A new facility to provide guided color expertise to livery designers and help them bring airline livery creations from the drawing board to the runway more quickly, has been made available by Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings (ANAC).
The dedicated color design studio within the ANAC Color Centre on the company's site in Sassenheim, the Netherlands, is fully equipped with all types of color representations to help designers select the colors and finishes that will make their ideas work best when coordinating between the airline customer, and OEM applicator (ANAC). These color representations can then be converted into actual paint samples using ANAC digital color fingerprinting techniques. The effects of these 'spray outs' are viewed under different light sources that simulate full daylight, dusk, and hangar lighting conditions. These light sources allow designers to make better decisions for overall livery designs, enabling them to view the colors in various lighting conditions until they achieve the finish they wish to present to the customer. This is particularly useful for judging different combinations of solid, and special effect paints used in modern livery design.
"Not only do designers save hours by having everything on hand, they are also made aware of the huge range of finishes, colors and effects now available to them through new coating technologies," says Hans Peter van Wilsem, plant manager of the ANAC Color Centre. "It gives them the time and opportunity to experiment and to access the vast technical resources and product knowledge of the global ANAC color team, and to expand their knowledge of aircraft coatings and how they will perform in service."
Working together with designers is also valuable for ANAC. In face-to-face discussions, and when using the right techniques, it is easier and quicker to select the correct color. This reduces the number of colors that have to be 'sprayed out' and ultimately shortens the process time, which could take weeks when corresponding the samples by mail.
Once designers are satisfied with the coatings and colors they have chosen, and confident that their concept is achievable, they leave the site with a complete set of 'spray outs' and actual paint references to present to their airline clients.
One satisfied customer is Phil Percival, design director of Brandbeat, based in Dubai. "Whilst working on Izair, Akzo Nobel was more than helpful in providing me the correct paint samples in order for me to show my client based in Izmir, Turkey," he comments. "I was extremely pleased with the professionalism shown by the company, which contributed hugely to a smooth job delivered on-time."
ANAC is the only aerospace coatings business to offer a dedicated color design studio like this. The idea of creating the facility came from suggestions made by livery designers themselves, who found that visits to the Netherlands site gave them a much better understanding of what could be achieved.