Detroit — Ampacet LIAD has launched Spectro 4.0 Smart Technologies, a lineup of continuous in-line solutions for color management.
The first application of the technology is a color management system — including an in-line spectrophotometer — for finished parts, Commercial Director Doug Brownfield said May 26 at Injection Molding & Design Expo in Detroit.
"[The new system] is a time-saver that can improve quality control," he added. "It talks to the feeder and automatically adjusts. You don't have to stop and measure."
The system is designed for extrusion and molding processes and can help customers control the cost of quality due to color variations, he said. It uses real-time color data for QC analytics and color optimization.
For example, the system ensures every part meets color specifications through optical real-time and in-line monitoring, using a fiber-optic probe that can be positioned in a production line. The system automatically adjusts for color variations, even when using post-consumer and regrind materials, and it operates within tight color tolerances to reduce color usage and costs.
In addition to production runs, the system also can be used on R&D lines, Brownfield said. The system also can measure curvature and surfaces. The system was first used in the carpet industry, he added, and now it is being expanded to other areas. It's commercially available now.
Ampacet LIAD is a unit of materials supplier Ampacet Corp. of Tarrytown, N.Y. Ampacet acquired the LIAD business in early 2020. The unit makes and assembles feeders and blenders at a facility in Misgav, Israel.
LIAD equipment is distributed by CI Systems Color Integration, an Ampacet unit opened in early 2020 to improve the way manufacturers use color in their processes and products. CI Systems offers color management technologies to help customers increase production efficiencies, reduce waste and achieve sustainability goals.
Ampacet is one of North America's 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. The firm employs more than 2,000 at 25 manufacturing sites worldwide and has annual sales of more than $1 billion.
Late last year, Ampacet doubled production capacity for masterbatch color concentrates at its plant in Dudelange, Luxembourg. The firm invested about $45 million in a new facility in Dudelange for the firm's European headquarters, its Color Center of Excellence and a new R&D lab.