X-Rite Announces New Inline Color Management System for the Paper Industry

X-Rite Incorporated and Pantone LLC, global leaders in color science and technology, today announced the new ColorXRA 45 inline spectrophotometer designed to meet the unique needs of the paper industry. The ColorXRA 45 leverages a new optical and mounting design for improved stability and accuracy making it ideal for identifying color shifts early and throughout the production of paper. When paired with the X-Rite ESWin Closed Loop Color Control software, the ColorXRA 45 delivers a complete color management system for monitoring color and making automatic color adjustments without stopping manufacturing.

“Our most reliable, accurate and connected inline color measurement system, the ColorXRA 45, removes the guesswork around color control on a variety of paper including laminated, testliner, security, colored or white papers, with or without OBA,” said Michael Saeger, General Manager, Inline Measurement Solutions, X-Rite. “As paper mills embrace digital transformation, ColorXRA 45 together with ESWin Closed Loop Color Control software provide operators with the real-time color information required to avoid costly production line errors. This helps manufacturers reduce start-up times and cut shade change times by up to 50 percent, save on dye usage, and minimize waste and rework while saving energy and water resources to meet sustainability initiatives.”

The ColorXRA 45 is a non-contact inline spectrophotometer with an excellent spectral resolution of 1 nm. The instrument can measure color at multiple points in the paper manufacturing process including before reel up, during liquid paper stock, or between the press and dryer section. The ColorXRA 45 system features:

  • Redesigned mount and frame that is more stable at the measurement point, less sensitive to failures and can automatically clean the backing tile. This shortens operator cleaning times and simplifies maintenance.
  • Dirt detection system warns operators when the device needs cleaning and calibration to minimize rework and downtime in busy industrial environments.
  • New lamp and optical design deliver improved color accuracy by providing circumferential illumination to minimize the effects of surface texture differences.
  • Temperature sensor to measure temperature dependencies on color for improved lab correlation and reduced color variance.
  • Fast start-up times and shorter transition times for minimal downtime.
  • Compatible with legacy data for a seamless transition to the new system.
  • Connectivity to distributed control system (DCS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) to support Industry 4.0 initiatives.

The ColorXRA 45 uses a standardized 45°:0° measurement geometry that closely correlates with lab measurements to maintain tight color tolerances without cutting a sample. It can measure base color and optical brighteners separately for optimal control over each component and maintains stable measurements when base weight or opacity change.

The ColorXRA 45 works with ESWin Closed Loop Color Control software to automatically and precisely control color to a target shade on continuous process manufacturing lines. ESWin uses spectral data captured by the ColorXRA 45 to calculate the adjustment of dyes and optical brightening agents and automatically adjust the dye pumps to achieve the target color.

“When inline instruments are used with closed loop color control software, customers see an average return on investment (ROI) in six months. Paper mills can improve their bottom line while keeping color and brightness in harmony from laboratory measurement to pulp, wet sheet, and before reel up,” continued Saeger.