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Topic Review (Newest First)
03-21-2013 07:31 AM
69 widetrack
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spray Machine View Post
The biggest problem with the cameras is finding a spot on the car that is perfectly flat. Almost impossible to find places on a car that are not convex, concave, curved/rounded to some degree. If you can find a flat spot the cameras will generally give you a blendable match. If your trying to take a read off a spot that isn't perfect it will read incorrectly, outside light getting in the exposure cause by not sitting perfectly flat at a 90 degree angle will affect the scan. Trunk lids, roofs, hoods that appear more or less flat have some degree of curve. The more curved the surface the more incorrect the scan will be. Also the camera must be absolutely dead still when reading. Even the tiniest vibration/movement will kill a read, nearly impossible to do when you have to hold the camera in your hands, they really need a remote to activate the camera to eliminate hand shake and need the manufacturers to make a perfectly flat spot somewhere on every vehicle. Its like a camera with a slow shutter speed, if not held perfectly still the 'picture' it takes/reads/scans will be blurred, it cannot focus on the type,size and reflective properties of the metallics in the surface your trying to read. No good for scanning tri-coats. If you really want to mess with the cameras mind scan a chrome bumper or a window!
I remember when these camera's first came out, I was excited because I had several shops that would eat up hours every day because of color match. About 8 Reps where summoned to a meeting prior to the reveal of this miracle machine. We all waited in anticipation for the Factory Trainer to take the first reading but, before he did we where told that the camera was "only a tool" and that "we still needed variant decks", it was also mentioned that "the camera "may come up with completely different formula's and manufacturer's codes for one specific color" and so on.

My suspicions where now up, but I thought, keep an open mind, so I did. Finally it came to taking the readings on a panel selected by the trainer and we patiently watched. It came up with the right car, the right color and even the right variant...needless to say I was impressed and felt my color matching days where over....until noon came around. Several of us took the camera outside and took readings of our own cars, I was driving a 1987 Eldorado, straight white (tough color to match), another fellow had a new Ford truck, metallic Red with pearls (also a tough color). The camera was then hooked up to the computer and formula's where run...My Cadillac came up as a white, but from a Nissan. My college's truck apparently was painted with a Dodge red and didn't have any pearls in the formula just metallic's. We also checked the color chosen by the camera to color chips...it was a joke. We brought this to the attention of the instructor, he was upset that we used his $10,000 dollar camera without permission and tried to explain why the camera came up with the readings it did. As you mentioned, the reasons given where, not clean enough, panel area not flat enough, age of the paint, camera wasn't calibrated and so on.

I asked if he would calibrate the machine, clean the area of both vehicles that he wanted to take a picture of and make everything perfect and see what happened. My car was now a Toyota white and the Ford truck was Jaguar's red....re-shoot the panel, same area and again, totally different formulas from different manufacturer's. The instructor tried to explain why but my faith was gone.

We got our cameras and we tried them out in the field, they had a terrible record for blendable match on metallic's and pearls and on solid colors, it was a little bit better but not worth the investment and I stopped using it. I had several customers that had to have this camera and spent the money to get it...every one of these camera's within 6 months was collecting dust in the corner or tucked away in the manager's office.

If that piece of equipment was as good as it was professed to be, all body shops would want one. The last company had 3 cameras and we couldn't even loan them out to shops, they knew how expensive they could be with mixing formulas that it spit out and ending up throwing the paint away because it wasn't even close.

This is one of my personal experiences with the color matching camera and for the amount of money that they initially want for them and their ability to match colors, it wasn't viable. There may be people that use them, but I will guarantee that they have an excellent painter in their shop that still tints colors by eye because the camera is a machine, the human eye is what looks at cars driving down the street.

Ray
03-20-2013 11:06 PM
Spray Machine The biggest problem with the cameras is finding a spot on the car that is perfectly flat. Almost impossible to find places on a car that are not convex, concave, curved/rounded to some degree. If you can find a flat spot the cameras will generally give you a blendable match. If your trying to take a read off a spot that isn't perfect it will read incorrectly, outside light getting in the exposure cause by not sitting perfectly flat at a 90 degree angle will affect the scan. Trunk lids, roofs, hoods that appear more or less flat have some degree of curve. The more curved the surface the more incorrect the scan will be. Also the camera must be absolutely dead still when reading. Even the tiniest vibration/movement will kill a read, nearly impossible to do when you have to hold the camera in your hands, they really need a remote to activate the camera to eliminate hand shake and need the manufacturers to make a perfectly flat spot somewhere on every vehicle. Its like a camera with a slow shutter speed, if not held perfectly still the 'picture' it takes/reads/scans will be blurred, it cannot focus on the type,size and reflective properties of the metallics in the surface your trying to read. No good for scanning tri-coats. If you really want to mess with the cameras mind scan a chrome bumper or a window!
03-20-2013 09:57 PM
tech69 you mean "flop", right?

make sure the car is clean and if the paint is oxidized to then compound the area you are color matching. It helps to have an extra set of eyes to compare opinions with as well. Each person's eyes are unique in that certain people pick up certain colors more than others. You might see something that seems a little "blue" to be a match but someone else might see something else, so don't be afraid to ask multiple people what they think and try to avoid deciding too quickly. When you see the chip you'll know right away but just make sure.
03-20-2013 07:07 PM
69 widetrack Glad we could help Russ, I'm fairly confident that you'll be able to find a color chip that's going to help you out. Being that it's a metallic color, look at the chip in the sunlight (if possible) and check the color straight on and at a 45 degree angle. This way you can also check the color on what's known in the industry as the "flip". Different metallic's have different effect on the color when it's looked at from different angles. If all looks well but it's just a little darker or a little lighter, not to worry, that can be compensated for by using more air pressure to lighten the color or less air pressure to darken the color.

Hope this helps.

Ray
03-20-2013 09:26 AM
S10xGN Awesome, thanks guys! I'll have to ask about the variant chips next time I go...

Russ
03-19-2013 01:54 PM
jcclark I've never gotten good results from the guns.
The sample color chips have been dead on for me
so that's what I compare by.
03-19-2013 10:44 AM
69 widetrack Maybe I forgot to mention it Brian but, I've seen a cross eyed, color blind German Shepard wearing a welding helmet do a better job of matching colors than the computer camera thing! Seriously, a painter that has current variant decks and can see color never has a problem matching paint...the computer camera in my opinion was a tool that very quickly turned into gimmick in the eyes of shops that had true technicians and in many cases separated painters from applicators. I've seen the camera work on solid colors about 20% to 25% of the time and forget metallic's or pearls. Your better off taking the time to pick the closest variant and either blending it or, if it's still not quite right, tinting the color to give the painter a blendable match. Apparently the software for the camera's in water born base coat is much better, from my experience, it may be somewhat better but it isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

Ray
03-19-2013 10:08 AM
MARTINSR Ray, I was wondering, what do you think about those color matching computer camera things?

Brian
03-19-2013 10:03 AM
69 widetrack Sorry, I forgot to mention, most colors these days have variances, by that I mean that you can have 1 paint code with numerous formulas, before you get paint mixed, ask your paint jobber if there are variances to that particular color...all they need to do is punch up the code in their computer and it will tell them how many variances that color has...it will also tell them where PPG has put all the variant chips in there variant deck box. Your paint jobber can than pull out his variant deck and you can match the closest variant to the color you have. The nice thing about the variant chips is that they are sprayed on and not inked which means that what the variant chip looks like is what your going to get when it's properly mixed by your paint jobber and properly sprayed.

Hope this helps.

Ray
03-19-2013 09:46 AM
69 widetrack The color gun sucks...I've tried to use DuPont's, it doesn't work at all, PPG's is just as good...it doesn't work at all either, especially metallic colors. If you have a paint code and your not sure if it's correct, have the paint store mix up a small amount, if it's right they can just add it to what your buying. For example if a quart is 1,000 grams, have them mix 100 grams, if the color is right have them mix another 900 grams and you have your quart, or pint or what ever size container you want. If the color is wrong, then you can try the code that the color camera magically came up with. Hold your breath and keep your fingers crossed, say 5 hail Marry's, 3 Our Fathers and buy a rabbit's foot before you go with the formula that the camera spits out. My experience is that the camera will give a blendable match between 5% and 10% of the time.

Oh did I mention, I don't trust the camera!

Ray
03-19-2013 09:29 AM
S10xGN
Paint match Q

Hi All,

I went by my local PPG dealer (Tasco) and took a painted radiator support panel with me so they could check it against the color code I was given. The car was allegedly painted a 1998 Range Rover "Charleston Green Metallic", code 610-HET #48180 and it seemed to be a close match to the tiny chip in their books. When they put the color gun on it, it only came back a 35% match and was closer to a Nissan color. The car was painted several "owners" ago and I have not been in direct contact with him, but going through one of his friends who was an intermediate "owner". Should I be worried or just go with the 48180? This would be for interior trim and engine compartment...

TIA!

Russ

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