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

In a previous project funded by the ITF, the second-phase imaging colour measurement (ICM-II) system will be completed in October 2013. The ICM-II system has completed the upgrade and optimization of optical and imaging system from the prototype ICM-I system. Currently, the ICM-II systems are tested in four major textile companies for production trial. The proposed third-phase project (ICM-III) is mainly aimed at developing a next level of spectral colour measurement system and achieving a further improved precision, accurate and repeatable colour measurement of varieties of fabrics with complex colour and pattern combinations, while offering an objective colour assessment in the colour supply chain between retailers, suppliers and buyers. With the fully integrated the optical system, compact and modular hardware arrangement, and optimized software design based on the second-phase ICM system, the ICM-III system will be a fully commercialized and industry-leading colour measurement and management system.

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.

Asia Exhibition of Inventions Hong Kong - Silver Award
Project Name (ITF)
The Third-Phase Research and Development of Imaging Colour Measurement (ICM) System for Textile and Garment Industry
Project Number (ITF)