Exploring the Benefits of Color Process Automation Technology in the Plastics Industry


Posted on February 15, 2018

The plastics industry has always been at the forefront of innovation, creating remarkable new materialsand products. From cars to computers, plastics have shaped our world in innumerable ways, opening up the door to ways of living previously unimaginable.1  Indeed, the very device on which you are reading this now only exists due to plastics.

But while the plastics industry has undoubtedly driven tremendous product innovation, it must also look for opportunities for process innovation in order to enhance efficiency and keep up with market changes. For many plastics manufacturers, the integration of on-line spectrophotometric color measurement within the production line has been a critical step toward process innovation, allowing for a new level of color quality control. With HunterLab’s Color Process Automation Technology, you are now able to take on-line color measurement and quality control to even greater heights.

What is cPAT?

Color Process Automation Technology (cPAT) offers a fully integrated on-line color measurement and closed-loop color control system designed to meet the evolving needs of the plastics industry. The heart of this system is the SpectraTrend HT, a lab-grade non-contact spectrophotometer with integrated height measurement technology to allow for accurate color analysis of a broad range of surfaces. The SpectraTrend HT is renowned for its color measurement reliability as well as the ease with which it fits into production lines in even harsh factory environments.

However, cPAT doesn’t simply measure color within the production line, it controls it by triggering automatic feeder adjustments based on real-time color data. In doing so, cPAT can account for feed screw wear, bulk density variation, and other process variables that impact color in order to create more consistent products. When out-of-spec product is detected, operators are notified immediately and defective product can be automatically contained downstream. In all, cPAT is the most comprehensive color quality control system available today, offering plastics manufacturers unprecedented benefits.

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