INAX Corporation was founded in 1924 and is now Japan's leading manufacturer of tiling, building materials, sanitary fixtures, and residential fixtures. Particularly for tiles, INAX is the world's largest maker, and distributes these products which play a variety of roles in our daily lives to customers throughout the world.
INAX has been using Konica Minolta Sensing's spectrophotometers for many years, and the replacement of previous products with the latest Spectrophotometer CM-700d provided the opportunity for this user report.
For this report, a visit was paid to the General Technology Research Laboratory of INAX. In this laboratory, the master colours for each product are measured and compared to the design colour samples created during the design stage. In addition, the Konica Minolta Spectrophotometer CM-700d is used to determine the colorimetric values of the master plate. In other words, the colorimetric values measured here become the standard values for the product colours.
Previously, a horizontal-format Spectrophotometer CM-2600d was used, but it was found that the vertical-format CM-700d can provide more stable measurements of small but thick samples such as tiles. When using the CM-2600d, a spacer with the same thickness as the tile was used to provide stability, but the CM-700d makes such a spacer unnecessary. In addition, the Bluetooth wireless communication feature of the CM-700d was highly appreciated, since it eliminates cables that would get in the way and allows desk space to be used more efficiently.
INAX Corp. manufactures a wide variety of products, and more than 1,000 kinds of products are measured at this laboratory alone.
At the General Technical Research Laboratory, about 20 employees of the design department and the various divisions' research departments share the use of a CM-700d.
Although the main application is determining the colour of product masters as described above, there are also other applications for coloru measurement, some of which are introduced below.
In order to make sure that elderly people or people with disabilities do not have problems operating the toilets in lavatories at public places such as train stations, parks, hospitals, department stores, etc. used by many unspecified people, the shape, colour, layout, etc. of the buttons for washing, calling for assistance, etc. are defined by JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards).
Since the standards specify the colour of the buttons on the control panel and that contrast with surrounding areas must be ensured, the CM-700d is used in the design and layout of such panels.
For walkway guidance blocks for people with impaired vision, the contrast between the guidance blocks and the surrounding walkway is specified or standardized by various regional governments and construction standards. This is done to ensure that people with impaired vision (low vision) can easily differentiate between the guidance blocks and surrounding areas. In the past, measurements using luminance meters* were specified, but that required the preparation of a special darkroom, light source, etc. to ensure uniform measurement conditions, and involved much labor.
The measurement process was improved by using the CM-700d (which eliminates the need to prepare a special measurement environment) and determining the luminance value based on the measured Y value.
The luminance values of each block and tile is measured ahead of time and stored in a database, enabling data proving that the block or tile meets the regional specifications to be supplied at the time of delivery or by the salesperson when negotiating the sale of such products.
The colour of the brand mark of INAX Corp. is a combination of Amenity Blue and black. The colour of the brand mark is specified numerically in Munsell numbers, etc. and colour control of the brand mark is performed using the
CM-700d. From the examples above, it is clear that INAX Corp. understands well the functions and performance of the CM-700d, and utilizes the CM-700d in a variety of ways that make full use of the instrument's features. We at Konica Minolta Sensing will continue our active after-sales support to contribute to even more effective use of our instruments by INAX Corp. and all of our customers.