"The way you see things can be different from one person to another." We spoke to Britta Dickmeiss about her work in Struer, Denmark at the Bang & Olufsen headquarters perfecting unique product finishes, the physics of color and how beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Bang & Olufsen - Manufacture
BRITTA DICKMEISS, TECHNICAL SPECIALIST, GLUE & ANODIZING
Stories about manufacturing
Simplicity before complexity
A big part of Britta's job is communication: she talks to colleagues in the Bang & Olufsen design teams to help them translate their concepts into cold, hard reality. Along with this skill, Britta also excels at communicating complex ideas to non-engineering teammates (such as the Bang & Olufsen content team): “To have a color, you need a light source, an object, and someone who to see her. All three of these things affect how you see color.” But this is a deceptively simple description of the thought and effort Britta puts into creating the finish of Bang & Olufsen products.
“In anodizing, we put this protective layer on top of the aluminum to protect the surface from scratches or corrosion,” explains Britta. "It's a very thin layer, only 1/10th the thickness of a strand of hair. Inside the layer you can also add color. So that means it's trapped inside the surface and not just sitting on top of the surface. "
A unique facility
Britta takes us to the purpose-built aluminum anodizing area of the Bang & Olufsen factory in Struer – a unique facility unlike any other in the world, where the multitude of unique and beautiful product finishes are created. "A little more red, or a little more green, to get the right shade," she explains as she goes through the pigments, after a complex series of processes, will result in the luxurious spectrum of finishes that are unique to B&O products - in indeed, there are no other companies that insist on complete control of the finishes of their products.
It is within this insistence on the highest level of craftsmanship that we can achieve our creative vision. Indeed, as Britta says, "The variation is endless."