X-Rite Limited is launching a program this month that applies a precise non-contact colour measurement technology to the processing of food stuffs made continuously in high-speed production settings, such as pasta, chocolate, coloured liquids, spreads and baked goods.
"We have set up a program to show companies in the food processing industry how our VeriColor® Spectro spectrophotometer can be used to monitor subtle shifts in colour in products as varied as baby foods and biscuits," X-Rite Limited Sales Director Mike Smyth said." "This flexible and affordable technology can be used by many companies for statistical process control and close monitoring of processes, which maintains quality while reducing costs."
Smaller than a breadbox, the VeriColor Spectro is a non-contact device that mounts directly onto a production line to precisely measure the colour of products moving by at fast speeds. The instrument was specifically designed to yield quick and reliable measurements even in demanding factory environments, where fluctuating temperatures, vibration, high humidity and variable lighting conditions are the norm.
X-Rite Limited put together its food processing program after determining that the VeriColor Spectro is an appropriate tool to monitor key processes colourmetrically, Smyth said. For instance, the Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux (ALP) research institute in Switzerland reported that spectrophotometers are being used effectively as a method to monitor the quality of meats and meat products.
The company has assigned sales and engineering resources to show companies how the VeriColor technology can be applied to their operations. Those interested in learning more about the possibilities of using the technology can write Smyth at msmyth[.]xrite.com or call +44 776 993 0361.
X-Rite, the world’s largest designer and manufacturer of colour measuring instruments, developed the VeriColor Spectro to serve customers that needed a device to precisely measure colours in high speed manufacturing where contact with the parts was unfeasible. Historically, manufacturers had only two general types of non-contact instruments: inexpensive RGB (red/green/blue) colourimeters capable only of distinguishing gross colour differences, and expensive spectrophotometers used in quality control laboratories that measure so-called "absolute" colour, breaking it down into three dimensional L* (lightness/darkness), a* (red/green) and b* (yellow/blue) values.
To meld the needs of precision, cost and reliability, X-Rite developed the VeriColor Spectro that can:
• Provide real-time or continuous data that matches lab quality accuracy;
• Measure colours at a distance of 10 cm (+/- 5 mm) from the test surface;
• Read colours accurately in a factory floor environment, even under dusty or strict sanitary conditions;
• Measure accurately without frequent calibration, which can be accomplished easily in seconds if the optics of the instruments are accessible; and
• Measure the colour of products with varied textures.
The VeriColor Spectro provides an immediate signal when a process is running outside of specifications, either by alerting operators through use of a tree light or through messages on a personal computer. When programmed to take regular and frequent measurements, the VeriColor Spectro and the Color iScan® software from X-Rite can provide powerful tools for companies to improve first-time quality and engage in statistical process control. The software allows companies to analyze historical trends and correlate the instrument’s measurements with process data such as temperature, line speed and other parameters.
VeriColor Spectro uses patented technology that rejects ambient light, so no special lighting or shrouding of the measurement head is required. In addition, the instrument is rugged enough to operate reliably in operating environments from 0-50 Celsius.
In addition to the VeriColor Spectro, X-Rite (xrite.com) has an entire suite of colour measurement products and services that food stuff manufacturers can use to ensure the quality of their goods, such as customized colour matching cards that operators can use to quickly and inexpensively determine whether food stuffs are acceptable. Please contact Smyth for more information on the company and its color measurement solutions.