Content - Young dial-makers enthusiastic about tour of Berlac AG factory

Young dial-makers enthusiastic about tour of Berlac AG factory

16.02.2012|

On 15 February 2012, ten trainees taking the apprenticeship course for dial-makers sponsored by the Employer’s Association of the Swiss Watchmaking Industry (CP) took up an invitation from Berlac AG to have a glimpse behind the scenes at its production facility. This visit gave the young professionals an opportunity to complement theory garnered during two years of dual-track training (vocational school plus in-company instruction) with an intriguing introduction to the practical side of their chosen line of work.

Ralph Ohneiser, key account manager for watches at Berlac AG and CP lecturer for the training module Paints, lacquers, print varnishes and their application, treated the group to a comprehensive and varied programme. The future dial-makers and as such users of Berlac’s top-flight products for the watchmaking industry were given an insight into all the complex processes involved in the manufacture of print varnishes before they are ready to be used from the tube and applied by means of manually-operated or automatic pad and screen printing machinery or on automatic equipment for reproducing various patterns and motifs on watch faces.

Interesting and informative visit

The composition of a print lacquer and how pigments are dispersed and homogenised in a carrier medium played just as important a role in the programme as the variety of test procedures performed to ensure the quality of the varnish in respect of viscosity, colour strength, fineness, flow and drying properties.

The main focus of the programme was a visit to the mixing shop, where the trainees had the chance to watch our specialists mixing up special shades to meet customers’ individual colour specifications. This vividly demonstrated how an unsuccessful shade can be corrected, why a colour must be checked by two people under standardised lighting conditions, what criteria must be satisfied for a shade to receive approval and how the final print varnish finds its way into the polyfoil tubes specially designed to contain it.

Enthusiastic response

At the end of the programme, all the visitors were enthusiastic about how much they had enjoyed the day and how much they had profited in terms of direct relevance to their daily work. They were particularly impressed by the surprisingly large number of individual and time-consuming manufacturing stages - from initial procurement of raw materials through to dispatch of the finished product - that are required to produce the varnish. Many participants were also surprised to learn of the broad spectrum of applications for which the premium special and effect coatings produced by Berlac AG can be used. A special compliment went to the production staff, who despite having to operate under constant time pressure enjoyed a friendly and relaxed working relationship. The sole downside as far as the trainees were concerned was the time factor, which unfortunately prevented the visitors from actually having a go themselves at the various manufacturing processes they were shown.

The demands of tradition

The history of Berlac AG is hallmarked by decades of experience in the development and manufacture of special coatings for the Swiss luxury watch industry – a tradition that started in 1945 and has taken the company to the position it now enjoys as a market leader in this field.

This tradition has meant that Berlac AG has been committed to supporting the CP dial-maker training course ever since the apprenticeship was first introduced. For the second time in succession, Ralph Ohneiser, as key account manager for watches at Berlac AG, is responsible for the curriculum and teaching methodology of the Paints, lacquers, print varnishes and their application training module and is also a member of the examination commission for the Apprentissage des cadranographes training course.

Further information on the apprenticeship for dial-makers and other professions within the watchmaking industry can be accessed at www.cpih.ch

Contact:
Berlac AG
Barbara Weber
Marketing. Communications
Phone +41 61 976 90 10
Fax +41 61 976 96 20
www.berlac.ch

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