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Frequently Asked Questions – Color Accurate™ G3 Software

Color Accurate™ G3 Software – General Information

Color Accurate™ G3 Hardware

Color Accurate™ G3 Software Basics

Color Accurate™ Software Functionality

Color Accurate™ G3 Software Support

Color Accurate™ G3 Software – General Information

What is the Color Accurate™ G3 software?

The G3 software is a powerful PPG developed program with features that allow you to formulate industrial colors, retrieve formulas for pre-existing colors, track jobs by customer, report VOC and HAPs data by job or customer and much more.

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What are some of the capabilities of The Color Accurate™ G3 software?

The Color Accurate™ G3 software has the capability to do a lot more than just "formulate” color. The following is a list of the more commonly used advanced features:

  • Formula retrieval: Lookup color mixes by OE Code, Brand Code or by Bar Code on the CPC color chip
  • Mix across the scale: If you mix only enough color for a particular job, you can mix the blended amount across a scale
  • RTS/RFU: If you only use certain blend ratios, solvents and hardeners, you can Bookmark these so that only these are shown.
  • Advanced pricing: Determine actual cost to mix and manage profitability
  • User management: Set Security and passwords for each person that will use the software by their job description
  • VOC tracking: Track VOC's using a National Rule, or set up a localized rule
  • HAPs tracking: Track the HAPs for the liquids used in a facility
  • Spectrophotometer interface: Connect and use a spectrophotometer to create or modify formulas
  • Custom formulas: Create and save custom formulas in your own library
  • Label printing: Print Dymo labels for any mix created
  • Reporting: Create VOC and HAPs reports by customer and job

NOTE: The help document that is included within the Color Accurate™ G3 software is an excellent source of information.

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How do I go about getting the new software and installing it?

Please contact your Territory or Commercial Territory Manager and he/she will discuss the software requirements and installation schedule.

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How much does the new software cost?

There is a one-time license fee and an annual maintenance fee associated with the software. Please contact your Territory or Commercial Territory Manager for current pricing.

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How many times per year is Color Accurate™ G3 software updated?

The software updates are sent out via CD approximately 3 times per year.

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Can I still use the previous version of Color Accurate™?

Yes, however we will no longer offer price increase or updated calibrations.

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Can I limit an employee’s use of the system?

Yes, there is comprehensive security that can be configured within the User module of The Color Accurate™ G3 software. This information can be found in the help document offered within the Color Accurate™ software.

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What is the difference between markup and margin, also known as profit margin?

Markup is how much an item is increased in the selling price over the cost. The margin, or profit margin, is how much profit is made after the cost of the product is subtracted from the selling price. The easiest way to think about it is that margin is based on selling price while markup is based on cost.

Margin
The percentage margin is the percentage of the final selling price that is profit.

Markup
A markup is a percentage of the cost price added to get the selling price.

A product that is marked up 25% does not yield a profit margin of 25%, but only 20%

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Does The Color Accurate™ G3 software have reporting capability?

Yes, the software has an add-on program called Report Viewer. It is packaged with the CD and can be easily installed.

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What are some of the reports that can be generated from Report Viewer?

There are 7 reports currently available in the Color Accurate™ G3 software. Examples are:

  • Product Usage
  • Repair Order Invoices
  • VOC and HAPs reports based on a date range for a specific customer

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Can I print reports generated out of Report Viewer?

Yes, any report can be printed.

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Can I search my own “Color Library” when matching a new color?

Yes, using the Wildcard search and providing you have reflectance data associated with the WIPs and Customer formulas.

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What is the difference between formulating a color and using the Wildcard search?

When formulating a color from scratch, you are asking software to use the math or algorithms built around each tint to return a brand new formula. In this method, the software will add or subtract tints as necessary to create a formula based on initial and correction spectro readings. When you use the Wildcard search method, you are asking the software to search pre-existing formulas for the closest match. This may be a great match or one that needs to be adjusted. If it needs to be adjusted, the software can eliminate a tint or modify the amounts of the existing tints, but never add a new tint to create the match.

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What is Match Rating in a Wildcard search?

Match Rating is a scientifically developed algorithm that utilizes the color information or reflectance data obtained from the spectrophotometer. A comparison is made between the target color and the color database. The lower the Match Rating, the better chance to retrieve a comparable formula to mix.

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What is a "good" Match Rating?

Our studies and numerous field trial results prove the following set of Match Rating guidelines to assist the user in their decision making process. These are “suggested” guidelines only. A Visual Check is always recommended for approval and prior to mixing the color.

Match Rating of 5 or less: Likely to be an acceptable match to the standard.

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What is the Adjust feature?

In some situations, a formula can be further adjusted. The Adjust Button will appear when conditions are mathematically right to perform an adjustment to the selected formula. The adjustment offered will provide some directional improvement in color. If the Adjust Button is “grayed out” the best formulas have already been provided to the user.

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Why the yearly subscription?

The yearly subscription is used to ensure that all customers are properly registered and receiving their updates in a timely manner.

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What is the Configuration ID?

This is the number at the top left of the Color Accurate™ G3 software screen that follows the CI: designation. It is a three digit number and helps determine various configuration settings that are available within the software.

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Why does the install code run out when I have days left on my subscription?

Typically, this occurs if the software expiration date is reached but the software has not been closed for a long time. A feature built into the software is the install code expiration warning: When the install code has 29 days remaining a warning will pop-up reminding you to call the Help Desk for a new code. This warning will continue until the code is renewed or it expires. If the code expires, the software won’t open until the code is renewed.

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Will I get the same color formulation when using the spectrophotometer in the previous Color Accurate™ G3 software versus the new version?

No. The new software uses different proprietary algorithms to create the color. However, significant testing across numerous qualities indicated that the new software had a higher percentage of better matches after the initial spectro reading.

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Is there a training class or help manual for the software?

Yes, there are both training classes and a help manual. Dates and locations for training classes can be found in the Training section on the PPG Commercial Coatings website or by contacting your Territory or Commercial Territory managers.

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Why do I need to take 5 readings with the spectrophotometer?

Since the selected area for a reading may be scratched, faded, have poor hiding or be damaged in some way, the software requires taking at least 5 readings to provide a better average “view” of the color for matching purposes.

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Why do I need to read different sections when reading the panel?

Since the selected area for a reading may be scratched, faded, have poor hiding or be damaged in some way, the software requires taking readings from different areas of the sample to provide a better average “view” of the color for matching purposes.

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Color Accurate™ G3 Hardware

Do I need to buy a new computer?

Not necessarily; the new software will run the on the dedicated computer used for the existing Color Accurate™ software. Minimum requirements can be found in the G3 Help Guide.

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What are the hardware requirements to run the software?

All Dell Computers shipped by PPG will run the PPG software. Operating systems currently supported are:

  • Windows XP operating system
  • Windows Vista operating system
  • Windows 7 operating system
Windows XP Pro* Minimum Requirement Recommended If Networked
Processor 233 MHz 300 MHz 1 GHz
RAM (Memory) 64 Megabytes (MB) 1 gigabyte (GB) 2 GB
Hard Drive 10 GB 20 GB 20 GB
Video/Monitor SVGA (800x600) SVGA (800x600) SVGA (800x600)

*While The Color Accurate™ G3 software will run on Windows XP Home edition, for business, the use of Windows XP Pro is strongly recommended. If networking the Color Accurate™ software system, Windows XP Pro is a must.

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Can I use my current spectrophotometer?

The X-Rite SP-61 is currently the only spectrophotometer supported in the software.

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Can I use my bar code reader?

Yes, the software supports the existing bar code reader.

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Can I use my current Dymo label printer?

Yes, Dymo label printer is supported by the software.

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If I currently have an SP-58 device, can I use it with the new Color Accurate™ G3 software?

No, the SP-58 is obsolete and not compatible with the new software version.

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Can I connect my scale and weigh directly from the software?

Yes, this feature is available. Please refer to you Color Accurate™ G3 Help Guide on connecting your scale.

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Can computers using The Color Accurate™ G3 software be networked?

Yes, the software can run on a network within the same building. Contact the PPG Computer Support Helpdesk at 1-800-647-6050 option 1-2-2-1 (for software support).

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Can we connect more than two scales or touch screens to one computer running The Color Accurate™ G3 software?

No. Each system, consisting of a scale and computer must be its own system.

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Color Accurate™ G3 Software Basics

Can I install this on my existing computer?

Yes, if it is a computer dedicated to the Color Accurate™ software platform.

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Can I install the software on more than one computer?

This is determined by whether the computer dedicated to the Color Accurate™ G3 software platform is a network computer or not.

  • If not a networked facility:
    • An “End-Use” customer can have up to three systems from a single CD.
    • A distributor can use a single CD for up to five systems.
    • All systems must be physically located in the same location. Each location (street address) must have its own subscription.
  • If networked:
    • A maximum of five computers (networked) per subscription, unless verified by an IMS.
  • Report Viewer:
    • There are no limits to the number of machines on which Report Viewer can be installed.

In all cases, if more than one CD is desired, then each CD will result in its own subscription fee. This is governed by the Configuration ID used in installing/activating the software. All systems on a network must use the same Color Accurate™ G3 software configuration ID.

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Can I install this on the same computer that I use for PaintManager™ software?

No, at present there are many hardware incompatibilities when attempting to run both systems from one computer.

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Do I still need to use a “key” as I had with my current software?

No, this is no longer needed with the new software.

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Can I update the software online?

Not at this time.

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Can I use my old Color Accurate™ data (formulas) with the new software?

Yes, you can choose to import this data after installing the new software.

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If I import my old data, will I lose this history?

No, the data is copied from the existing software to the G3 software. All historic data will still be available in the “old” Color Accurate™ version.

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I want to convert from the old DOS software; can I automatically import my data?

No, this feature is not available.

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Color Accurate™ Software Functionality

How do I look up pre-formulated colors?

Pre-formulated color formulas can be obtained a number of ways; by using the bar code reader and scanning the bar code associated with the color or by entering the color number into the OEM/brand code box from the standard search screen. The “Quick Start Guides” and Help Guide will also show you how to search for the formulas.

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How do I look up OEM colors?

OEM color formulas can be obtained by entering the color number into the OEM/brand code box from the standard search screen. The “Quick Start Guides” and Help Guide will also show you how to search for the formulas.

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How do I use the “Wildcard” feature?

From the Job Screen and after taking a spectro reading, choose the sample for which you wish to search; go to More Options and select Wildcard; select the quality you need and click Continue; any available choices will appear on the screen. The “Quick Start Guides” and Help Guide will also show you how to search for the formulas.

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How do I enter cans and can costs?

To enter a new can: From the Job Screen (default), click on Main Menu; click Utility; click Stock; click More Options twice; click Sundries; click New; fill in size, description and identify as sundry category; check the box that asks if it is a can.

To enter can cost: From the Job Screen (default), click on Utility; click on Price; enter a selling price under the Price column and enter your cost under the Cost column. The cans are now ready to use.

Additional support can be found in your Color Accurate™ G3 Help Guide.

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I don’t mix all the CPC qualities; can I set the software up so that only the qualities I mix are shown?

Yes. From the Main Menu, click on Utility; click on Options; click on Resin System Selections; highlight the resins you do not need and click on Remove line.

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I buy industrial solvents under my own label; can I add them to the database?

No. Since we have no way knowing specific environmental and EHS data this is not allowed. However, we do have several industrial solvents offered by PPG in the system and they may be the same chemically (i.e. Acetone) as your product. You can still use these for job costing by simply by overwriting the existing PPG cost with yours.

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What is the % used for when searching for color codes?

The percent sign is used as a wildcard character for searches. As an example, if you wanted to look up a competitor code but were unsure of the last letter to be entered, simply enter N000%. It will yield all results containing N000… such as N0006. Note: you get the same result if you enter %000%.

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How do I delete a mix that was done on the wrong job?

You can delete the mix by going to the Job Screen, selecting the WIP Search, highlighting the mix and clicking on the delete button.

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Can I create and save my formulas in a custom library?

Yes. The Color Accurate™ G3 software has the functionality to create and save any custom formulas.

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Color Accurate™ G3 Software Support

Whom can I contact if I have a problem with my hardware?

The first line of support for any hardware problem is the PPG Computer Support Help Desk located in Strongsville, Ohio. Please refer to the support guidelines for information or call the Help Desk at 1-800-647-6050 option 1-2-2-1.

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Whom can I contact if I have a problem with my Color Accurate™ G3 software?

The first line of support for any software issue is the PPG Computer Support Help Desk located in Strongsville, Ohio. Please refer to the support guidelines for information or call the Help Desk at 1-800-647-6050 option 1-2-2-1. If the Help Desk is unable to assist you, they will put you in touch with the correct support group.

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Is there an email address that I can send my request to?

Yes, the email address for any special request is IMSManager@ppg.com.

This email address is checked periodically. You can expect a response within 48 - 72 hours.

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What other telephone support numbers should I know?

Other telephone numbers that are used in color hardware support are:

  1. X-Rite (SP-61): 888-826-3042
  2. Sartorius: 800-645-3108
  3. Mettler: 800-786-0040

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Is there a simple, to the point, Color Accurate™ G3 software manual of the most commonly used features?

Yes, a Color Accurate™ G3 software Quick Start Guide is supplied at time of install.

The extensive Help File can be accessed on your local computer at:
C:\color\database\MessageFiles\en\Help

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I can't view the Technical Data Sheets, why not?

This is probably due to Adobe® Acrobat not being installed on the computer. To install Adobe® Acrobat, download it from the Adobe® website or download it from your Color Accurate™ G3 CD.

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I can't find a Technical Data Sheet for a product or the software has an outdated version, what should I do?

Please send an email to IMSManager@ppg.com or search the Commercial Coatings Product Catalog website.

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What do we have to do to install the Color Accurate™ G3 software on a customer’s network?

This is a relatively simple process. The simplest method is to ensure the network cable is in place and then contact your IMS or request an IMS using the IMSManager@ppg.com email address.

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The computer is bogging down, what can I do to fix it?

Follow these steps:

  1. Properly close/shut down the computer.
    • If on a network, make sure everyone else is out of the program before doing this
    • Exit all programs
    • Click on the Start button in the lower left corner of the screen and select shut down
    • Wait about five minutes and then power the computer back up
  2. Close any CPC jobs that have are complete.
    • Do not archive these jobs; you want to maintain your color library!
      • From the Job Screen, press Edit
      • From the Status drop-down list, select Close
  3. For networks, exit the Color Accurate™ G3 software on all the clients, then exit and re-enter the Color Accurate™ G3 software on the server.
  4. If the slow down is sporadic, it may be caused by multiple people entering data at the same time.

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What does it mean when I see a message "Error on building DBF Files"?

Typically this will occur during one of two situations.

The first is if you are on a client machine (office computer) on a network. This indicates that the networked computer cannot communicate with the server. Common reasons for a lack of communications are:

  • The server computer is not turned on
  • The drive mapping is unmapped
  • A cable is unplugged or the connection is bad
  • The router/hub is unplugged
  • A conflict with the network addressing

Contact the Help Desk, your IMS or the Distributor network person for assistance in resolving network issues.

The second may occur if you launch the software twice on the same machine. The solution is to look at the task bar at the bottom of the screen. If it is listed twice, just exit the second instance of the program.

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Why am I getting an error message when I try to run Report Viewer?

Contact the PPG Computer Support Help desk at 1-800-647-6050 option 1-2-2-1 (for software support). They can assist with Report Viewer and reporting support questions and issues.

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If I currently have an SP-58 device, can I use it with the new Color Accurate™ G3 software?

No, the SP-58 is obsolete and not compatible with the new software version.

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How often should I have my spectrophotometer serviced?

The SP-61 should be sent into X-Rite® for recertification every 12-18 months.

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