The production: from briefing to finishing
Every pair of glasses has a story of unique style made up of many chapters.
A story in which the so many different professionals are protagonists who meet one another with their expertise: the licensors, the Marcolin designers, the materials research section and the technical and prototype development department.
Above all this is a story that speaks of quality, excellence and passion. Because from the actual idea to the final realisation, all the elements are dealt with in detail to produce sough-after glasses that are admired all over the world.
In the early creative phases of the development of a new model, the common goal between Marcolin designer and licensor is to draw inspiration from various worlds to create a cutting-edge result able to intercept the most current trends and transfer them in an always innovative way. We look at fashion, architecture, design and we start producing ideas.
The design phase is extremely important to achieve a result that reflects the brand’s iconic style and elements. The entire process takes place with a tight collaboration between the licensor and Marcolin design team that drafts various possible models and then elaborates a final sketch in line with the brand’s style and visual language. And then we attain a result that expresses the production excellence perfectly and develops it with an innate fashion vocation.
After making the sketch, the prototyping phase begins. For each new product, the prototype development team produces a physical object and, by doing so, a first collection of frames is sketched out. The artisans work with an utmost precision and attention to detail right from this stage. Then, once the prototypes have been definitively approved by Marcolin and the licensor, the detailed technical drawings are arranged. These are the project masters, the guidelines for the fundamental quality control along the entire certified production process.
The materials used in the collections change and designers and licensors work together every year to introduce important innovations in this field, always striving towards the highest quality.
Acetate sheets are used with a size and a thickness that vary according to the specific needs of every eyewear model. The materials used for the frames range from monel to nickel, up to steel.
To obtain unusual effects, Marcolin uses selected and unusual materials like wood, synthetic diamond and leather with which the finishing elements are created. The lenses can be in CR39, nylon or crystal. They are cut and mounted in a dedicated department where a wide range of colours, thicknesses and finishing options are available.
In the eyewear sector, Marcolin boasts three different production processes: metal frames, acetate frames and finishing elements. Each sector is equipped with high-precision automatic machines, 5-axis machining centres for the milling of the lens fronts and components and semi-automatic machines. The skill of specialised artisans enhances this important technological equipment, and, thanks to their knowledge, they ensure that every single detail becomes a distinctive element of the produced glasses.
The manufacture of a pair of glasses consists in sixty different phases and the work of skilled hands to ensure that the materials and execution pass the quality controls for each production step.
The life of the metal frames starts with the raw material: a simple metal wire that takes shape inside the specific reeling machine. Then, during different phases, the front is weld manually to other metal components like the rims that hold the lenses, the arms and supports on which the nose pads are placed. The frame of each pair of glasses is assembled piece by piece. After this, these first components are ready for the tumbling phase. The metal surfaces are polished and then arranged to be coloured using a galvanic and protective treatment, or with paints to obtain the required colours and effects.
At first the acetate frames are shaped as acetate sheets of different thicknesses, colours and compositions. Before being adjusted to the necessary thicknesses using special machines, these sheets are cut into strips with which the rods are made, and into smaller strips to make the fronts. The next phase involves sending the acetate strip to the CNC department, where the fronts are milled into various shapes and sizes using precision machinery.
The following phase is mainly manual. Technicians with experience in the various phases customise the product through manual and mechanical processes by subjecting the materials to sequential temperature variations. The semi-finished products are now ready for the tumbling process. This process is basic to obtain a high-quality finished product. The processing of the acetate fronts for eyeglasses and for the sunglasses consists in four separate phases using special machines in which a mixture of small pieces of birch and beech wood, sanding oils and abrasive powder is used to obtain well-polished shapes and shiny surfaces.
The strips for the temples are shaped into the desired forms and arranged to be sent to the next phase that involves inserting the metal core inside the acetate templates. A specialised machine heats the metal, bringing it to very high temperatures that guarantee the perfect insertion into the acetate. Once the metal core has been inserted, the customisation of the temples takes place according to the design projects. This customisation is made by milling using CNC machines after which the details are applied like logos or characteristic elements. This last phase takes place entirely within Marcolin production plant. The temples, after being cleaned and polished during the tumbling process, are ready to be assembled with the front panel. During the final phase, the temples and front are milled with a semi-automatic machine and are prepared to be assembled together.
Specially trained technicians smooth both elements with abrasive cloths, to achieve the perfect integration between metal and acetate. At this point the frames are ready to go to the cleaning and polishing phase during which they are manually treated with special pastes and go through a fabric disc for a mirror polish.
The final production phase is always the finishing one with highly experienced artisans in the insertion of details work side by side with hi tech lens cutting machines. The specialists are trained in a whole series of areas that allows them to work a wide range of products with different specifications, always guaranteeing an exceptional level of quality control for the finished product. The finishing work ranges from the addition of details, synthetic diamonds and wood, to the customisation of the temple tips that are assembled with special glues or mechanical processes. The terminals, in fact, can be made with various materials and take on different shapes and sizes. The laser engraving operation is also performed at this stage at the request of the licensor, by means of lasers managed by operators who then colour the incision manually creating all those unusual effects required by the product.
At the end of the entire process the registration phase takes place. All components of the eyewear frames and sunglasses, from the surfaces to the lenses, are checked piece by piece. During this phase the eyewear fit is also guaranteed. Lastly, every single piece is arranged to be sold and placed in the specific packaging belonging to each brand.