The discs also serve as hooks for hanging the chairs upside down on a conveyor belt that leads them to a glassed-in room. There, a robotic arm paints the curved surfaces with polyurethane paint. Two layers are applied if the customer wants to be able to see the wood grain through the paint, four to five layers for an opaque finish.
After each layer is applied, the chairs spend 2.5 hours in a hardening oven then rest for another 16 hours. When the final coat of paint has dried, workers manually attach the legs to the underside discs. Though Fritz Hansen used to make the chrome legs, it now purchases them from a manufacturer in Sweden. “It’s cheaper and of better quality to buy them from specialists,” Touborg says. Eleven days after the process began, the finished chairs—–in orders ranging from just one to dozens—–are boxed. The labels are addressed to cities around the world from the “Republic of Fritz Hansen.”