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Flatware: Production

A spoon or fork must pass through 30 manufacturing steps before it is finished

A number of processing operations have to be undergone to produce a gleaming, well crafted item of flatware from raw stainless steel. Around thirty different process steps are required, to complete a good-quality spoon or knife. ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS places considerable emphasis on high-quality raw material and takes special care at every stage in the production of its flatware.
ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS quality means high-grade raw material and extreme care during manufacture.

1. Forks and spoons

Our flatware is usually made of high-grade 18/10 chrome-nickel steel. The principal production stages, now increasingly automated, are: - Blanks are stamped out of metal sheets. - The functional element, i.e. the wide forward section, is flatte ned by rolling. - This end is then stamped to produce the eventual functional shape, the prongs for a fork and the bowl for a spoon. - A subsequent pressing process shapes the prongs and bowls. - The handle is then shaped. - The smooth, sealed surface finish is produced by a number of finishing processes such as grinding and polishing. - In the case of silver-plated flatware only, further processing in the form of silver plating takes place.

Flatware Production, page 111

Flatware: Production

2. Knives
In the case of knives, a distinction is made between hollowhandled and monobloc knives.

Hollow-handled knives
Hollow-handled knives consist of a forged blade and a two-piece handle. ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS hollow-handled knife blades are made exclusively of dishwasher-proof, heat treatable steel to DIN 4122. They are much more costly to manufacture than monobloc knives. Some of the principal production stages are: - Production of blanks: the blade and handle are manufactured separately. An eccentric press stamps the corresponding parts out of rolled steel. - Hardening: the required properties of the steel, including cor rosion-resistance, are optimized by heating, quenching and annealing. - Surface treatment: this includes the processes of grinding, finish grinding, dry-fine grinding and polishing. - Assembly: the blade and handle are joined and fastened with a special cement. - Honing: the knife is honed, thus receiving its cutting edge, before final inspection. The assembly process and the precision grinding of the joint between the bolster and handle are complicated, high-cost production processes.

Hollow-handled knives: high-quality knives with separately manufactured blades and handles, subsequently cemented.

Monobloc knives
The so-called monobloc knives are made by using the second manufacturing variety. They are made from a single piece of metal. Heat-treatable steel is always used for these knives. Here again the surface treatment and hardening are of considerable importance in order to achieve resistance to corrosion and satisfactory cutting properties.

Monobloc knives: basic knives made from a single piece of metal.

Flatware Production, page 112