New Innovative Electronic Formula Delivery Provides the Latest in Fast and Accurate Color Matching
Defining a color formula that most accurately matches the customer’s vehicle is essential to the efficient throughput of any productive collision repair center. Now, with the newly-launched RapidMatch™ formula retrieval module for PPG’s PaintManager™ system and the industry’s only 5-angle spectrophotometer, RapidMatch X-5, the workflow in the paint operation can be elevated to the next level of color-matching accuracy and efficiency. “RapidMatch represents a significantly-improved electronic approach to formula retrieval and a major step forward in the science of color matching,” says Mary Park, director, global color, PPG Refinish. “In essence, we’ve taken the power of a scientifically-developed algorithm customized for the automotive coatings segment coupled with an instrument that truly measures color travel, and created a new approach to electronic formula retrieval with our new RapidMatch software module. Once the spectrophotometer takes its 5-angle reading of a customer’s vehicle color, RapidMatch finds the closest match from PPG’s extensive database of the latest OEM primes and variants— even special field formulas. Plus, it offers other innovative advancements to make the technician’s job easier.”
RapidMatch offers a choice of search options to find the closest match. The “OEM Code Search” is the most preferred and provides the best route to finding the correct OE pigmentation. There’s also an “OEM Filtered Search” option, which focuses on the effect pigment of the returned formula that appears on the Match Rating formula list and provides additional “best match” formula options beyond the original OEM code. A “Wild Card Search” combs the entire PPG Refinish color database to find the closest match when OEM information is not available.
Downloadable Formula Database
One of the best features of the RapidMatch system is the ability to search and rate from the most up-to-date formula database—including prime, variants and special field formulas. Coupled with PaintManager’s™ Internet Update feature, technicians will now receive important color information monthly, including reflectance data to support the RapidMatch program. The launch of RapidMatch follows a year of beta testing in real collision centers with real PPG customers. Their experience with the new system provided very positive feedback. “There isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t put the RapidMatch X-5 spectrophotometer to good use,” says Ron Lemley, paint department manager for Smail Auto Body & Collision Center, Greensburg, Pa. “When we run into problems, say like when a brand new car comes through and it isn’t coded, RapidMatch gets us right in the ballpark without trying to figure out what that code is. It works really well.”
Improved Workflow Opportunities
Park says the RapidMatch X-5, working in concert with PPG’s PaintManager system, presents the opportunity for shops to re-think their workflow and color matching process. “Given the accuracy of the RapidMatch X-5, we believe collision centers will find the system beneficial for use for all refinish repairs—not just difficult-to-match or unknown OEM codes.” The management at Smail Auto Body is already exploring this option. “We have a teardown department where the vehicle is first brought into the shop,” says Lemley. “So we’re considering using RapidMatch here, along with our spray outs, so the code and the paint match can be set well before the vehicle enters our process line.” “As the perfect complement to our variant deck system and other excellent color tools, RapidMatch is one more example of PPG’s commitment to color-matching leadership for auto refinish,” says Park. For more information on PaintManager color retrieval software and the new RapidMatch X-5 spectrophotometer, visit your PPG distributor for a demonstration. Box w/pic
Exclusive Electronic Match Rating System
One innovation in the RapidMatch™ electronic retrieval system is its “Match Rating” feature. It rates the selected formula, on a scale of 0 to 20, for its ability to achieve a blendable match of the targeted color. The lower the match rating, the better the chance to retrieve a blendable formula for the vehicle repair. Match ratings carry a visual color indicator that quickly alerts the technician when to “Blend” or “Check” the returned formula. And taking it one step further, a new “Adjust” feature provides the technician with further direction on improving the color match.
Special Thanks to Repaint Reporter, Spring 2011 Issue and PPG Industries