Getting More Efficient with Polymer Colorants

Understanding and addressing the challenges of choosing and using smaller quantities of colorants


If you are manufacturing plastics, you know there can be potential challenges in getting the colorants you need. These challenges may include long turnaround times, complicated inventory management, or noncompetitive pricing. This can be especially true if you want smaller quantities, or need a wide range of colors. Have you ever over-ordered to get a volume discount, only to end up with excess inventory that is just collecting dust? You’re not alone.  

There are some things you can do to help minimize these challenges. An enhanced focus on inventory management with daily counts and an organized environment is key, and using effective software to track your inventory is highly recommended. Accurate sales forecasting can also ease some of the timing issues, better preparing you for possible delays or lengthy order times.  

For those of you using solid colorants, consider if a liquid solution would be appropriate. Avient has introduced a special liquid color production system that could be a good fit if you are ordering small lots of colorant. Our ColorMatrix™ SOS Small Order Service delivers flat pricing for lower volumes and couples that with fast turnaround in color design and production. The service is available in North America for injection molding applications using polyolefin resins.  

The basis of the ColorMatrix SOS is an exclusive dispensing system that specifically addresses the need for smaller volume requirements of liquid color. The program features lower minimum order quantities and flat pricing, allowing inventory levels to be reduced and lowering the probability of expired colorant remaining in stock. Available with quick turnaround for small volume delivery, overall results are faster speed to market, higher profitability, and less overall frustration.  

If you are skeptical of switching to a liquid solution, we encourage you to investigate it further. There are a number of benefits to using liquid that may surprise you. Liquid color can provide up to a 50% reduction in changeover time compared to solid. It also allows for batch-to-batch consistency to address color variations. Additionally, quality metering systems allow high levels of dosing accuracy for minimal waste and maximum recovery. If you decide to make the switch to liquid, Avient provides on-site support with a dedicated technical service team that can help with the transition.  

While liquid color can be a good alternative, the ColorMatrix SOS Small Order Service is not for everyone. There are certain manufacturing limitations that prevent the use of some special effects, select resin types, or specific high color tolerances. In addition, while most FDA requirements can be met, there may be exceptions that come into play. An Avient representative can help determine if the ColorMatrix SOS would be a good fit for you. Connect with one of our experts to learn more.