Ensuring colour consistency is critical and with this in mind, automotive leather upholstery experts Eagle Ottawa have installed new GretagMacbeth SpectraLight III viewing booths for perfect colour matching. Eagle Ottawa have been manufacturing leather for more than 130 years and supply hides to prestigious companies such as Mercedes, Land Rover, Honda and Renault.

At Warrington in the UK, Eagle Ottawa take hides from the abattoir and produce fully finished components for car seating and trim. Colours are blended by an automated process that is fine tuned by skilled operators who adjust the coatings to achieve the final finish.

A single hide will then be coloured and compared with the manufacturer’s reference sample before the whole batch is processed. Samples from each batch are also compared with the reference sample and also with samples from each of the previous three batches before the hides are released.

Only the human eye is able to make the final colour judgement. However, colour perception can vary under different lighting conditions, and so eagle Ottawa have adopted standardised light sources from GretagMacbeth.

Hides are viewed and matched in the SpectraLight III viewing booths. These offer a choice of six illuminants including simulated natural and artificial light sources.

Eagle Ottawa view hides under D65, a simulated natural daylight and under TL84 and cool white fluorescent – two artificial light sources that are common in car showrooms. This avoids the problem of metamerism – the fact that samples viewed under one form of lighting may match but might mismatch under another.

Eagle Ottawa have been using GretagMacbeth light sources as a company standard since 1992.

Enquiry@gretagmacbeth.co.uk or [http://www.gretagmacbeth.com]