuminant Type, Observer Type and Color Coordinates.
  5. Prepare sample for measurement.
  6. Center the sample on the system table as shown below.
  7. Measure sample, generally takes approximately 45 seconds depending on measurement conditions.
  8. Data is now ready for analysis

Analysis

The front of the package can be compared to a previously measured STANDARD package. In the two examples below, a measured sample is compared to a stored STANDARD using 2 different user specified aperture sizes (2mm & 1mm).

Data extracted using a 2.0mm VSS, showing a 98.2% match (Equivalent to 2,693 Delta-E measurements)

Data extracted using a 2.0mm VSS, showing a 98.2% match (Equivalent to 2,693 Delta-E measurements)

Data extracted using a 1.0mm VSS, showing a 94.0% match (Equivalent to 10,080 Delta-E measurements)

Data extracted using a 1.0mm VSS, showing a 94.0% match (Equivalent to 10,080 Delta-E measurements)

Note: The mapping consists of 4 total colors. Each color represents a specific range of DE values. In this example the user has specified the following values, DE 0.00 thru 2.50 (green), DE >2.50 thru 5.00 (yellow), DE >5.00 thru 10.00 (red).

It can be seen from the maps and statistics above that the front labels of the sample and standard have a 94+% color match based on the user specified criteria shown above.

Analysis (Package Sides/Back)

The sides/back of the package can also be compared to a previously measured STANDARD package. In the two examples below, a measured sample is compared to a stored STANDARD using 2 different user specified aperture sizes (2mm & 1mm).

Data extracted using a 2.0mm VSS, showing only a 28.1% match in the selected region

Data extracted using a 2.0mm VSS, showing only a 28.1% match in the selected region

Data extracted using a 1.0mm VSS, showing only a 31.2% match in the selected region

Data extracted using a 1.0mm VSS, showing only a 31.2% match in the selected region

Note: The mapping consists of 4 total colors. Each color represents a specific range of DE values. In this example the user has specified the following values, DE 0.00 thru 2.50 (green), DE >2.50 thru 5.00 (yellow), DE >5.00 thru 10.00 (red).

It can be seen from the maps and statistics above that the side labels of the sample and standard show significant color differences. The color mapping shows that these colors differences vary across the entire table. The hair colors displayed at the bottom of the table (yellow) are more skewed than the colors at the top of the table (green). The mapping allows us to identify the areas of interest and focus on those areas. This focused analysis shows only a 30% color match or more importantly, a 70% significant color difference.

Conclusion

Packaging, like the ones demonstrated in this application, can be very difficult to print and even more difficult to color analyze using conventional “spot spectro”. These types of packages contain colors that continuously vary across the package. These varying colors can be primarily found in the hair and skin and must be correct. If these areas on the package are not correct, then the manufacturer risks a reduction in sales due to an unpleasant visual feel by the potential customer.

These packages are difficult to accurately measure using spot devices. However, the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer allows color comparisons across the entire package and NOT just at a single point. That results in the ability to check the model’s entire face and hair in just seconds.

The Model 600 allows users to…

  • Extract full spectral data curves from anywhere on the package.
  • Compare printed packages to accepted digitally stored STANDARDS in their entirety.
  • Average color over large (or small) areas of their choosing.
  • Analyze complex colors and textures in a consistent manner.
  • Analyze as much as 100% of the surface area with a “Virtual Spot Spectrophotometer” (VSS) with a selectable aperture size for COMPLETE color analysis.

Comparable printing challenges can be found in packaging and advertising media associated with hair products, beauty products, clothing & fashion products etc. This system is valuable to both the suppliers & buyers of printed materials.

  • Suppliers can use this system to certify complete compliance to accepted standards (i.e. proofs).
  • Buyers can use this system to verify complete compliance to accepted standards (i.e. proofs).
  • No more questioning or debating colors.
  • Stop relying on somebody’s eyes to insure color quality.
  • Measure it!

Model 600 Sample Printout – Can also be used as a Certificate of Compliance. Click the image below for a larger view

¹Note: As capabilities of the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer increase, there may be even more tools available for additional extraction of color information. Contact TRICOR Systems Inc for the latest information regarding capabilities for your specific application requirements.

French Fries - Model 600 Color Measurement Application

The Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer is ideal for the measurement of food products because of its ability to measure color over large areas in a non-contact manner. The ability of the system to measure color in extremely small resolution elements gives the system the added benefit of limiting color calculations to areas of your choosing. In other words, you can choose to measure color in specific areas of your product or ignore specific characteristics (such as potato skins) before quantifying color values. Similar products can include hash browns, tater tots, American fries, potato chips etc.

Application Considerations (all resolved by using the Model 600)

  • Potato products are non-uniform in nature.
  • Requires the ability to average over large areas or measure small specific areas.
  • Capability can be added to the software to automatically ignore (or neglect) the affects of potato skins and other characteristics that would otherwise cause uncontrolled skewing of the color data.
  • Users should pay particular attention to the following.
    • Product presentation. Presentation to the system should be done in a consistent manner in order to minimize influence from stacking variations.

Color Measurement Demonstration

  1. Select and setup system with appropriate lighting modules. It is recommended that a minimum of 2 lighting modules be incorporated at a 180 degree separation in order to minimize shadowing affects.
  2. Turn on system in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
  3. Calibrate system.
  4. Set software specifications to the desired Illuminant Type, Observer Type and Color Coordinates.
  5. Prepare a sample for measurement. Samples should always be presented in a consistent manner. A container should be filled so the bottom of the container cannot be seen. The top of the sample should be relatively flat and at a consistent height.
  6. Center the product sample on the system table as shown below.
  7. Measure sample, generally takes approximately 45 seconds depending on measurement conditions.
  8. Analysis can take on many forms. Discreet color measurements can be done over large (or small) areas by simply selecting the Region of Interest (ROI) as shown.
  9. Colors can also be compared to previously measured STANDARDS as shown. In the example below, a measured sample is compared to a stored STANDARD for direct comparison. The user has the ability to specifically choose any sized area for direct comparison to the stored STANDARD.

Conclusion¹

  • “See” the product and choose areas of interest.
  • Compare samples to stored STANDARDS for more consistent product quality. Note: Digital “STANDARDS” can be stored remotely and accessed anywhere in the world for consistent global measurements.
  • Average color over large (or small) areas of their choosing.
  • Evaluate their product in its natural setting; as opposed to being compressed, smashed or compromised in order to measure it.
  • Statistically analyze large areas using a “Virtual Spot Spectrophotometer” with a measurement aperture size of your choice that best suits your product.

¹Note: As capabilities of the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer increase, there may be even more tools available for additional extraction of color information. Contact TRICOR Systems Inc for the latest information regarding capabilities for your specific application requirements.

Carpet - Model 600 Color Measurement Application

The Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer is ideal for the measurement of carpet (or similar products). The ability to measure color over large areas makes it the ideal instrument for this application. Similar products can include rugs, mats, runners etc.

Application Considerations

  • Carpet is non-uniform in nature.
  • Requires the ability to average over large areas.
  • Users should pay particular attention to the following.
    • Carpet direction and presentation
    • Backing color because it MAY influence the perceived color of the carpet and therefore, should be consistent when measuring.
    • Temperature and Humidity conditions MAY influence dyes and therefore, should be consistent when measuring.
  • Some carpets contain fluorescent materials resulting in increased sensitivity in the UV portion of the light source.
  • Carpet industry generally chooses analysis with D65 (10 Observer) using the CIELAB L*a*b* color coordinates.

Measurement Demonstration

  1. Select and setup system with appropriate lighting modules.
  2. Turn on system in accordance with manufacturer specifications.
  3. Calibrate system.
  4. Set software specifications to the desired Illuminant Type, Observer Type and Color Coordinates.
  5. Prepare a carpet sample for measurement. It is always better to cut samples larger than the field of view of the system in order to allow the sample area to lay flat.
  6. Center the sample on the system table as shown below.
  7. Measure sample, generally takes approximately 45 seconds depending on measurement conditions.
  8. Analysis can take on many forms. Discreet color measurements can be done over large (or small) areas by simply selecting the Region of Interest (ROI) as shown.
  9. Colors can also be compared to previously measured STANDARDS as shown. In the example below, a measured sample is compared to a stored STANDARD for direct comparison. The user has the ability to specifically choose any sized area for direct comparison to the stored STANDARD.
  10. In the example below, a measured sample is compared to a stored STANDARD using a user specified aperture size. In this example, an aperture size of ~6mm is used and a DE comparison map is shown. Note: this is equivalent to making 1,461 discreet spot spectrophotometric DE measurements for each sample and mapping the resulting differences (shown in the lower right corner). The map shows us that 98.8% of the area matches (i.e. DE < 2.5) the STANDARD carpet.
  11. Statistics are calculated for either DE method used and displayed to the user. In the “Spot DE Colors” table, you can see that 98.8% of the carpet shows a match to the master. It also shows that 98.8% of the carpet shows an average DE of 0.63. The “Full DE Colors” table is not applicable for this application because is simple contains too much resolution for this type of product.

The Model 600 allows users to…

  • “See” the product and choose areas of interest.
  • Compare samples to stored STANDARDS for more consistent product quality.
  • Average color over large (or small) areas of their choosing.
  • Statistically analyze large areas using a “Virtual Spot Spectrophotometer” with a measurement aperture size of your choice that best suits your product.
  • Evaluate their product in its natural setting as opposed to being compressed or compromised in order to measure it.
  • Analyze complex colors and textures in a consistent manner.

¹Note: As capabilities of the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer increase, there may be even more tools available for additional extraction of color information. Contact TRICOR Systems Inc for the latest information regarding capabilities for your specific application requirements.

Color Measurement – Full Frame Reflective Delta E

Frank Nanna demonstrates how easy it is to use the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer when measuring full frame reflective color differences. A full frame Delta E mapping is performed on a printed sample versus its standard (or master) print, with only a few keystrokes. Over 1.2 million Delta E comparisons are mapped over an A-Size print in approximately 1 minute.

I’m going to walk you through an example and show you how easy the system is to use, and how simple it is to create this mapping that I just talked about. So let’s set up the system and I will walk you through the example. We’re going to go over a quick example of a real-world reflective color measurement from the print industry. Do these two prints match? One would be signed off by the customer which would be considered the proof or the standard or reference, and the other one is the first print coming off the line. The question is, “Do they match?” Before I print a thousand of these … do they match?

We’re going to walk through how simple it is to make this measurement on the Model 600. Previously, we’ve taken the standard image and we’ve saved it, so now all we have to do is measure any type of sample from now on to a full-frame measurement. So, we place it into the system. We start the measurement using the software. It takes about one minute to take the measurement.

During this one minute, I would like to take the time to describe some of the components of the system. The Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer is mounted up high in the chamber. We have two DC modules. These DC modules are DC-controlled, very tightly controlled output, with a very specific spectral output. And the enclosure … this particular enclosure is scaled so that we can measure A-size prints. The enclosure is black in color because we want to control all secondary reflections and we also have a chamber because we want to control all secondary reflections as well as the exterior or environmental light from polluting our measurements. So those are the different components. The table … you can purchase an optional vacuum table and there are many other options for the chamber.

Okay, the measurement is complete. Let’s take a look at the full-frame delta. We clicked on the full-frame color difference capability. The color images sample is being created and now we see it in front of us. So this image right here represents the standard image and this represents the sample image that we must measure.

The first thing we do before we can complete a full-frame comparison is that we must align the two images. There is an automatic algorithm in here that aligns the sample image to the standard image. You may or may not on this video be able to see that it did move and rotate. So now these two images are perfectly in line. I am going to press the calculate button. What is happening during this process is that 1.2 million color differences are being calculated, one for each pixel location, and the complete mapping is now shown here in the lower right corner. Any pixels in this image that is color coded green represents a delta-E of less than 2.5; anything in yellow is less than 5.0, and anything in red is less than 10. These three ranges are user programmable. That happens to be the values that I have currently set them at.

We also have cursor capability. You can come in here and look at colors within the individual areas of the image itself. But the big, powerful capability here is this full-frame mapping. So that full-frame mapping can now be printed out in color for historical purposes; you can generate a full-frame difference; generate the hard copy mapping which you can use for records, historical purposes, or quality control … full frame! One hundred percent of the area has been calculated for delta-E. A very powerful system and you saw how easy it was to generate this delta-E mapping. We’re extremely excited!

Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer Introduction

Frank Nanna introduces a new product from TRICOR Systems Inc. This non-contact imaging spectrophotometer can be used to measure reflective, transmissive and emissive color over large areas at one time.

Hi. My name is Frank Nanna and I’m with TRICOR Systems Inc. Here at TRICOR, we are excited about a brand new product called the Model 600 Imaging Spectrophotometer. This single device is capable of measuring reflective color, transmissive color, as well as radiated color. What are some examples of each of these?

Reflective Color

Reflective color is all around us. It can include things like consumer packaging, consumer products, painted products, raw materials, cosmetics, and personal care products in a flat presentation, texture, three-dimensional…it doesn’t matter. The system can measure reflective color for all these particular scenarios.

Transmissive Color

What are some examples of transmissive color? That can include things like backlit products, signs, displays, instrumentation overlays, to name a few.

Radiated Color

And finally, some examples of radiated color would include something like lighting fixtures or instrumentation panels. Those are a few examples for a wide spread of applications that this single unit can be used for. In fact, the range of applications are so wide spread that we have decided to create a series of videos, each designed to cover a specific measurement capability for a particular industry.

In this video, I am demonstrating a typical reflective color measurement scenario for the print industry. What would the print industry currently use to measure something like this? They have a device called a Spot Spectrophotometer, or Spot Spectro. There are hundreds of them and a hundred different kinds on the market, capable of measuring color at a very specific point. The point, or spot, may be somewhere in the order of a 32nd-inch diameter; so we’re talking about very small spots here. What would a printer do for an example like this? The customer(operator?) would specify a handful of locations on their print in which they would use their Spot Spectro and they would go around and take specific measurements, then fill in a table, compare those results to an acceptable range or acceptable limits and based on those handful of points, make the assumption that this print is in or out of spec. Or the printer also can use the color bars located at the bottom of the print; or on the edges of packaging you will find these. And that is where the printer can analyze these color bars and infer or assume based on these color bars, if this color final print is in or out of specification, indirectly.