Pen manufacturing

Pen manufacturing

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Credit: PHILIPPE PSAILA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pen manufacturing. Worker's hand fixing a sticker to the nib of a fountain pen. The rubber 'thumb' gloves protect the worker's thumbs from damage due to this repetitive task. The sticker covers part of the nib during a 'chroming' process. Removing the sticker produces the finished pen that now has a two-coloured nib as part of the design of what is intended to be an expensive luxury item. These fountain pens are made by the French Montblanc company. The 'handmade' aspect of the manufacture increases the cost and would also be a marketing feature. Some tasks are also unsuitable for robots and more suited to the dexterity of human hands.

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