PPG has released two advanced colour matching tools as part of the PPG LINQ end-to-end digital ecosystem, the DigiMatch spectrophotometer and VisualizID 3D visualisation software.
According to PPG, when used together, the technologies deliver a “game-changing capability” to the colour matching process. “In fact, they are so quick, precise, and intuitive to use, it actually brings into question whether traditional colour matching tasks need to be carried out by a specialised tradesperson,” the company said.
Traditional spray out card colour matching can be a time-consuming, drawn-out process. PPG said this is where the rich colour and texture information picked up by the DigiMatch ‘spectro’, combines with VisualizID software and clever colour science algorithms within PPG’s vast colour database to provide a quick, simple, and accurate ‘3D digital spray out’ comparison tool.
The VisualizID 3D visualisation software will be incorporated into the PaintManager XI software system from the third quarter of 2022. The combination of DigiMatch and VisualizID will then be available to customers through what PPG said is a “very reasonably priced” subscription model.
According to PPG, DigiMatch takes readings from six angles of reflectance and six camera angles, allowing it to capture an extraordinary amount of data about the colour being measured. In particular, the camera angles provide crucial texture information about things such as pigment particle size, something the company said is not available with “lesser spectros”. The detailed information is seamlessly transferred to the VisualizID function in PaintManager XI via Wi-Fi or using the docking station.
Despite its advanced technology, DigiMatch’s compact, ergonomic design makes it easy to use – even with one hand – and its intuitive touchscreen means it’s quick to navigate through the process of taking readings. PPG said that as with all spectrophotometers, an essential part of any reading is to go through the best practice surface preparation process, which is something a PPG Territory Manager can assist with. DigiMatch also features a large storage capacity of around 160 jobs, and a docking station to charge and store the device free from dust.
PPG said VisualizID 3D visualisation software is a high-tech tool that allows painters to move from physical spray out cards to 3D digital spray out cards. The software helps painters make better colour matching decisions while streamlining and accelerating the process,
A physical spray out card is a representation of the chosen colour formula used to check against the target colour (usually the vehicle). VisualizID works the same way, except in an electronic 3D rendering that is depicted on a computer screen.
According to PPG, a typical spray out card process consumes around 25 to 30 minutes (sometimes more) of colour matching time, and sometimes, a job can require more than one spray out. VisualizID eliminates these steps and replaces them with a “super-quick”, on screen, 3D digital spray out of any chosen colour from PPG’s extensive colour database. The on-screen version of a colour can be easily compared to a spectro-generated depiction of the target vehicle’s colour, including the ability to look at them from different angles and with different light sources. The process allows painters to choose the correct colour without using a drop of tinter.
USING THE TECHNOLOGIES
The DigiMatch spectro is used to take a number of readings of the target vehicle’s paintwork before the data is downloaded to PaintManager XI. At this point, the manufacturer’s colour code is required to conduct a search. The search brings up the closest colour formulations (within that colour code) and gives a match rating for each one, along with how closely it compares in terms of effect coarseness. Instead of the technician choosing one or more of these formulations to spray out and compare against the vehicle, the VisualizID colour matching system lets you move straight to comparing the spectro reading with any formula from PPG’s extensive colour database associated with the manufacturer’s colour code for the target vehicle.
On one side of the screen, the VisualizID 3D visualisation software will display a digital representation of the target vehicle colour. Then, by simply clicking on any of the colour formulation results from the VisualizID search, a technician can put a digital spray out right next to the target vehicle colour and make comparisons as if they were holding a conventional spray out card against the vehicle.
To provide extra confidence when making colour formulation choices, technicians have a wide variety of options when conducting a comparison, including:
- View: When comparing the two images next to each other on screen, technicians can toggle between ‘blend view’ or ‘edge view’. Blend view runs a thin line between the two images which represents how the colours compare in a refinish blend situation. Alternatively, edge view removes the dividing Iine and places the two colours immediately adjacent to each other, as would happen in an edge-to-edge refinish method.
- Angle: As with conventional colour matching, the VisualizID colour matching system gives the option to assess the ‘flash’, ‘flop’, and ‘face’ of the colours in order to compare the colour travel. In each case, the colour images are illuminated as if they were by sunlight.
- Rotate and zoom: When conducting a comparison, the VisualizID 3D visualisation software’s display images can be easily rotated to any direction. At the same time, the direction of the light source can be moved around the images to see different effects. For a closer look, it’s simple to zoom into the images to help pick up small details and potentially subtle differences. There is also an option, called ‘light booth’, to mimic what you would see if the vehicle was in a light booth, illuminated by specialised colour matching lights.
For more information, contact your local PPG representative.