Pantone color specimens for different type of comounds

I am interested in 485C and 100% Black Pantone color specimen catalogue for indicated types of compounds, i.e : ABS, PA6, TPR/TPE, PP, HD-PE, LD-PE.

I found some pretty “big” catalogues with amazaing no. of specimens, which cost fortune to me. Question is, are “shop” able to produce/prepare indiacted range of compounds with particular Pantone colors?

I think going to a shop will cost a fortune to you too.

They have to get sample resin and colorant of everything you listed. For each resin, they need to mix colorant and shoot a test specimen (assuming they have that mold). They will need to run a few to tweak the color properly. Then they need to purge the mold of the resin and start again with a new resin. You have listed 12 combinations. I’d say at least 8 hours of press time.

I don’t know about your part of the world, but my molder charges me $350 to just retrieve a mold and put it in the press. Then I would pay shop rate for the next 8 hours. And since I throw my molder a lot of business, I would get the sample resin and colorant for “free”. Without a relationship with a molder, expect to pay for the samples.

I want to extend this topic a little bit further…

I received some prelimenary color samples/specimens from couple of different sources.

The point is that all of them miss the target color I expected(not to mention the color differs between different type of materials among the samples from the same “source”).

So I have couple of questions I want to ask:

  1. Is there any standard environment, i.e. standard lightning one should set to evaluate the color samples?

I noticed the differences between color samples from different suppliers differs depending on the type of light I am evaluating them. Some times differences are clear, sharp, explicit, sometimes not.

  1. Is it possible and worth/reasonable to establish the “color appearance” for two products with different type of compunds?

In example I do have one housing made of ABS, and second one made of PA, both expected to have Pantone 485C color. Samples I do have now differs between each other. How to explain the supplier what changes to the color should be done?

  1. How do the big companies solve this problem - same color among different type of compounds?

  2. RAL vs Pantone - which color standard in consumer goods/hand held tools area is prefered/better/expected?

1: You really need a proper light booth to evaluate colors. This will simulate the effects of the different color temperatures.
2: Yes it is possible, it requires a lot of time, investment, and quality control to ensure your vendors keep to these standards. But you can imagine 2 products on the same line being different colors, or 2 different materials used on the same product that are supposed to match. If they don’t, it will be noticeable.
3: We have plastic engineers who own the relationships with our suppliers, all of our proprietary colors with color chips provided by Xrite for distribution to vendors for matching. It is then up to the plastic vendors (Ex Sabic) and those engineers to own the correct formulas of each material and perform quality checks to ensure it remains the same throughout production.
4: The correct standard to use is Lab* to measure color, Pantone is really designed for print inks, and while it does still serve a good basis for starting to color match other materials, it’s not great. Especially if your factory has a Pantone book which is 10 years old and has already started to fade. Papers are printed with optical brightener to get the bright white, and those brighteners break down over time changing the color appearance. Ideally you’ll have a light booth, color spectrometer, and a good eye to compare colors against. Your eyes are the best color matching tool, but not everyone has great eyes, and things like medications, caffeine, and other outside factors can impact your ability to discern colors.


thank you for indepth reply to my questions.

At this moment my process of maintaining the color with supplier rely on sending them first our proprietary color sample and then comparing/evalauting what they ship to me in exchange. Unfortunately, this takes too long and never let me get expected results.

As I understood it right best approach would be to order plastic color specimens, i.e in Xrite(suppose simultaneusly they deliver specification like Lab), and deliver it to supplier or best to compound factory which then create extra material according to specification and then ship it to supplier?

But, this works best for big volume orders, I am afraid.

Proper light booth sounds as reasonable idea, contrary to Xrite spectometers, which at this moment are way too expensive to me.

Have you got any experience with less sophisticated devices, thus cheaper like Pantone Capsure?