I spend a great deal of my business life on the road. Some of that time I am visiting clients for sales, training or good will purposes. Much of the rest of the road time is spent at trade shows and conferences. What I have realized is I take one golden nugget away from almost every stop I make on the road.
So, the purpose of this weekly e-mail will be sharing the best golden nugget from the week with all of you. The focus of the golden nuggets will be color measurement (this is after all what we do at ColorMetrix). It will by and large not be focused on our software, but instead on best practices we observe; tips and tricks; and even stuff that should not work but does!
*** Drum Rolls Please….Jim Raffel’s Week 1 Golden Nugget
Since I spent 3 days at the IPA technical conference, it was difficult to pick a topic for this week. Before the conference I had already decided I wanted to discuss UV vs Non-UV filters in measurement instruments in an early golden nugget. So, the winning topic is…UV vs Non-UV filters.
Mike DiCosola (Chromaticity) gave an excellent presentation at the IPA technical conference on color measurement, which in many ways confirmed what our customer’s have been doing in the field for about two years. If your primary use of the instrument is process control, and the primary object you are controlling contains a large quantity of UV brighteners, you should be using an instrument with UV filters. Why you ask, well Mike gave a good refresher on what a UV filter does.
A UV filter blocks the UV portion of the spectrum (remember we can’t see UV light, so this act by itself does not change visual appearance). By blocking the UV light at the source, this light which excites the florescent material in optical brighteners, never reaches the object being measured. Excited florescent material glows (I,e, – gives off light), causing a situation where you could potentially return more light to the measuring instrument than it sent out.
The other problem with florescent material is that the glowing is not linear. In other words, a small amount of UV energy will cause the brighteners to glow “a little bit”; a large amount (repeated measurement of the same sample over a short period of time) will cause the sample to “glow a lot!” A threshold is eventually reached, and then the measurement becomes more consistent, until the object is placed in a dark place for a period of time.
OK, so my final note about this subject is that UV filters do nothing about ambient light in the room. Remember, the filter is filtering the light source of the instrument, not the light source in the room you are measuring in. So, what environment should you measure your objects in (printed sheets and proofs for most of us)? I think we will leave that for another golden nugget.
*** Shameless Plug
We will be picking some of the best golden nuggets between now and the ColorMetrix User’s Group Conference to incorporate in a technical discussion. If you find these nuggets interesting or informative you may want to join us in Las Vegas August 21-23 (http://colormetrix.com/cmug05/)
Well, that’s it for week 1. Please feel free to e-mail back ( email@example.com ), and let me know what you think. If you have ideas for golden nuggets, that’s would be great too.