This September, natific hosted our first ever International Color Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. The goal was to bring brands and mills together in one space to discuss industry issues and brainstorm solutions. Through a series of presentations and think tank sessions we were able to have some great conversations and knowledge sharing. Keep reading to learn about some of the summit highlights!
New natific Certification: Color Certification Program (CCP)
Over the last decade, the CAP certification has become a global best practice recognized by top retailers. It consistently produces a reduction in color development lead time, color execution costs, and allows mills to work toward straight to production privileges. However, not all mills are ready for this level of certification and we found an opportunity to introduce a new certification program.
CCP consists of one full day of training and evaluation on color matching practices. It’s important to note that this does not replace CAP; it is a starting point to help mills develop their competence before proceeding to the CAP program. The main items we look for during the audit are:
- Proper equipment in place
- Proper knowledge of how to use the equipment and of the brand SOP’s
- Ability to make changes to correct/execute in production with a special focus on dyestuff selection and recipe prediction
Our Head of Auditing, Claudia Dubler, has already executed several CCP certifications and shared some of her findings at the Summit. Many attendees were surprised to see the knowledge gaps in both the proper use of equipment as well as color matching abilities at mills. Claudia found that the mills she visited were very eager to learn the best practices and look forward to showing off their improvement in next year’s evaluation! This new certification will be a great asset to overall supply chain elevation.
Key issues seen during certification audits:
One very insightful presentation given by our Technical Manager, Franziskus Häussinger, identified 5 main issues he consistently sees while performing certification audits. He gave detailed descriptions of the issues as well as how to fix them. The 5 key issues are:
- Metamerism Control
- Accuracy and Precision
- Meeting Fastness Requirements
- Overall Efficiency
This was a great opportunity for brands to get some context for the QC problems that come up during development as well as insight into some items addressed in CAP audits. Since brands, mills, and engineers were in the room, we were able to have candid, real-time conversations about expectations surrounding persistent issues. These realizations will help make future development cycles run smoothly!
A few new, additional functions will be added to ASAP & ColorWarehouse in the near future, taking into consideration the feedback we have received from our clients over the past few months. Most importantly, however, is the launch of the newly developed “natific QcExpress” (short: QcE). This system enables users to fire any spectro and conveniently uploads the measurements into the required location in ASAP or ColorWarehouse already. The current M3K tray-agent software will be stopped, and data entry to all natific systems will be made much faster and more secure.
A new portal solution is also on its way, which will provide an up-to-date webshop experience where company users can subscribe, manage and administer their accounts and associated company licenses and package deals for multiple users. Launch is roughly scheduled for end 2019.
White development and QC are ongoing tricky issues in this industry. In his presentation, Andreas Roth discussed why white is so difficult. One reason is the limitation in available whiteness indices. Andreas introduced 3 new natific-engineered indices which can now be used to achieve more accurate whites.
Another new whiteness development is the natific WhiteWarehouse, a feature of the ColorWarehouse. It is now possible to upload whites to the ColorWarehouse, where there will automatically be sent to the WhiteWarehouse and evaluated using the additional indices. The WhiteWarehouse automatically provides comments for easy adjustments.
“It’s amazing to see that we all have the same issues,” was the most common piece of feedback we got from our Summit attendees. This only helps validate the importance of events like this. By simply getting everyone in the same room we were able to brainstorm, discuss, and network. It’s much easier to solve problems together than apart. We’re looking forward to the developments to come from these conversations!