AkzoNobel’s Automotive & Aerospace Coatings (A&AC), which pioneered the auto refinish industry’s first color measurement tool capable of accurately measuring special effects paints like metallics and pearlescents, has now made what the company says is its most advanced color measurement tools available to selected customers. Previously, A&AC was using its AkzoNobel formula development tool (FDT) software and the six-angle Automatchic 6i spectrophotometer in its own color formulation laboratories. Now, selected customers in areas like fleet operation and PDI centers (pre-delivery inspection centers) that often have color formulation challenges of their own have access to the same technology, according to AkzoNobel.
The company says the move is part of a broad-based strategy to provide the best color capabilities to repair specialist at all levels. The handheld Automatchic 6i combines a 6-angle spectrophotometer with an integrated digital camera that is able to “read” glint and texture. The combination makes it possible to very precisely measure the sorts of fashionable automotive finishes that shift in color and appearance as the viewing angle or light conditions change. AkzoNobel FDT is a specially designed, proprietary software package that interprets data from Automatchic 6i to create color formulations.
“We try to meet the needs of customers at all levels,” says Ralf Schueler, marketing director, A&AC. “While sophisticated color formulation tools may be of considerable value to PDI Center operators, we place just as much emphasis on color tools for repair specialists working in small body shops, high volume body shop chains, and OEM dealer body shops. Our commitment is to offer something for everyone, which is why we have significantly upgraded nearly all of our color tools this year.”
In high volume, process-driven body shops, for example, AkzoNobel says its Automatchic 3 is the ideal color measurement tool a lightweight, handheld color measurement device that delivers color accuracy and communicates seamlessly with the latest version of A&AC’s Mixit Pro color retrieval software to identify the correct color formula from a database of tens of thousands of formulas.
Many body shops still depend on visual documentation, and AkzoNobel says it has recently upgraded Sikkens ColorScala Pro, its color documentation system that draws on an extensive color database to provide accurate formulas for virtually every standard color produced by all major vehicle manufacturers, as well as many thousands of additional variants collected from vehicles all around the world.
And with the launch of Sikkens ColorScla Pro 2nd Edition earlier this year, A&AC offered improved color accuracy with higher gloss color and changes in the paint formulation deliver improved durability as well, according to AkzoNobel. ColorScala Pro can be used in combination with Sikkens Mixit Pro. Like ColorScala Pro, the Mixit Pro color retrieval system was recently upgraded (to Mixit Pro 1.5), with improvements to its interface and even greater functionality.
Taken together, AkzoNobel says that A&AC’s color tools provide "something for everyone."
“With each new or improved product, we have reminded the world that we ‘get color right’,” says Jim Rees, managing director, A&AC. “But it’s really about more than that. We’ve developed technologies and systems that work for professionals across all of our markets. So when we say we get it, it’s not just about color performance and accuracy, but about the right tools for all of our customers.”