After the color history overview, Benton brought us outside the training center to get some hands-on experience with how color matching happens in the real world.
Bob Little, Axalta’s customer experience center manager, let us use his own grey Chevy Silverado truck for the demos.
Hands-On Demonstration #1: Fan Deck
Barbara tries out the traditional color fan deck to match the truck color.
Each of the five media participants got a chance to hold the fan deck up to the truck and try to determine the closest match. As easy as that sounds, it wasn’t easy at all. Depending on the angle you looked at the fan deck against the truck, a different paint color in the deck looked like the perfect match. Very frustrating! There was no consensus among the group on the best match.
Even though this type of color-matching is a bit “low-tech,” many painters grew up with it and still use it. They know how to make slight adjustments to come up with the exact color match. This is a skill, and not everyone has it; hence the need for Demo #2.
Hands-On Demonstration #2:
Bob Little, Axalta’s customer experience center manager, assists Barbara with Axalta’s Acquire™ Quantum EFX spectrophotometer, fondly referred to as “the camera,” to take a digital color reading of the truck.
Our next demo involved the use of Axalta’s Acquire™ Quantum EFX spectrophotometer, fondly referred to as “the camera.” We learned that one benefit of the camera over the fan chip is that the camera has a database of tens of thousands of colors, while the fan deck may only have 5,000 total color chips.
Better Wash It First!
Little’s truck looked clean, but we were quickly informed that the first thing a shop needs to do is thoroughly clean the part of the vehicle on which the camera will be used.
We each took a turn using the camera to take a reading of a section of the car. Simple process: Take the picture and plug into the computer, and it pulls up the color match.
Quick Results: The camera has Wi-Fi, so when we went inside the color-mixing room, the results were already there and provided the color mix formula that most closely matched the truck’s paint. This would allow the shop to then mix the specific formula without waste and paint just the section of the vehicle that was damaged. Very efficient! Axalta also offers an automated dispensing system for even greater mixing accuracy.