Automotive paint has become very complex in recent years. Paint colors that cannot be controlled with color measuring instruments are becoming common, such as metallic paint and paint with flip-flop properties (angular characteristics).
Therefore, color inspection of paint on automotive bodies is done visually. This is because paint colors are too complex and cannot be accurately inspected with measuring instruments.
I would like to introduce an anecdote that shows this.
In the early 1990s, the launch of two Japanese luxury cars sent the paint industry into a panic.
Luxury car A was painted with dark green pearl (hexagonal pigment + pearl), luxury car B was painted with graphite pearl (carbon fiber + pearl), and these paint colors were much more complex than the ones used before.
Prior to this, metallic paint (gunmetal grey and silver) only required adjusting of the brightness of arranged aluminum pigment particles, so halogen lamps were sufficient for this purpose at painting sites.
However, the pearl paint, which changes dramatically depending on the strength and angle of the light, can only be checked under natural light between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on a sunny day.
For luxury cars A and B, the scheduled release date was delayed by six months because the manufacturer could not establish a method for checking the paint (shipping inspection).
As such, 30 units of “Artificial Solar Lighting XELIOS XG-100A” that emit light equivalent to natural sunlight from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a sunny day were installed at the production factory, and shipping inspections were now possible.
After that, pearl paint became popular for lower-class automobiles and light automobiles. Automobile bodywork repair shops were unable to complete the work in a limited time on sunny days, and complaints at repair sites began to occur one after another. The launch of three-coat pearl paint added to the confusion at the sites.
The introduction of lighting equipment that is closer to the sunlight was necessary at painting sites, and the introduction of XELIOS has been accelerated.
Auto manufacturers choose paint based on the production for the day. Painting is performed using different types of paint, such as silver metallic paint for 40 automobiles, black metallic paint for 40 automobiles, and white pearl paint for 30 automobiles.
When replacing the paint, a small amount of the paint from before the replacement may remain in the tank or nozzle. Replacement needs to be performed carefully especially when switching from black to white. The paint used before the replacement may get mixed in with the replaced paint, so the tank and nozzles are carefully inspected visually.
Artificial solar lighting has been well-received by users as the light source for such visual inspection, and users say that artificial solar lighting provides the best visibility.
Auto manufacturers use the XELIOS 500W Series XG-500AF and XELIOS 100W Series XG-100A, but recently we have also frequently received orders for the LED type XELIOS-iO Series handheld type LH-9ND55/65-H.
XELIOS-iO emits light that is closest to natural sunlight among all LEDs in the world and has overwhelmingly high color reproducibility compared to inexpensive high color rendering LEDs and fluorescent lights, and it has been used by many automotive engineers for color inspection in recent years.
XELIOS-iO is used not only by auto manufacturers but also by automobile bodywork repair shops.
If you want to perform automotive paint color inspection using artificial solar lighting that emits light equivalent to natural sunlight, please feel free to contact us.