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NCCA Color Experiment at NCCA’s Fall Meeting and METALCON 2017

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NCCA has been investigating an alternative method for color measurement for the coil coating industry. As part of this investigation, NCCA is coordinating a visual assessment experiment. In a nutshell, we are attempting to assess the human response to slight color differences between pairs of panels and to correlate that response to a color instrument’s reading. Of course, people see color and color differences differently, and color instruments have a host of setup options from which to choose, so this is hardly a straightforward experiment. But if it were simple, it would have been done decades ago.

This project can be broken into a number of bite-sized pieces:

  1. Gather samples—Never as simple as it sounds, but with support from AkzoNobel, Valspar, and Precoat, an abundance of samples were obtained.
  2. Read each sample and store the reflectances—Byk Gardner has been an invaluable partner in this part of the project.
  3. Organize the samples in pairs of panels for observers to assess—Pure drudgery, but it’s done!
  4. Find observers willing to look at all the panels (to be discussed in just a bit).
  5. Capture the observations and determine whether a particular instrument setup tells the best story (i.e., how to make the instrument agree with what the eye sees).

The first three pieces of the project are done, so now it is time to gather observers, screen them for color acuity and color blindness, and have them look at 54 pairs of panels under controlled conditions. Anyone can look at these panels. We will have non-experts offer their observations, and also those of us in the industry who have been looking at colors for years. Kristine Bertucci of Precoat Metals and chair of this project and David Cocuzzi, NCCA Technical Director, will be asking member companies to host David Cocuzzi at their facilities to have their employees go through the observation process.

To gather more observations from non-experts, we have arranged for a “road show.” It will start at METALCON 2017, scheduled for October 18-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center ( NCCA will have booth #1852 (just to the left of The Deck Learning Zone).


Kristine and David will make arrangements with willing participants in advance, and we also hope to welcome walk-ins at the show. The whole observation process will take less than 30 minutes.

Nothing is more gratifying than being able to combine the resources of multiple associations when tackling a big project. We have a relatively complex value chain in our industry, and, for this project to generate meaningful information, we need plenty of representatives along that value chain to participate in the study.

We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to participate. Please contact David Cocuzzi directly via e-mail at


David Cocuzzi, NCCA Technical Director

August 2017


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