Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

PPG launches new Linq colour matching system

Since mass car production began and cars needed to be repaired and re-painted, the biggest challenge for the car repairer has been to provide a good invisible colour match.

As time has progressed it has become even more important to also get this colour choice right first time as shops cannot afford to be doing jobs twice.

Fifty years ago, when the colour range was very different from today, the common way to manage this was to use skilled and experienced colour matchers. In the days when the majority of colours were solid colours, many painters developed tinting skills and it was common for them to pick a colour that was “close” and “tint it on”.

Depending on the skills and the eye for colour that the painters had, this was a successful method.

Now, PPG says it is bringing the next era in colour identification to bodyshops with the launch of its new Linq Pro system.

PPG claims this is the first colour identification tool that can create a virtual colour chip accurately that truly matches the real paint in high definition, that you can compare to an onscreen representation of the colour on the car you need to repair.

Key components of the PPG Linq system are the PPG VisualizID advanced, unique 3D visualisation software and the PPG DigiMatch digital colour camera. These tools are used together to digitise the colour-matching process, significantly improving speed and efficiency, and reducing product wastage for more sustainable bodyshop operations.

The PPG DigiMatch multi-angle digital colour camera is an ergonomic, lightweight device that can be operated with one hand. It features six imaging angles and six reflectance angles to capture vehicle colour and texture information quickly and accurately.

But crucially, PPG says it also contains a powerful camera that allows it to take an image of the car colour to be repaired. It can then recreate this photo image on screen to give the painter an accurate impression of his target colour.

The PPG VisualizID software, which has been matched up to all of the tinter ranges in the PPG WB Basecoat systems and has been used to read the actual colours achieved through every one of its 70,000 variants, will compare the target colour, with the best recorded matches, and will then recreate on screen an image of the colour that each selected variant will give.

The system will pick several options that it sees as a close match. The painter can then pull up and image of each variant and compare it to the target colour.

They can view the virtual colour chips from all angles, in all different types of light. They can zoom in to see if the flake effect matches too, and can even look at it under spotlights and sunlight, with and without clearcoat. This allows the painter to make a very accurate assessment of the colour, before they have even mixed it.