Industry News

BASF Coatings Uses Artificial Intelligence For Color Matching

Published on 2008-10-30. Author : SpecialChem

SOUTHFIELD, MI -- BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions announced that it has developed a software program that applies artificial intelligence using neural networks to the process of color matching paint.

Developed by BASF's Craig McClanahan, Manager of Color Research for BASF Coatings North America, this artificial intelligence improves the efficiency and accuracy of the color matching process. This unique software uses a machine learning algorithm to achieve its color matching ability from previously developed color formulations. Standard color matching, on the other hand, relies on human trial and error.

"One of the significant elements of this artificial intelligence is that it takes color matching to a higher level with a greater degree of accuracy than ever before seen in the automotive refinish industry," said McClanahan. "It actually learns and gets better over time."

As BASF produces new color matches over time, the intelligent system learns from them; then automatically and exponentially applies that learning to the matching of new colors, resulting in unparalleled color matching speed and precision.

"BASF is acknowledged by its customers as a color leader in the automotive refinish industry," said Darlene Eilenberger, Director of Marketing for BASF Coatings North America. "And each year our customers tell us that the single most important thing we can provide to them is a good color match. Through this new artificial intelligence, we achieve high quality color matches more than ninety percent of the time, versus the current industry standard of approximately fifty percent."

McClanahan and the artificial intelligence development team located in Whitehouse, Ohio, use information from BASF's globally integrated color laboratories around the world to "train" the artificial intelligence software with global BASF color-matching information. By the end of 2009, this artificial intelligence will contain color data from all 10 BASF automotive refinish laboratories in Japan, Australia, China, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Spain, Italy and the United States.

The artificial intelligence color matching system is already hard at work in five of BASF's global automotive refinish laboratories. During the next six months, McClanahan and Benjamin Delespierre from BASF in France will complete the roll-out to the remaining global laboratories.

At this time, BASF's artificial intelligence color matching system is only used internally within BASF. In the future, BASF plans to offer this system to its global automotive refinish customers; and leverage the technology in the OEM coatings market.

About BASF:

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 15,000 employees in North America, and had sales of approximately $16.4 billion in 2007.

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals. As a reliable partner, BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF has more than 95,000 employees and posted sales of almost €58 billion in 2007. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).

Source: BASF

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