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Colour control system said to reduce costs for extruders.

The Stothard Group, a UK - based provider of service. instruments and solutions for the accurate measurement of the colour and appearance of plastics, is supplying a tool that it says is helping to optimise efficiency and reduce scrap in extrusion manufacturing processes.

As the UK and Ireland suppliers for the range of Hunterlab products, the Leicestershire - based company is supplying the Spectra Trend HT, a high resolution, lab - grade colour spectrophotometer designed for in - line colour monitoring, alongside a PLC with closed - loop colour control software developed by USA - based Plastore, Inc.

The system, known as CPAT 'Colour Processing Automation Technology', is designed to optimise operator efficiency whilst ensuring consistent colour quality throughout a production run by using a PLC - based closed - loop system.

The system is said to take over much of the hand and eye work associated with production, providing an automated, inline control system to eliminate colour errors and product waste.

The system uses colorimetric data from the Spectra Trend HT to control the feeder rate, automatically adjusting material flow to maintain pre-set colour tolerances. It also adjusts for bulk density variations of colour concentrates and colour variations caused by embossing patterns and can be run in concert with gravimetric systems that control virgin, regrind and other additives.

The system is said to ensure consistent colour quality throughout a production run, freeing operators to focus on additional value-added activities while minimising scrap and product recalls.

"Maintaining a high level of colour quality control is a challenge that can often lead to material waste, line shutdown, extensive operator involvement and product scrap and rework," commented The Stothard Group's Sales Director, Tom Stotharcl. "This system is actually quite a unique concept and is saving a lot of companies a lot of money."

For further information and to receive a complimentary guide on the area of colour and appearance, as well as to take part in a live webinar, please say hello by emailing


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Comment:Colour control system said to reduce costs for extruders.
Publication:British Plastics & Rubber
Date:Dec 1, 2013
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