FAQ

March 18, 2022

Instrument Inspector

If you use instruments to measure data, then you need to know the integrity of the instruments if you want to use the measurement data to make critical decisions such as "is the print salable."  Instrument Inspector assesses the consistency (precision) of the instrument to itself and over time (repeatability) in a metric that can easily be applied to your manufacturing process in order to be confident that the device is rendering color within your expectations. This process can eliminate the need to send the instrument back to the factory once a year to be certified, which can save thousands of dollars per instrument per year. 

In addition, Instrument Inspector can be used to compensate for the differences between multiple measurement devices, and help you understand if mixing instruments in a given workflow will work based on the expectations for color matching.

Any software that measures color should have a module to ensure the measurement devices are performing to an acceptable level of precision and accuracy based on your companies expectations to ensure your process is manufacturing salable color.

Getting Started - Baseline

To get started you first create a baseline for your instrument. You can use ChromaChecker Capture software, ChromaChecker Uploader software, or manually load the spectral readings of your instrument. We provide the target to read. The process should be less than 20 minutes for a first-time user.

Instrument Inspector:

Track each instrument's stability and reproducibility.

The ChromaChecker Instrument Inspector provides you with a verification of your instruments that meet the ISO 23031(2020) “Assessment and Validation of the Performance of Spectrophotometers.”  For a new implementation, the initial baselining and verification of the instrument take about 10 minutes and best practice to check the instrument on a regular basis weekly takes about 2 minutes. These simple checks take you from the unknown to verified and ISO compliant.

 

Common issues that are detected during verification are dirty calibration plaque, dirty optical path, accidental instrument drop-mechanical failure to name just a few. Regular instrument checking will give you knowledge about its condition and will inform you whenever normal maintenance or refurbishing is required.

Tracking is the fundamental feature and can be done for both spectral and colorimetric instruments you will use one of Instrument Inspector Targets - depending on your expectation you may want to choose printed mid-term stable T-42, X-42, B-42, or I-42, PVC made ColorChecker from X-Rite, metal-based basICColor MesCal or ChromaChecker/ LUCIDEON  — enhanced set of BCRA ceramic Standards produced by LUCIDEON (formerly CERAM). 

Tracking Instruments means the frequent measurement of selected Target. Multiple measurements may be averaged to create

Compare instruments

It is very easy to compare any already tracked instrument and provides information about the differences between instrument readings.  Whenever in one workflow there are different instruments involved this information may be critical to find a real reason for overall system inaccuracy. You will see that even instruments that are the same make/model will have notable differences. From hi-end in-line instruments to small and cheap, spectrophotometers and colorimeters. 

Harmonize Instruments

This is the most advanced feature of Instrument Inspector. This function requires ChromaChecker™ Target (T-42, X-42, B-42 or I-42) or one of the short-term self-printed targets. It works only with spectrophotometers that offer spectral data. Harmonization offered by ChromaChecker is very easy to apply. You have to set Master Instrument and build a frequently updated baseline for each Harmonized Instrument / Master Instrument pair. In Print Inspector, Track preferences enable Harmonization and select a related instrument. All data will be harmonized on the fly!

 

 

Video

  • Using ChromaChecker Capture and Instrument Inspector you can baseline an instrument to ensure it is within ISO standards. Once baseline, the instrument can be checked over time to provide the required reporting for ISO compliance. This check will satisfy the costly need to return the instrument for verification.

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