Inter-instrument agreement is a very important consideration when selecting color measurement devices for your workflow. Unfortunately, it’s such a technical topic that it leads lớn a lot of confusion about what it means và why it’s important.

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The Ci7860 sphere benchtop spectrophotomter ishas an inter-instrument agreement specification of 0.06 average Delta E*, enabling brands to lớn create the most precise master color standards.

Today we’re making it as simple as possible. Read on khổng lồ learn what inter-instrument agreement means, how it’s different from other terms like inter-modal agreement and repeatability, và why it’s something you really need to lớn consider for your color workflow.

Comparing how accurately two different instruments, such as the Ci64 and the MA-T12, can repeat a measurement is called inter-modal agreement. Then there’s repeatability. This indicates how accurately a single device can repeat a measurement. If you use the same device to measure the same sample three times, how closely will those three measurements correlate?

The Main Causes of Color Variation Across the Supply Chain

Within color measurement, there are certain factors that contribute to lớn color variation across a supply chain.

Inter-Instrument Agreement

Here’s an example. The Ci7860 was specifically designed to lớn minimize the contribution of inter-instrument variances to lớn color error, ensuring the most accurate & consistent color control khổng lồ create the most precise master color standards. It has a published average inter-instrument agreement of 0.06 ΔE*ab. That means if you take a measurement with a Ci7860, the result will be within +/- 0.06 ΔE tolerance from the centroid – the geometric center of the L*a*b* plane in the color space.

To get the centroid measurement, we create a master standard và send it to the National Institute of Standards (NIST) for traceability certification, then build the device around that exacting data.

Hereis where a lot of the confusion lies.

You take a measurement with one Ci7860 and the difference is +0.05 ΔE on the +b* side from centroid. This is acceptable. You take another measurement of the same sample with a different Ci7860, và the difference is -0.05 ΔE on the -b* side from centroid. This is also acceptable. However, when you compare the two measurements, they are actually .1 ΔE apart. That does not mean either device is out of tolerance. They are both measuring within the specified inter-instrument agreement.

Inter-Modal Agreement

Our customers run inlớn even more issues when they’re using different devices in the same color workflow.

Think about the data coming out of the portable Ci64 handheld versus the more precise Ci7860. Because they work using different sphere diameters, sampling port sizes, detector arrays and light sources, it’s nearly impossible for them lớn read exactly alượt thích.

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That being said, we’ve sầu done a lot of work lớn get to lớn the closest possible inter-modal agreement amuốn our devices. Our Ci6x series và SPhường series instruments are good examples. Even though they’re different instruments, they have sầu pretty cthua inter-modal agreement.


OurCi64 is our most precise handheld sphere spectrophotometer with a published average inter-instrument agreement of 0.13 ΔE*ab.

Why is this important?

If you work in a complex supply chain with multiple departments or different sites, you’re very familiar with the problem of color inconsistency. A lot of times, this inconsistency is caused by using different devices khổng lồ specify, produce, & control color.

For example, if the br& owner uses the Ci7860 to lớn specify a standard color, then the shop uses the Ci64 to lớn verify production accuracy, you’re not comparing apples to lớn apples. Multiply this by the number of different instruments that are used in the supply chain to produce each color, & you can continue to move farther and farther out of tolerance.

If you have sầu inter-modal agreement, you can have multiple sites using a single digital standard. That’s where inter-instrument agreement is the most successful.

What can be done?

As you can imagine, you’re most likely khổng lồ achieve sầu the closest ΔE results using one instrument with good repeatability, but most supply chains need more than one device to work efficiently and effectively. Here are some tips for establishing the most accurate color workflow in a multi-instrument environment.

As much as possible, use the same instruments across your supply chain và vendors. If you’re straddling industries, such as manufacturing a plastic clamp khổng lồ hold together a printed piece, you’re probably going to encounter instruments with different geometries. Ask for the same target data, or better yet, a physical sample khổng lồ match. No matter which instrument you use, the ΔE from the target will be accurate.

The biggest benefit of inter-instrument agreement is the peace of mind that you can’t get any other way. When your measurements are reproducible và traceable, you can trust your instruments and work with confidence.

If you’re still confused, don’t worry. It’s a technical topic. Get in touch & we can help you find the best balance between repeatability, inter-modal agreement, and inter-instrument agreement for your color workflow needs.

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