in Vol. 19 - September Issue - Year 2018
Precision Finish For Fountain Pen Nibs
Customised surface finishing for high-shine nibs
CF series of disc finishing machines
Gold nibs in the Lamy production
Perfect surface of nibs thanks to the OTEC process
Customised Process Flow For Elegant Design And Optimum Functionality
Lamy stands for much more than writing instruments of the highest quality, it also defines a globally recognised brand concept. The Lamy plant in Heidelberg has been manufacturing high-quality and unique writing instruments since 1966. Alongside elegant design and outstanding quality, one of the main elements of the company's strategy is production in Germany. OTEC was able to develop an individual process to grind and polish the surface areas of Lamy's nibs to achieve a perfect finish.
In 2017 alone, over 9 million steel and gold nibs were produced at the plant in Heidelberg. From the design to the finished nibs, everything has to be just right to ensure a perfect writing instrument. The surface processing of the nibs is therefore an integral part of the manufacturing process, and guarantees both a high-quality look and better function. The nibs are covered in burrs and scoring from the preceding processes. The burrs can be removed and the nibs polished in a multi-stage procedure.
Lamy uses the OTEC CF disc-finishing machine series for surface processing. In this highly effective mass-finishing process, the parts are placed in an open container filled with a rotating grinding or polishing granulate. The rotary disc on the base of the container induces the rotation of the medium. The gap size between the base of the container and the container wall can be reduced to zero. This unique sliding gap system means that even small and delicate workpieces, such as those found in the Lamy fountain pens, are reliably smoothed, deburred and polished. The system prevents the workpieces from becoming bent or jammed.
In the first step of the multi-stage process, the nibs are roughly ground with ceramic grinding bodies in a wet process. Here, a water and compound mixture is continually supplied and extracted to flush out worn particles. This leads to nibs with a clean and corrosion-free surface. A plastic grinding granulate is used to hone and remove any remaining ghost lines. In the last step, the nibs are polished to a gloss in a dry process using walnut granules. It is only through this that they meet the high quality requirements of the Lamy brand and become an unmistakable and stylish product.
Alongside the nibs, the disc-finishing machine from OTEC also works on cartridge tips and clips for writing instruments. The advantages lie mainly in the speed, reliability and process safety of the procedure. Only the highest component and material quality can guarantee a long service life and smooth machine operation. Lamy values these qualities too. The company is impressed with the quality of the disc-finishing machines. With the help of OTEC's mass-finishing technology, it has been able to optimise surface processing in nib production. In close collaboration with OTEC, Lamy developed a customised process flow individually tailored to its requirements. As a reliable partner, OTEC is also available for questions and other matters concerning the product long after it has been purchased. In its cooperation with OTEC, Lamy particularly values their partner's reliability and fast communication.
OTEC is a medium-sized manufacturer of drag-, disc- and stream-finishing machines. Founded in 1996 by Helmut Gegenheimer, the company has become a market leader through new machining concepts and a range of patented processes.