Frédéric Levieux-Pourrot manager of ZARGES France (ZARGAL) shared one of the more unusual uses we’ve come across for ZARGES cases and carts- for the production process of luxury watchmaker Rolex.
1. Custom cases for gold, platinum and silver pellet transportation
There are 3 different dimensions of custom aluminum cases ZARGES made for them. They are used to transport precious metal (gold, silver and platinum) between Rolex Geneva and the foundries as pellets or nuggets. These pellets are melted in small furnaces at Rolex to build profiles of 2 meters long and which are used to fabricate watch bracelets.
The initial project was to replace plastic boxes and have a more secure and reliable transport case with smooth surfaces inside. Each can carry, depending on the size , between 10 to 20 kgs worth of precious material. They also use these cases to recover metal falls and dusts at fabrication which are then sent back to the foundry. The technical difficulty was to obtain rather accurate sizes (+/- 1 mm) and to weld all the case fittings (handles, catches, label holders…). The case itself was robot welded, but the fittings were hand welded.
ZARGES has supplied more than 1.000 pieces already and Rolex is very happy with this solution. Recently, Rolex asked for another 150 pieces!
2. Custom W105 trolley for transportation of plastic trays
Rolex and ZARGES are currently finalizing a project for twenty five W105 carts that will replace ten old painted steel trolleys. These trolleys will be used to transport plastic tray stacks by truck (each containing the main parts of a watch) between Rolex Geneva and Rolex Bienne in Switzerland where the watches are assembled.
The idea was to have a lighter container (30% less weight and better ergonomics for the users). What ZARGES designed is a W105 in a custom size with four doors in order to access to 2 x 21 tray compartments. Dividers are removable and adjustable in two positions. The lower bottom compartment is used to transport cartons. Users don’t have to bend their back to store the tray stacks in the compartments.
As you can see, Rolex has two things in mind concerning handling and transport: ergonomics and weight savings. [For your info, Rolex makes more than 700,000 watches a year! The cheapest is around US$3,400.]