FAQs for SoftKey

What is SoftKey Licensing? 

SoftKey is a software licensing program for EasyMatch QC that enables the user to license the software to work with a specific sensor. Similar to Microsoft products, the license is supplied by HunterLab and coded into the software to register the product.  Prior to December 2016, HunterLab has been using a USB hardware key system (Sentinel Key) but will be migrating to this new way of licensing software. 

 

What is a USB Sentinel Key?

HunterLab has been using the USB hardware (Sentinel Key) prior to December 2016 to activate the license of Easy Match QC.  These USB’s are often labeled ‘SafeNet’ and are required to be in the USB port when EasyMatch QC is opened.  If the USB key is removed, then an error message will appear and EasyMatch QC cannot be used.

 

The USB Sentinel key is issued for a computer installation of EasyMatch QC and can be used with a number of HunterLab sensors.

 

What is the difference between SoftKey License and the USB hardware key? 

SoftKey is a software license that is used instead of the Sentinel hardware key.  Both often take the form of a USB key. 

The SoftKey License is uniquely associated with the sensor serial number.  The SoftKey License requires activation once EasyMatch QC is installed.  To install the SoftKey License, please see the EasyMatch QC Quick Start Guide.

The Sentinel key is a USB hardware key that works with an installation of EasyMatch QC on a specific computer and must be left in the USB port to use EasyMatch QC.  This key is often labeled ‘Safenet’. The installation path for both are similar. 

How do I tell if I have SoftKey vs Sentinel Key?

All systems prior to December 2016 have the Sentinel hardware key.  After December 2016, SoftKey Licenses have been issued for new installations of EasyMatch QC.  If applicable, software package should show a license number as part of the documentation for SoftKey.  In addition, the USB included with the package should show an ‘skl’ file for SoftKey.  Otherwise the USB would be labeled ‘SafeNet’ and function as the Sentinel hardware key.

 

How do I use the SoftKey License? 

Once the SoftKey is activated, the license will function transparently to the user.  Installation and activation steps include:  1) Install EasyMatch QC, 2) Register SoftKey License, 3) Install the color measuring sensor, 4) Standardize and measure samples.  To view the current version of your software, go to EasyMatch QC>Help>About. 

 

How do I install the SoftKey License? 

To install EasyMatch QC with the Softkey License, please follow the directions in the EasyMatch QC Quick Start Guide.

 

 

How do I get help with installing the SoftKey License?

For immediate service and support 24/7, please use the support.hunterlab.com site.  For more information on the SoftKey License, please review the FAQs and the Quick Start Guide for EasyMatch QC.  If you need additional assistance, click on the "Create a Support Request" button at the top of this page.

 

What if I have been using the USB Sentinel key in the past?

If you have been using a Sentinel key with EasyMatch QC in the past and are adding a sensor to the same computer, then a SoftKey License is not required.  If, however, you are adding a new computer and sensor, then a new SoftKey License is required for the new system.

 

How do I know if I have a Sentinel Key?

If you have been using EasyMatch QC prior to December 2016, then you have a Sentinel hardware key in one of the USB ports of your computer.  Please look for this device.  If removed, then EasyMatch QC will no longer run on your computer.

I am installing a new computer with EasyMatch QC, which key do I need?

If you are installing a new version of EasyMatch QC onto a new computer and you have been running EasyMatch QC prior to December 2016, then the key is the hardware Sentinel key and it must be removed from the old system and put into the USB port of the new computer.

If you are replacing the computer system for EasyMatch QC, but have been running EasyMatch QC prior to December 2016, then the key is the hardware Sentinel key.  This key must be removed from the old system and placed into the USB port of the new computer.

If I am upgrading EasyMatch QC, can I use the USB Sentinel key that I have?

A Sentinel hardware key was issued (prior to December 2016) for an individual computer.  This key resides in one of the USB ports.  So, If you are installing a new version of Easy match QC onto the same computer, then you can continue to use the Sentinel key. 

 

If I am upgrading EasyMatch QC, can I use the USB Sentinel key that I have?

A Sentinel hardware key was issued (prior to December 2016) for an individual computer.  This key resides in one of the USB ports.  So, If you are installing a new version of Easy match QC onto the same computer, then you can continue to use the Sentinel key. 

 

I am replacing the sensor on the same computer:  which key do I use?

If you are replacing the sensor on a computer that has been running EasyMatch QC, then you have a Sentinel key and have also been sent a new SoftKey License for the new sensor.  Either key will work and the choice is up to you.

 

How do I get a SoftKey License for a 30-day trial?

To try out the EasyMatch QC software for 30 days, one can register for a temporary Softkey License.  After installation of EasyMatch QC, the 30-day trial is selected during registration.  Fill out the form and submit your information HunterLab.  The trial license is then issued for the limited period of time.

Is Haze influenced by Color

Question : Does the L*a*b* value influence the Haze reading, for example do darker colors (low L*) also have lower Haze than lighter colors ( high L*) or is this an over simplification.

Answer:

%Haze is a physical attribute that is unrelated to the color of the specimen being measured. When light is collimated at 90 degrees through a transparent object it can either be transmitted through the object without changing angle, or it can scattered at angles other the incident angle. %Haze is equal to 100 times the quotient of the scattered light divided by the sum of the scattered light and incident transmitted light.

Imagine reading a newspaper through a pair of eyeglasses have nearly perfectly clear lenses. These lenses if measured would have an L* in the 92 to 95 range and a % haze value close to zero. Now consider if you had to read the paper by looking through a polyethylene sandwich bag. The sandwich bag probably has an L* close to 90 but with a %Haze in the 20% to 30 %Haze range or higher. Still clear enough to read but the type and photos would appear slightly fuzzy. Now put on a pair of dark green sunglasses. L* in the 30 range, %Haze close to zero. That type and photos would take on a green hue due to the lens color but would appear as sharp as when you were wearing the clear lenses.

Black Glass calibration values and traceability statement

Question:

I was asked during a recent audit to provide a calibration and traceability certificates for the black glass I use to calibrate my 45:0 instrument. I said that none were provided when I purchased the instrument. Why were they not provided?

Answer:

We follow the ASTM E1164 Standard Practice for Obtaining Spectrophotometric Data for Object Color Evaluation. The full text of ASTM E1164 is available for purchase from the www.ASTM.org

Referring to section 10.2.1 which states that the Full Scale Standardization shall be done using a White Reference Standard calibrated relative to the perfect Reflecting diffuser. This implies that the White Instrument Standard has unique calibrated values which would need to be substantiated by a Calibration and Traceability statement.

Referring to section 10.2.2.1 for 0:45 and 45:0 Zero Scale Standardization shall be done with "a highly polished black glass standard with an assigned reflectance factor of zero." This implies that for any highly polished black glass the reflectance factor is zero at all measured wavelengths. There is no calibration required to assign the reflectance factor at each wavelength. The reason why no calibration is required is that except for a few very expensive instruments maintained by the NMI's of the world the true reflectance of polished black glass is many magnitudes below a commercial instruments ability to measure it.

Inter-instrument agreement on calibrated achromatic tiles

Question: We recently purchased a set of calibrated tiles and would like to know the expected inter-instrument agreement between all of the HunterLab sensors our company uses to measure the color of our product.

Answer:

The most widely accepted method of using CCSII tiles (Lucideon/Ceram/BCRA 12 Glossy tiles) is to create a target for each color from the mean of the population readings of the sensors in your company. Then periodically read the tiles and record the color difference (dE* or CMC or dE2000) for each tile from its target value. Then calculate the average of the 12 color differences. If the average is less than 0.15 then the instrument is considered acceptable for use. You may also wish to bound the set with a maximum allowable color difference ( e.g. no individual color difference greater than 0.30)

There are many other ways that these tiles are used, such as separating the performance reading the 4 gray tiles from the performance reading the colored tiles or calculating the recording the color differences between reading the Gray and Difference Grey and Green and Difference Green tiles.

Lycopene versus Fresh Tomato Color Index (FTCI)

Question:

What is the difference between Lycopene versus Fresh Tomato Color Index (FTCI)

 Answer:

Lycopene Index and Fresh Tomato Color Index are very different and have specific uses.

 

Fresh Tomato Color Index is fixed for all users.

Fresh Tomato Color Index FTCI = (100((21.6/L) - (7.5*b/(L*a))) using the Hunter L, a, b color scale for C/2 conditions. 

There is no universal "Lycopene Index". While there are correlations cited in literature, they are all dependent on the method of sample preparation and measurement which varies from publication to publication. Effectively each user establishes their own "Lycopene Index".

CMR3098 offers the following equation for the calculation of Lycopene Index.

Lycopene Index (mg/kg) = (a/b – Offset)/Gain

where

 gain is user-editable = 0.0039 as default

 offset is user-editable = 0.3319 as default

 a/b ratio is determined from Hunter a and b color values, fixed for C/2 conditions.

The user is expected to determine their own gain and offset if they want to more closely HLPC or spectrophotometric transmission measurements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know what Neat Color is?

FAQ: " I have a customer who wants to measure something called 'Neat Color' at a temperature of 150°C.

They have seen that in the US, a company is doing this using a Hunterlab instrument with “SpecWare Version 1.10 + Brass sample holder with slots 10 mm apart for glass slides and microscope slides, 3x2” glass”

Do you have any idea which instrument this is?"

To the best of my knowledge, there is no color scale called "neat".

Instead what I think it refers to is measuring the color of the material neat, meaning undiluted. More than likely this is some type of chemical concentrate (often crystals or pellets) that has to be heated undiluted to 150 C to make it into a liquid where the color, typically APHA/Pt-Co or Gardner, is measured as an indication of color quality.

Here is a note on how we generally approach hot liquids - Measuring Hot Liquid Samples - AN 1030.00

Specware was HunterLab's legacy DOS color software. The brass device sounds like a custom sample holder.

If you can find out any more information, we can better advise.

How is the calibrated White tile used to make a measurement.

Our technical staff realized that:

a) the white tile data are located into the instrument firmware (all the instruments?)

All HunterLab instruments have their calibrated white tile data stored in ROM on the Signal Processing (SP) or Data Aquisition (DA) board. When the instrument is powered on this data is moved to RAM.

b) the white tile data can be entered by a sw

The user software EasyMatch QC has no ability to load white tile data to ROM

The Diagnostic software supplied with each instrument does have the capability to load white tile data to ROM.

But it is not fully clear how these values are used in the calibration and

in the measurement routine.

During Standardization the following two terms are created Instrument Dark ( spectral result of measuring Light Trap or Black Glass ) and Standard White (spectral result of measuring Instrument White Tile )

When the user reads a Sample the value for the sample reading shown on the screen is calculated from the following formula;

Sample Value = ((Sample reading minus Instrument Dark) divided by (Standard White minus Instrument Dark)) times Calibrated White values

This formula is the same for all current color spectro manufacturers.

By considering for example the MSEZ and CFEZ units (stand alone mode), if

the customer changes the white tile (once bought the option L02-1014-418),

what will happen to the measure values stored in the instrument (sensor)

database?

Nothing happens to the data stored in the database. There is no reason to change that data.

Are the measures stored still valid?

Of course, what would invalidate them? The white tile that HunterLab labels instrument white standard is directly assigned relative to PTFE. The difference between white tiles is much less than the difference between individual instruments.

There is any kind of correlation with the new white tile data by

preventing any drift to them?

I don't understand the question, do you mean "difference" instead of "drift". Drift means that the value slowly changes. Difference means that the is immediately not the same.

In case of double measure on the same sample before and after the white

tile change, would you confirm the reliability of the measured value? What

kind of DE we may expect?

Less than inter-instrument agreement specifications.

Considering one of your instruments (sensor) connected to the software

Easy Match QC how do you manage the white tile data?

Since EashMatchQC has no ability to alter the ROM in the instrument it has no ability to manage the white tile data.

To be more specific, what might happen to my data (stored in the Easy

Match sw) in case of white tile replacement?

Nothing happens to the stored data. Why would you think that the stored data would change?

Does the sw use the white tile data stored in the instrument firmware? If

yes in which way?

In the equation described earlier where the ((Smp-Drk)/(Std-Drk))*Calibrated data the Calibrated data comes from the instrument firmware.

We noticed that the white tile of the instrument (sensors) are different

from Msez,Uvis and Cfez, is there a specific reason?

MSEZ, CFEZ, STHT, D2NC use a porcelain enameled steel white tile as their top of scale standard, this tile has curve shape that mimics TiO2 and average reflectance greater than 85%, the USVis and USPro use an EverWhite Japanese Opal tile as their top of scale, this tile has a curve shape that mimics PTFE and average reflectance greater than 95%.

Could You please send us a program to see how it uploads the white tile

data into the firmware?

See attached instructions on how to load White tile data into an LSXE using LSXEDiagnostics software. This basic procedure is the same for all of the different diagnostics programs. Also attached is a sample White tile data file. these files have the extension .rfl and are typically named with the instrument serial number.

Many thanks in advance for your kind commitment,

Have a nice week end

Piermario

Cordialità / Best Regards

Measuring Effects of UV Optical Brighteners

What is the best way to measure the effects of UV optical brighteners in our samples with our HunterLab instrument?

 

The recommended method is a two-part measurement sequence. The first measurement mode you will need to setup is the UVF Calibrated (UV included) mode. This mode will provide some UV content but will provide a consistent amount of UV content. The second mode you will need to setup is the UVF In (UV Excluded) mode. This mode will effectively exclude all UV content of the lamp.

After you take your two measurements in UVF Calibrated and UVF In you will then need to compare the significant indices you are concerned with for your product. For some customers this might be a L* value, a b* value, or maybe a WI index; this will be personal and depend on what your facility has established as a meaningful metric.

It is important that the UVF Calibrated mode is used because UV content in a lamp will vary from instrument to instrument and is affected by several factors. By using UVF Calibrated you are using a consistent UV content that will stay consistent as the lamp in your instrument ages. These settings could also be applied to different instruments should you upgrade down the line.

Can you give me a brief overview of what the Diagnostics and CalVer are actually testing?

Repeatability test tells us the condition of the lamp flash system and electronics independent of color accuracy. Didymium filter test tells us the wavelength accuracy of the instrument independent of reflectance color accuracy. When taking a measurement the integrating sphere interior wall mixes and homogenizes the light reflected from the sample. The wall coating is a critical part of the process, as much as the wavelength alignment and repeatability of the measurement process. the Green tile is a single color in the middle of the wavelength range and middle of the linearity range. It does a good job of predicting the general color accuracy performance of the instrument. The full Color Tile readings are done when the first two tests are successful and provides a "stress test" of color accuracy by using tiles that represent a fairly complete non-chromatic and chromatic color range. The tiles Red, Orange and Yellow have the lowest reflectance in the range from 360 to 600nm of all of the tiles in the set. Dirty lenses causing diffusion can affect the low reflectance readings as can sphere wall dulling, or aging.

EP OpalePh Eur 2.2.1. Clarity and degree of opalescence of liquids.pdf

EP 2.2.1 Defines three instrumental methods

 

 

 

1. Nephelometry - View the specimen at right angles ( 90 degrees ) to the direction of incident light. Use for NTU values less than 1750 to 2000 units.

 

2. Turbidimetry - A property of the specimen's ability to scatter or absorb light as opposed to transmitting it in a straight line through the sample.

 

3. Ratio Turbidimetry - ratio of the transmission measurement to the 90 degree measurement

 

 

 

HunterLab does not offer 90 degree detection, so technically we only fully conform to a Turbidimetry measurement, but EP 2.2.1 says "Instruments with range or resolution, accuracy and repeatability capabilities other than those mentioned above may be used provided they are sufficiently validated and are capable for the intended use." So any instrument may be used as long as it is validated.

 

There are some samples that can only be correctly measured using Nephelometry, but HunterLab has been able to show valid correlations to Opalescence and lower NTU units when creating calibration curves using our benchtop transmission capable instruments.

 

 

 

See an05_07 for a method to validate HunterLab instruments.

 

 

 

[Opalescence - an05_07](https://support.hunterlab.com/hc/en-us/articles/203995865-Opalescence-an05-07)

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISO 17025 accredited lab and would like to know if there is any type of annual calibration that would be needed to maintain this equipment.

Question:

ISO 17025 accredited lab and would like to know if there is any type of annual calibration that would be needed to maintain this equipment.?

Answer:

The calibrated specimen supplied with the sensor is the White Instrumetn Tile. This was supplied with Certificate of Traceability showing both the calibrated values and the uncertainty of the calibration ( for all expect LSXE and CQXE ). An expiration date is not shown on this certificate, individual users typically choose a timeframe of between 12 and 60 months to have this tile recalibrated.

Color Measurement is a unique field in metrology since there are no intrinsic standards of color expect for White. To compensate for the lack of intrinsic color standards the industry has standardized on using Lucideon CCSII tiles as consensus standards of color. Since color measurement is device dependent HunterLab has created targets based on the mean of group of known good sensors and uses these values to validate the color measurement performance of an instrument that was standardized using a calibrated Instrument Standard White. If the instrument can read back these CCSII tiles to within the stated uncertainty for the tile and tile set then it is implied that the instrument falls within the population mean of the instrument family.

Your sensor was shipped with a copy of its factory verification. We recommend that you have this type of verification performed at not more than 15 month intervals.

Vista Printing- Why are there no printers listed on the price list?

We currently have not listed any printers as an accessory on the Price List.  The goal is to support all of the major brands for printers and there are drivers available that are pre-loaded on the Vista.  We will periodically update the list of drivers as new ones become available.

Printing can be accomplished by either direct connecting a printer via the rear USB port or connecting the printer to a network. 

Print Function in Essentials searches for all connected printers and displays a list to be selected.

 

 

YI D1925 versus YI E313(2/C)

Question:

We have target values for LAB (C/2) and YI D1925 for our product and need to now specify LAB (C/2) and YI-E313 (C/2) targets.

Answer:

The CIELAB targets would stay constant.

Note in the equations below that the terms A,B,G do not correspond with CIELAB, they are quantities defined in ASTM E313 and the the terms XYZ are the observer weighting functions. YI-E313 ignores the red X contribution of color in the index calculation.

YI-D1925 = 100(A-B)/G = 100(1.28X-1.06Z)/Y

YI-E313 = 100 ( 1 - B/G) = 100( 1- ((Z/1.181)/Y))

You would need to run a MonteCarlo simulation to determine the YI-E313 range of acceptance using the bounds of the LAB acceptance.

We can do this for them if they provide a PO for 2 hours of Technical Support time.

Is dE the Standard Deviation between Sample and Standard

Question:  Is dE the Standard Deviation between Sample and Standard?

 

Answer:

A bare bones description might be;  dE is color difference from a Standard and when a tolerance is applied, it is presumed than any dE value less than the tolerance will be an acceptable match.  CIE76, which is the technical description for dE*, is the geometric distance in color space between the Standard and Sample reading.   Since human perception is not uniform throughout the gamut of color space it is recommended that each Standard Color have a unique acceptance tolerance associated with it when using dE*.    For example our ability to differentiate between different shades of Yellow is much greater than our ability to differentiate between shades of Deep Blue.  If a tolerance dE* < 1 indicates an acceptable match for the Yellows, to have a visually comparable tolerance for Deep Blue might result in a dE* < 1.7   

CMC (dECMC) and CIE2000 (dE*2000) consist of complex equations such that a uniform tolerance can be applied throughout color space.   These equations were designed so that a value of 1 represents the limit of an typical acceptable match.   Using CMC or CIE2000 would allow the user to apply a tolerance of 1 to both the Yellow and Deep Blue colors from the previous example.     

Standard Deviation, and k or C.I. (confidence interval),  are statistical terms that are used to model univariate groups of data that follow a Gaussian distribution.   These models work well when applied to XYZ or  Indices, but may be flawed when applied to multi-variate values like the different dE types.  Since dE can't be negative it's impossible to get a normal distribution, which is what Std. Dev. is designed to represent.   When using a group of dE's a Hotelling model t2 should be used.

Cleaning Instructions for White Standard Tile for Agera, Aeros, SpectraTrend HT

Handling, Care and Cleaning of Instrument Standard.

The White Standard is an optical coating and should be handled in much the same way as other optical surfaces. Although the material is very durable, care should be taken to prevent contaminants such as finger oils from contacting the material’s surface.  If the surface appears lightly soiled, it may be air brushed with a jet of clean dry air.  For heavier soil, the material can be cleaned by scrubbing with a soft brush under running water. Blow dry with clean air or allow the material to air dry. If the material is heavily stained, soak with either an extremely mild mix of soap and water, 5% white distilled vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide. Then run under water while scrubbing with a soft brush. Always keep tiles in the Standards box when not in use.

Why is there no sticker on my black tile?

HunterLab follows the recommendations set forth by ASTM E1164.

Referring to section 10.2.1 which states that the Full Scale Standardization shall be done using a White Reference Standard calibrated relative to the perfect Reflecting diffuser. This implies that the White Instrument Standard has unique calibrated values which would be substantiated by a Calibration and Traceability statement.

Referring to section 10.2.2.1 for 0:45 and 45:0 Zero Scale Standardization shall be done with "a highly polished black glass standard with an assigned reflectance factor of zero." This implies that for any highly polished black glass the reflectance factor is zero at all measured wavelengths. There is no calibration required to assign the reflectance factor at each wavelength. The reason why no calibration is required is that except for a few very expensive instruments maintained by the NMI's of the world the true reflectance of polished black glass is many magnitudes below a commercial instruments ability to measure it.

What to do when Essentials-based instrument freezes at the boot screen

Some customers have reported that Essentials-based instrument freezes and could not boot up successfully.

First, makes sure that the microSD card is properly seated in the card socket.  Power system down and remove and replace microSD card.  Re-apply power.  If it still does not work, please check the following steps.

If instrument can boot up correctly with a SD card inside before, it means that the SD card gets corrupted by some reasons, like Vista is shut down suddenly when the system still have something running. Please contact support@hunterlab.com, provide us your Vista serial number and ship back the corrupted SD card to us. We can help you to recover the data from the corrupted SD card in our office and then send you a new SD card with the recovered data. We can also email you the recovered data, and then you can import all recovered jobs by Job menu/Data Management/Job/Import, or simply apply restore (Job menu/Data Management/Backup & Restore) to replace current Hunterlab folder in your new SD card with the recovered one.  

If Instrument has never boot up successfully with the SD card inside before and shows "Bootscript not found" error, you probably have a wrong SD card version. Please contact support@hunterlab.com and provide your Vista serial number. We will send you the right version SD card. 


 

 

Instrument Standardization versus Calibration

Instrument standardization where the Bottom of Scale (0% line) and Top of Scale (100% line) is set by first blocking the light path and taking a reading and then clearing the light, except for a blank solution and taking a reading. This must be done at least once for every 8 hours of use, or at any user selectable interval less than 8 hours.

Instrument calibration can only be done by trained HunterLab service technicians at our Reston, VA service center. This entails using the emmission lines of Hg and Kr or lasers such as HeNe or CdNe to set the wavelength mapping of the detector and then ND filter and Gray scale tiles to check the Linearity and then colored filters and tiles to check the color measurement accuracy of the instrument. Instrument calibration verification testing is recommended every 12 to 15 months. If any test produces a failure then returning the instrument to HunterLab for calibration is the required action.

Hunterlab color spectrophotometer data collection and spacing

Question:

We have many types of HunterLab instruments throughout our organization. When looking through the literature we see that all use a 10nm bandwidth except for the UltraScanPro which uses a 5nm bandwidth. A colleague asked me to provide the spectral resolution for each instrument, I'm not sure what he is asking for me to provide.

Answer:

In simple terms resolution refers to the number of detector elements/wavelength range of light being measured. The wavelength range is the number of nanometers between the lowest measured wavelength from the highest measured wavelength. For example if the sensor measures from 400nm to 700nm then the wavelength range is 300nm. From the literature you can find the pixel count of the array. The nominal resolution for our instruments is shown below.

ColorQuest XE 300nm/128pixels = 2.34 nm/pixel

UltraScan Vis 420nm/256pixels = 1.64nm/pixel

UltraScan Pro 750nm/512pixels= 1.62nm/pixel

UltraScanXE = 390nm/40 elements= 10nm/detector *

*The obsolete UltraScanXE uses an technology comprising a group of 40 discrete detectors as opposed to a linear array of pixels.

Note that these are approximations as the projected image is slightly wider than shown such that the several of the first and last pixels are not used in the calculation. For example in the ColorQuest XE the first pixel used usually number 4 and the last one used is usually 124 so technically that would equate to a 2.54 nm/pixel resolution, but then the next sensor might map out an begin at pixel 5 and end at 126 giving a 2.48nm/pixel. Manufacturing variation in the polytube assembly and in detector mapping cause these slight differences in resolution which is why we only specify a general resolution value such as less than 2 for the UltraScan Vis and Pro and less than 3 for the ColorQuest XE is typically reported in our literature.