PPG Opens Color Matching Laboratory

Addresses growing number of domestic and import OEM color offerings and variations, and the need to match those colors


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PPG Automotive Refinish has opened an automated, technologically advanced, color matching laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio, says Mary Kimbro, PPG global color director. A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by PPG management and employees took place September 14. The new laboratory is expected to be fully operational this month.


A new level of precision and efficiency has been developed for the Refinish Color Matching Laboratory. This computer-controlled, high-tech facility marks a significant advancement in the science and art of automotive refinish color matching.


"The new laboratory is a reflection of our promise to PPG customers to provide the most effective and accurate color matching tools," said Kimbro. "As leaders in the industry, we are always looking for innovative ways to enhance the color formulation process and ensure that our customers have the support and benefit of the most up-to-date color technology."


The Refinish Color Matching Laboratory addresses a major challenge the automotive refinish business faces: the growing number of domestic and import OEM color offerings and variations—including exterior, bumper, accent and underhood colors—and the need for collision centers to match those colors. While an OEM's color code may prescribe a particular paint formulation, the reality is the actual vehicle finish color may differ from plant to plant for any number of reasons. Consequently color variants are always needed.


PPG's laboratory is equipped to produce accurate color formulations through improved processes and procedures. Using electronic and scientific methods made possible through state-of-the-art equipment and proprietary computer software programs, the patent-pending automated system is capable of running continuously to produce more color formulations, allowing PPG to provide precise color formulas with operational efficiency. The result: quickly obtaining the right variant and formula the first time. The laboratory's capability also allows PPG to expand its data collection practices, better analyze automotive pigments and explore applicable color formulation opportunities as they occur.


With the opening of the Refinish Color Matching Laboratory, PPG has reinforced its standing as the industry's technological innovator. The laboratory processes and procedures will serve as stepping stones PPG can replicate in its other business divisions to advance its capabilities.