PolyOne Corp. of Avon Lake, Ohio, has expanded the database of its OnColor virtual color technology system to include more than 4 million colors.
Most of those 4 million hues and shades are geared toward color concentrates and compounds based on polyethylene and polypropylene. By the end of the year, PolyOne will introduce another 2 million to 3 million colors designed for polystyrene and other styrenic resins, officials said. An early version of the system - showcased at NPE 2003 - had only 50,000 colors.
The database is intended to help customers choose the best match for particular materials and applications. Once performance criteria are entered, the system chooses pigments and determines the optimal synthesized color for applications ranging from basic to high performance.
``Branding is on the rise again, and as branding is used, color is used more and more,'' said Larry Nitardy, marketing manager for PolyOne's color and additives masterbatch group.
To date, successful OnColor matches have been done for health and beauty packaging, profile extrusions and materials-handling products such as totes and bins, Nitardy said.
Using OnColor also can save customers time by allowing them to avoid the dry shot process typically used in color matching.
``OnColor allows us to make sure our customers can expediently give bids back to their customers,'' Nitardy added.
Officials at PolyOne said they expect OnColor eventually to be used for as much as 70 percent of the firm's overall color matches.
The company ranks as North America's largest overall compounder and as one of the region's three largest makers of color concentrates and compounds.
The system is in place at PolyOne color labs in Atlanta; Cleveland; Chicago; Bethlehem, Pa.; and Glendale, Ariz.