MicroBlend: A Green Revolution in Paint Distribution
MicroBlend Technologies' low-VOC latex paints are made onsite, reducing the environmental impacts caused by the paint supply chain.
by Brent Ehrlich
If you think about it, the way paint is distributed and sold doesn’t make any sense. There are only so many ingredients that go into any given can of paint, but rather than stocking those ingredients in bulk and mixing them to order, paint sellers ship and stock dozens of different base types, gloss levels, and sizes—in cans that don’t use space efficiently. Imagine that your local coffee shop had your cup of grande iced mocha latte on a shelf along with dozens of variations, instead of mixing it to order. With its freshCHOICE latex paint, MicroBlend is reimagining paint distribution as something more like a coffee shop, with low-VOC interior or exterior latex paints to order; and while it has work to do, it is realizing environmental gains in the process.
The heart of the MicroBlend technology is the Automated Paint Machine (APM), a system that includes a computer interface, a paint dispenser, five permanent storage tanks that hold the raw materials, and five shippable totes that are used to refill the tanks. When a specific paint is ordered, a plastic bucket is placed under the dispenser, and the computer calculates the desired quality and performance blend, color, and sheen. The machine calculates the exact amount of paint necessary to fill any of the company’s buckets, from a quart up to five gallons. FreshCHOICE paints are available in different sheen levels from matte to gloss in more than 3,000 of MicroBlend’s colors and can match colors from any paint manufacturer in North or South America. A photospectrometer is integrated into the APM to match a color based on a dried paint chip or fabric swatch.
Published October 2, 2012
Ehrlich, B. (2012, October 2). MicroBlend: A Green Revolution in Paint Distribution. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/product-review/microblend-green-revolution-paint-distribution