Initially, it looks like almost a hoax. A high-power kni e! And why not a tire that change ne er or clothes wash alone. Howe er, the E ercut kni e, de eloped by the company Tarrerias - Bonjean (TB), are indeed and won in the category "kitchen inno ation o the year" award on the occasion o the rank urt last ebruary. Eric Tarrerias, CEO, yet plays the caution: "the term lasts is not appropriate." Can be said that the wear is considerably slower and that a ter 6500 cycles continues to cut.
Tests carried out by the English society, Catra (Cutlery and Allied Trades Research Association), to cut highly abrasi e paper piles, are without appeal. The hard E ercut blade 300 times more so long as the best steel blades that blunt a ter some dozens o cycles and e en those ceramics, appeared there is 30 years.
The original Tarrerias-Bonjean, manu acturer o kni es or generations, is a rench o the sector, with a turno er o approximately EUR 20 million. It works primarily in white mark or the large distribution. With a strong integration o production (O ice, plastic injection, polishing, microdenture, grinding, operation o robotic inish, cutting laser in continuous, thermal processing and cryopreser ation...) and extensi e automation, the company manu actures 150,000 kni es per day and holds head to Chinese competition. But until when Six years ago, in the illage o those-sur-Durolle, near Thiers, the company embarks on a lot o re lection. With a question apparently simple: "that is expected o a kni e." Response apparently also ob ious: "it cuts well and long.".
To inno ate and de elop a kni e more resistant, SME remo es ceramics, "due to the ragility problems", explains Eric Tarrerias. SMEs in ests more than 5 o its turno er in research - but still ery quiet on its partnerships with con identiality clauses, with laboratories and technology centers. R & D work lasted se eral years and leads to two new industrial process patents.
It is deposited on a traditional blade a thick pad o carbide in titanium, e en harder than the carbide o tungsten used or tooling, but appro ed or ood contact. The operation is done by spraying under a laser beam. "With the heat, up to 4,000 degrees at impact, it occurs a usion reaction between titanium carbide and steel o the blade to gi e birth to a cordon o se eral millimeters matter", summarizes Eric Tarrerias.
The whole process o manu acture with a series o robots is ully automated, since the machining o the blade in se eral stages up to inal assembly.
Sa e technology, the company guarantees to li e this new kni e, sold 150 euros: the user will be able to re er back to the, and the manu acturer undertakes to re actor the blade to its initial sharpness. "The kni e there ore be as new." "All because o titanium carbide cord is so thick that we ha e a irtually inexhaustible reser e", is Eric Tarrerias.
The Cutler already sharpens its strategy or the uture. The E ercut model will soon be o ered in a wide range. Then, industrialist, whose ownership is only amily, already looking the market tools and industrial machines. "Cutting tools market is enormous compared with that o the kni e, which remains a niche, belie e Eric Tarrerias.". In the uture, our kni e acti ity will be may be negligible.