ESA dye monitor.
UNTIL now the human eye has reigned supreme in textile and clothing
companies wanting to carefully check dye colour quality in their
products, but that, claims the European Space Agency (ESA), is now
ending. It has helped to develop an artificial eye, now being sold to
textile companies to help them monitor dying quality, reducing wastage.
ESA claims that until the Coltex system was created by it and a
consortium led by Italy's IRIS DP, mechanical monitors were much
less effective at checking for colour flaws than trained workers. But it
says that the new adapted space technology is "capable of even
matching the capabilities of the human eye, which can recognise more
than 30,000 different colours". Coltex was adapted from a
Finnish-made space observation system designed check the effect
agro-chemicals had on European farms, recognising changes in crop
colour. Its potential for the textile industry was then spotted and
exploited using European Commission research grants. The system can
accurately compare the colours in textiles, checking a line across the
material and measuring the spectrum of several areas along this line.
This scans the fabric as it moves along the production chain, even at
high speeds, said an ESA technical note.