The human eye is a remarkable piece of engineering, and as Cristian Colombo, Owner of Color Project European says: “Even in 2017, with all our advancements in technology, there are currently no instruments that can see exactly what the human eye can. Our eyes are unrivalled; no software can match them.”
This is why the company invests such great time and energy in finding the right people. Mr. Colombo explains: “There are two very important things to know about the employees working with us. Firstly, they need to be able to see and correct colour extremely precisely, which requires a very long and intensive period of training. Secondly, the colour specialists who work with us have been with us since the beginning, have been trained by us or have joined us after completing their training at chemical schools or colleges. We combine the skills and capability of our colourists to see colours with equipment that recognizes and archives the different formulas.”
Everything Color Project European does is based around the specific needs of its clients. Its production facilities are the largest in the world, and it can tint a very high number of colours in a very short space of time – a fact that its clients appreciate and have come to expect.
In fact, producing the highest quality in a fast delivery time is what the company prides itself on. As Mr. Colombo puts it: “Everything is customized and bound to our clients’ requirements, an ad-hoc product precisely for them. We produce sprayed and coated colour samples for the automotive, building and industrial sectors, and all our clients appreciate the high quality of our tinting and the efficiency of our work.”
Mr. Colombo continues: “To move in line with our customers, we have to be very forward thinking. We’re constantly monitoring our tinting work and production; we invest a lot of time and money in improving our production lines and adapting them to the paint lines.”
The company was established in the early 1990s by a union of people who worked with colours and who had experience in management and in manufacturing. Mr. Colombo’s father, Giuseppe Colombo, and Lucia Aimo founded the company after receiving an order to a strip coated colour, and that is how it all started. The original idea was to produce paint for decoration and automotive sectors.
Today its automotive market is divided into 70% European and 30% American, while its decoration market is almost all in Europe. Today the company has a turnover of 20 million EUR, and until ten years ago, this was split 80% automotive (water or solvent-based paint) and 20% decorative.
Recently, however, the decorative industry has developed to 40% and the automotive industry is now at 60%. Color Project European has two sites in the Bergamo province of Italy. The first, Ponte San Pietro, is responsible for production and tinting, while the second at Chignolo d’Isola takes care of assembly and administration.
The printing work of the samples is outsourced to external companies. “Each chain in the production process is equally important,” says Mr. Colombo. “At the end of the chain, precision is fundamental when it comes to assembling the colours in line with the client’s specifications, yet this precision is key at the start too. It is hard to imagine, but new colours come onto the market every single day as new pigments are invented and new effects created. This changes not only the shade of a colour but its very structure, too. Our greatest challenge is to faithfully reproduce on paper the effect any colour gives when applied to a different kind of substrate. We have to replicate not only the exact shade but also the same structure and brilliance – as well as all the colour’s characteristics observed from different angles.”
This precision is exactly what the company prides itself on and is why it is number one in Europe and in the top three companies in its field worldwide. As for the future, Mr. Colombo says: “We see great potential to grow and increase Color Project European’s presence in the market over the next few years. As for 2017, new challenges and new paint lines being developed by multinational companies mean we have to keep on our toes. Only this way can we continue to provide perfect, lasting first impressions.”