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The Importance of Colour

Colour is an important part of our everyday lives. We judge how healthy we, our crops and our food are, with the help of colour. Our choice of decoration, furnishing and clothing is strongly influenced by colour. Colour is involved in almost every aspect of our lives.

People and colour perception
The human eye is the means that we use to detect colour and it is very sensitive at detecting colour and differences in colour.

However, what the eye is not good at is quantifying the difference between colours, or remembering the exact shade of a colour from one location to another.

Problems with colour perception
This becomes important if we are making, for example, components that must be the same colour in two factories that are far apart. We cannot remember the colour accurately enough to know if the colour is satisfactory when we travel from one factory to another. We can take an example from one factory and check the colour that way. But we still will have difficulty saying exactly how far apart in colour the two shades are. If we do not know how far apart they are it is difficult to know what changes to make in order to correct the colour. If the colour is wrong there will be complaints from customers or they will not pay for the products, and this will cost money to put right.

Colour measurement instruments
Colour measurement instruments help to solve this problem. They can record colour values accurately, no matter where they are, and measure any differences precisely. Instruments provide numerical values of colour which can be used in computer programmes. These programmes can calculate what changes are needed in production processes in order to make the products from different factories the same colour. This helps reduce losses due to mismatched colours, and keeps businesses profitable.

Of course this means that we must rely on the instruments to work correctly. If they do not then costly mistakes can be made during production.

How can we be sure that instruments are working correctly?
A good quality instrument is a good first step, along with a maintenance programme to keep it working correctly. Unfortunately, this still does not ensure that we are getting consistent answers.

So what else can we do?
A set of standards that allow us to check the performance of the instrument from day to day, week to week and month to month would prove that it is working consistently.

Can we use just anything that is coloured to check the instrument?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Almost everything that is coloured will fade with time, so we would not know if any changes in the measured results were due to the instrument changing or the colours changing. Even ceramics, which appear to be permanent, will change colour for a number of reasons. However, research has shown that when mixed, applied and treated correctly, ceramic tiles can make very stable colours. This makes our ceramic tiles perfect for use as standards for checking instruments.

The solution – CERAM Colour Standards
CERAM Technology Limited has developed stable standards for use with colour measurement instruments and supplies them to all industries where the measurement of colour is important. CERAM Colour Standards are used globally. They are especially useful in industries that trade internationally where colour measurement has to be shown to be correct so that supplier and buyer can be sure that products are tested to agreed standards. In international trade, proof of compliance with such standards is a good indicator that a company is supplying merchandise of the required quality.

International standards
A well known international Quality Control standard is the ISO 9000 series, which not only requires the checking of processes, but that all such checks are traceable to internationally recognised material and measurement standards.

The Colour Standards Laboratory of CERAM Technology Limited is a UKAS Accredited Calibration Laboratory (No. 0420) which uses standards that are directly traceable to the National Physical Laboratory at Teddington in the UK.

CERAM Technology Limited is therefore able to provide you with colour standards for your routine checks and also supply certificates for its standards, which make them ideal for use in such quality control schemes.

Benefits to you
All this demonstrates that your company cares about quality and can show to the international market that you comply with the standards that your clients expect to see, helping to keep you competitive in an ever more demanding world.

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