Imaging Colour Measurement System (ICM) based on multi-spectral technique II

In a previous project funded by the ITF, the first-phase imaging colour measurement (ICM) system (Project Ref. No. ITP/009/07TP) has been completed in 2009. The system provides the fundamental functions in colour measurement and colour quality control for the solid-colour fabrics and multi-colour printing samples. The proposed second-phase project is to further upgrade and optimise the prototype ICM system so that it can be a leading imaging colour measurement instrument in the world. The proposed ICM system will be able to measure colours of differently sized samples, ranging from yarns, to laces, to accessories, and to printing fabrics. The hardware of the second-phase ICM system includes a new lighting design, new optical imaging system, and the optimal hardware integration. The software development is focused on multispectral image analysis, image compression, multi-purpose colour quality evaluation, high-fidelity colour visualization, connection to digital printing and data communication. Once developed, the new ICM system should be able to provide high accuracy and stability in colour measurement and evaluation, which meets the strict requirements in the textiles and apparel industry.

The ICM system is mainly used for color measurement and quality control of multi-colored and irregular fabric products in the textile and apparel industry. However, with improvement and upgrading of the existing system, its usage of colour quality control can also be extended to industries of plastic, home textile, food, cosmetics and electronic products.

Industry Benefit

• Non-contact colour measurement--- Use multispectral imaging technique to capture high spatial and spectral resolution images;
• Unique features --- Enable colour measurements of multi-coloured fabrics and samples of accessories in different sizes and irregular shapes;
• High definition accuracy --- Calibration performed with standards traceable to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which provides a reliable and consistent spectral reflectance measurement;
• High fidelity visualisation --- able to solve the problem of metamerism under different illuminant conditions;
• Intelligence --- Extract the dominant colors from the measured fabric samples automatically to conduct colour formulation;
• Shortened product development cycle --- speed up the development of new fabric and different color products by measuring and changing colours on the calibrated display terminals, and speed up the development of new fabric and different color products;
• Less time and cost spent on color communication --- Transmit multispectral images via internet or intranet to eliminate deliveries of physical samples.

Technological Breakthrough

By means of the special optic design, the visible spectrum of the ICM system can be split into more than three narrow bands and a fabric sample captured by a set of monochrome images under a controlled and uniform illumination system. Compared with the conventional trichromatic imaging technology, this system can output a series of high definition image data and give a better performance. The ICM system effectively overcomes the problem of the metamerism and offers a more rigorous and accurate colour measurement and quality control.

Project Name (ITF)
The Second-Phase Research and Development of Imaging Colour Measurement (ICM) System for Textile and Garment Industry
Project Number (ITF)