“The work has become more refined,” says polishing specialist Finn Nordaard Klint. As one of our expert craftspeople, Finn’s expertise ensures the high level of finish that makes Bang & Olufsen products so tactile.
It takes experimentation and imagination to create the effortlessly smooth surfaces of Bang & Olufsen products. Thanks to many years of experience and hands-on knowledge, Finn has a comprehensive understanding of how materials should be treated to achieve the best results. When he is presented with a new product, he first polishes the prototype’s surface by hand. He then uses the insight this experience offers him to programme our sophisticated robots to replicate and refine the result. Our technological innovation allows us to shape the machines and processes that create the flawless surfaces we strive for, yet we always maintain our respect for the importance of the human touch.
To achieve the high level of finish and craft expected of every Bang & Olufsen product takes a huge amount of expertise, research and experimentation. Our processes have been informed by decades of expertise and have evolved extensively within that time. Finn explains that since we started polishing 30 years ago, the process has changed exponentially to embrace technological advancement. He says, “we had manual polishing in the beginning, it was people who did the polishing and the machines were simple. Over the years, the parts have changed. We had to introduce six axis robots to get the results we want.”
We spoke to Finn in Bang & Olufsen headquarters in Struer, Denmark, to understand more of the polishing process and how it contributes to flawless finished products. He told us that “it is mostly aluminium we polish. For that we use cotton cloths and add abrasives. It is all about the pressure you apply and the amount of abrasives and how fast you spin the discs. These factors determine the surface of the parts.” To understand exactly the discs should spin and the amount of abrasives to use, Finn relies on his wealth of experience and the power of hands-on experimentation. “When we get prototypes I start polishing them by hand. When you do it this way, you get ideas on how to programme the robot to do the same movements. A robot can keep doing seamless movements and a human can’t do that.” It is the human touch combined with advanced technology that gives Bang & Olufsen products their distinctive finish.
For craftsmen like Finn, the constant quest for precision drives innovation and excellence. Throughout the years, he has driven changes to welcome the introduction of cutting-edge technology but the level of craftmanship and investment embodied in Bang & Olufsen products remains the same. As Finn explains, “when you hold the finished product in your hand you feel a sense of pride.”