The ColorTrack Laser Reflectometer was initially developed as a component to an automatic coffee roaster for cafes. In applications involving lightness and darkenss in a color scale, such as coffee roasting, beer malting, tooth color matching, and french fries, to name a few, the massive amount of data relative to shade variations, proves to be more useful, and much easier to interpret, than with technologies that try to emulate a human eye simulation color model.
In particular, the laser signals generated by the ColorTrack System, operate in the 785 nanometer range of the color spectrum, which is is the optimal range for color and shade detection.
Coffee roasting is a complex process in regards to color analysis, because roasting at different temperatures, results in different end products, that
can, and do have the same color attributes.
Time, temperature, and color all have to be monitored simultaneously.
French Fries are another example where color analysis is actually shade analysis. Older technologies require extensive sample preparation, and the sample must be manually turned in front of the limited number of sensor spots, to help represent more of the sample.
The ColorTrack Benchtop, takes advantage of a microwave oven platform, as pictured below, to scan the moving sample. The entire path of the laser is scanned, at a rate of 10,000 signals per second. The average recommended scan takes 20 seconds, and the results are
provided in statistical format, including the average values, minimum and maximum values, mode, and standard deviation.
ColorTrack Laser Module
It's easy to see why, in color measurement, as well as in other disciplines, more data gives more representative results. Also, because it is the shade of color that represents how far along the process is, for many applications, trying to adapt to a human eye simulation model, presents it's own set of technological challenges,
that are of no direct benefit.
Using sophisticated software, the results of a 20 second scan (200,000 individual transmissions) are tabulated, and presented along with a grahical representation.
AVERAGE VALUE-Average of all signals measured throughout the scan
MODE VALUE-The reading that occured the most times during the scan.
MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM VALUES-The highest and lowest values that occured during the scan
STANDARD DEVIATION-This value represents the square root of the variance, and is widely used to measure the variability or dispersion.
Barley hops for beer are easily measured with ColorTrack