Case Study: Accurately Color Matching Paint for the Automotive Industry

Manufacturers must constantly question how a manufacturer confirms the products they produce are in line with the color requirements of its customers, and how color consistency is ensured in all parts over its service life. Manufacturers often build products over several months, which are all required to be the exact same color.

Lumenera was recently approached by a well-known consumer electronics manufacturer and a major car manufacturer to get their desired color results. Lumenera proposed a solution, a pantone color matching validation system that uses high resolution, quality cameras to ensure superior color reproduction consistently in the images captured by the camera (Figure 1).

Two North American manufacturers choose Lumenera cameras to fulfill their pantone color matching requirements

Figure 1. Two North American manufacturers choose Lumenera cameras to fulfill their pantone color matching requirements

The Solution

Lumenera offers cameras (Figure 2) that are in line with the specific requirements of every customer through sophisticated on-board algorithms within the camera. The rapid customization options from Lumenera are some of the strongest in the industry, and are both cost-effective and ideal solutions for machine vision applications. High fidelity color reproduction and superior sensitivity are crucial for inspection applications. Lumenera provided the appropriate solutions to meet the specific customer requirements to obtain perfect color matching results.

Lumenera provides cameras that match every customer’s unique requirements through advanced on-board algorithms within the camera.

Figure 2. Lumenera provides cameras that match every customer’s unique requirements through advanced on-board algorithms within the camera.

Paint Inspection for the Automotive Industry

Recently, Lumenera installed its Lg11059 camera to perform pantone color validation as an aspect of a color fault detection system for a major automotive manufacturing plant situated in the US. With Lumenera’s high performance cameras, the solution guarantees color consistency in all painted vehicle parts.

High-resolution images are transmitted as output over a Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) interface, travelling 300 ft to a central computer. Accurate color match analysis is subsequently performed by a computer equipped with Lumenera custom LabVIEW drivers. High reliability cameras and approachable North American customer support were also decisive factors behind the selection of Lumenera cameras.

Paint Inspection for the Consumer Electronics Industry

A consumer electronics manufacturer is involved in the production of handheld consumer devices in the North American region. This customer selected Lumenera cameras to corroborate the pantone colors of its product casings. It inspects more than 1000 consumer devices every day through high-resolution images with a high dynamic range.

This product is completely different than a vehicle, but has similar requirements for paint color validation applications in the production of virtually any product. Here, the number of stations needed for various assembly lines creating the products is the major difference.

Lumenera’s Lm11059 camera equipped with a USB 2.0 interface was selected for this application, due to its easy integration capability and plug-and-play technology. The 14-bit pixel depth of the camera provides up to 16,384 levels of color (214) for highly precise pantone color matching.

The Lg11059 GigE and Lm11059 USB 2.0 Color Cameras

Lumenera’s progressive scan Lg11059 and Lm11059 digital cameras are suitable for rugged, round-the-clock use. They feature a 10.7 MP sensor, 14-bit depth, and 3648 x 2670 resolution. Hence, one of these cameras can be used in systems that earlier required multiple cameras. Stunning images are produced by the cameras with highly precise color rendering, high resolution, and low noise, which are ideally suited for most industrial applications.

Operator interface to make any changes to the camera itself is completely eliminated, thanks to Canon EF lens controls for remote management of focus and iris elements. Lumenera’s software API is used to remotely control all aspects of the camera, thus minimizing the chances of recalibration and tampering with the cameras.

The Lg11059 and Lm11059 cameras are equipped with a global shutter ideally suited for taking images of objects in high-speed motion, enabling high quality images without smear effect. Providing still image capture and streaming video across a GigE or USB 2.0 digital interface results in uncompressed images. Sophisticated camera control is achieved through a comprehensive SDK. Also, the availability of sample code facilitates rapid integration of camera functions.

Other key features of the Lumenera cameras are as follows:

  • High dynamic range and low noise and to detect color hues and intensities
  • Sophisticated demosaicing techniques for truer reproduction
  • Customizable color correction matrices (CCM) for superior color accuracy
  • Multi-point controls help adjust color parameters
  • Excellent color/white balance functions guarantee correct representation of colors in captured images

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Lumenera Corporation.

For more information on this source, please visit Lumenera Corporation.

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