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Bring Color Matching into the Digital Age

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In November, AkzoNobel launched a campaign to bring more attention to its digital color-matching process, which combines its Automatchic digital camera and MIXIT color retrieval software. The campaign—Colorvation—is showing shop owners around the country how going digital will speed up the color-matching process through better accuracy and efficiency.

Instead of paint chips, the digital method uses a spectrophotometer to take a measurement of the color and then uploads those measurements to a computer. The software finds the closest color match in the database and, if needed, optimizes it and provides the user with a formula.

Colorvation is using promotional brochures, social media and in-person demonstrations to spread the word, according to Joe Bavaro, AkzoNobel sales representative for the eastern regions. Since the campaign started, Bavaro has visited shops to demonstrate exactly how the digital color-matching process works and how it will improve business. When visiting a shop, Bavaro has the staff take a few days to compare their old processes of color matching to the new digital process. Every shop that he’s gone into has been blown away by the results and made the decision to digitally color match in their facilities.

“The response that I’ve heard from my customers has been, ‘Where has this been?’” Bavaro says.

Clint McPherson, regional color support coordinator at AkzoNobel, explains that bringing a camera into the process is not a new solution, but by expanding its usage beyond problem colors, shops will be able to color match quicker and more accurately on every single job.


A Two-Part System

1. Automatchic


AzkoNobel’s spectrometer, Automatchic, is currently the smallest on the market, McPherson says. Its size allows for one-handed use, and other benefits include a touchscreen, an icon-driven menu and a very small measuring port. McPherson explains that the small size of the port allows users to measure areas on a vehicle that are difficult to reach. Most spectrometers on the market require four readings to get an accurate match; the Automatchic requires only two.


2. Mixit Pro and MIXIT

Today, Mixit Pro – AkzoNobel’s computer-based color retrieval software—contains over 2 million digital measurements and is the backbone to success when using the Automatchic. McPherson says that the dense database sets the software apart from anything else on the market. The software does the necessary tinting for the user, reducing the need to do a spray out and manually tint the formula. By the end of the year, all the functionally of the computer-based software will be cloud-based with MIXIT, which can be used on any device and is updated in real time. Users can type information into the search menu—from color code to make and model—and the results will be displayed.


Shop Benefits

McPherson says that the biggest advantage to upgrading to a digital method for color matching is that it takes the subjectiveness out of it.

“We all see color different, our process sees it the same every single time,” he says.

Many shops still use color chips as the primary method for color matching, but have a spectrometer for problem colors. AkzoNobel’s Colorvation campaign is promoting that if it’s good enough for tough jobs, it’ll be a game changer if it’s used on every color match.

“The shops that I’ve worked with that have made the upgrade have decreased booth cycle times, decreased waste and are much more efficient,” Bavaro says.  

AkzoNobel says that customers will find the right color up to three times faster than compared to traditional methods of color matching and that, in some cases, users said that their paint usage was reduced up to 20 percent after adopting.

AkzoNobel may offer 20 different variations of a color, but only 10 of those might be available in a color chip. Instead of having to go through and possibly not even finding a match, upgrade to the digital method. The system is more accurate with matching and painters will spend less time hand tinting, which saves both time and materials.

To view instructional videos or download instruction guides, visit

Akzo Nobel

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