X-Rite, Incorporated (NASDAQ:XRIT) today introduced its VS450™ spectrophotometer that gives laboratories an advanced and affordable technology to accurately control the quality of color by measuring a wide range of wet and dry samples without touching test surfaces.
The VS450 offers:
• Ability to measure samples at a distance without contact, permitting technicians to easily measure cosmetics, wet paint, soil samples and other wet or powdered substrates that prove difficult for instruments that use contact technology;
• Line of Sight™ visibility enabling technicians to quickly and easily position the sample for measurement;
• Active Visual Targeting™ that projects a prominent illuminated target ring onto the sample for precise and accurate measurements;
• Two aperture sizes of 6mm and 12mm that can easily and quickly be switched with the click of a button, without the need to recalibrate the instrument;
• Integrated gloss sensor for gloss measurements on wet and dry samples;
• Versatile design improves measurement capabilities on two- and three- dimensional objects; and
• Best-in-class color accuracy and repeatability.
“The VS450 is an industry-changing technology for color measurement and quality control," said Kenneth Phillips, product manager in X-Rites Industrial Color and Appearance Division that developed the instrument. "It is our response to customers in industries as varied as the manufacture of cosmetics, paints and chemicals -- even unique applications such as soil sampling -- that have asked for a cost effective and precise way to measure samples without special sample apparatus such as Petri dishes or cuvettes."
Phillips explained that the VS450 can measure test surfaces of materials such as powders, liquids, pastes and suede leather in their natural, unaltered states to yield better "truer" results. Unlike hand-held or benchtop spectrophotometers currently used in laboratories that must physically contact the sample with the viewing port, the VS450 measures any sample accurately from a distance of about 38mm (1.5 inches). Prior technology relied on pressing glass or clear plastic over test surfaces to protect the instruments from being contaminated by the test samples -- altering the test data.
“In addition to its ability to directly measure wet or powdered samples without contact, the VS450 provides an easy and effective way to measure and QC samples such as plastic plaques that can be tedious and time consuming with today’s contact-based devices,” Phillips said.
In technical terms, the instrument is repeatable to 0.025 dEab when used with its 12mm aperture, which means data is consistent when the instrument measures the same part in the same place. Phillips said the VC450 instrument is an extension of the company’s VeriColor® Spectro™ non-contact spectrophotometer that set the standard two years ago for on-line non-contact color measurement in demanding industrial applications. The VS450 uses 45/0° geometry and is designed to correlate well with other 45/0° instruments and databases.
The VS450 tackles another problem: incorrect data when the measurement is taken in the wrong sample area. The VS450 allows technicians to quickly and easily position the instrument over a sample using its Line of Sight™ design and Active Visual Targeting™ feature, which projects either a 6mm (1/4-inch) or a 12mm (1/2-inch) diameter illuminated ring on to the sample to target the desired measurement area.
In addition to targeting samples precisely, the VS450 has advanced optics and sensors that accurately measure gloss as well as colors. When used with X-Rite’s iMatch formulation software, the VS450 can help to speed up the initial formulation process because the instrument can compensate for the difference in appearance between dry and wet samples. “This feature is valuable in providing increased throughput when formulating new colors or QC testing production samples that would normally have to be dried for 24 to 72 hours before a color measurement can be taken,” Phillips said.
Employing the same technology as the VeriColor Spectro instrument, the VS450 uses light emitting diodes (LEDS) which are more efficient and more stable than typical gas-filled illumination sources such as halogen and tungsten. With a predicted life of more than 20 million flashes -- many more than illumination systems that rely on flash tubes -- LEDs provide accurate results for years before needing replacement.
The VS450 also detects and ignores ambient light such as incandescent, fluorescent or sodium vapor illumination that can greatly affect results when samples are not positioned properly with prior contact-based technology.
Weighing about 5 pounds, the VS450 takes up little room on a laboratory work bench and is versatile enough to quickly be positioned on its feet or on its side, allowing for measurements on odd shaped or bulky samples.
Phillips said X-Rite already has received orders from customers for the VS450 from major companies worldwide. “We are extremely satisfied with the positive response to this new product”, he said.
X-Rite (xrite.com) is the global leader in color science and technology. The company, which now includes color industry leader Pantone, Inc., develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative color solutions through measurement systems, software, color standards and services. X-Rite’s expertise in inspiring, selecting, measuring, formulating, communicating and matching color helps users get color right the first time and every time, which translates to better quality and reduced costs. X-Rite serves a range of industries, including printing, packaging, photography, graphic design, video, automotive, paints, plastics, textiles, dental and medical.
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