Lamy: A Pen is Born

 

the Lamy factory in Heidelberg, GermanyLamy's headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany. Photo credit @ Wikipedia.

German manufacturing is synonymous with reliability and exacting standards of quality control – and Lamy is no exception. Since founding in 1930, they’ve become one of the world’s leading pen brands. Customers value their pens for comfort, affordability and functionality, whilst awards organisations have handed down countless accolades for their bold, Bauhaus-inspired designs.

We’ve compiled this article to show the stages of creating a Lamy pen, the advanced technology and specialist machinery required, and the remarkable levels of skill and craftsmanship involved...

 

Design

 

1. Each pen starts life as series of technical drawings.

technical drawings for pens planned for production

2. The drawings are then digitalised…

digital blueprints for a Lamy pen

3. …and turned into 3D models.

a computer-generated model of a Lamy Safari fountain pen

4. Next, a prototype is made.

a prototype pen being handmade by a skilled engineer

5. Prototypes are produced almost entirely by hand by expert engineers.

An engineer sprays a prototype pen by hand

 

Production

 

6. Before production begins, tools are required. All the machines used for injection moulding plastics are designed and made in-house.

injection moulding machines being custom-build in-house

7. Machines like these allow the production line to run with a high degree of automation. This maximises output, allowing the one Lamy factory to produce enough pens to meet global demand.

pen production is automated where possible

8. The more fiddly stages, such as filing down the nibs, are done by hand.

Lamy nib being filed and shaped by hand

9. They are then closely examined before being fitted to the pens. Unlike most pen brands, Lamy offers one easy-change nib to fit the Safari, Al-Star, ABC, Studio and five more of their most popular models.

fountain pen nib being inspected for defects

10. All Lamy’s refills are also made in-house. This includes the special cartridges required by Lamy fountain pens.

Lamy fountain pen cartridges being made

11. A sample of each batch of refills is tested by machine before being distributed for sale. These exacting standards of quality control have given Lamy’s products a reputation as some of the most reliable on the market.

ballpoint pen refills being tested by machine

 12. Assembly is automated where possible. This image shows a robot screwing together the two main parts of a Lamy Safari fountain pen.

the two parts of the Lamy Safari fountain pen being screwed together by machine

13. Fine details on more complicated models, however, require a human touch.

the finer stages of pen assembly are carried out by hand

 

Quality Control

 

14. Once assembly is complete, the quality control stage begins. Pens are closely analysed to check for defects.

finished pens are closely inspected for defects

15. They’re then tested both by machines…

machine testing finished fountain pens before they're packaged for sale

16. ...and by hand to ensure that each finished pen operates according to Lamy’s own superior standards.

Lamy Studio fountain being being tested by hand

17. The pens are then packaged and shipped off to distributors and retailers worldwide.

pen being capped before being packaged for sale

 

And Finally...

 

18. Heidelberg in south-west Germany, the idyllic riverside town where Lamy’s headquarters and factory have been located for over 80 years.

Heidelberg, home of the Lamy factory since 1930

 

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