Manufacturing of BEHN™ Mouthpieces and Accessories
BEHN™ manufactures SONO™, EPIC™, AND EVO lines from concept to completion, including the material. To work with the CNC machine, we first develop a detailed computer picture—a so-called 3D "solid model"—of each design we would like to produce. (NOTE: it really isn't "solid" at all, but it is certainly necessary to get there!)
The application we use is industry-leading Solidworks. Although very costly, it is extremely helpful as it provides infinite flexibility and even has the very powerful capablility of examining flow. We can actually see how your air flows through our designs, make adjustments, witness "resistance," and modify as needed! It is a vital part of our production system.
From our solid model, our CNC technician engineer writes the control codes to guide the machines. Simultaneously, the special tools and fixtures needed for our manufacturing process are prepared.
The actual running of the blanks is amazing to watch. The billets are untouched by human hands. The milling bits, reamers and other tools used in the course of manufacture are changed and positioned automatically. The mouthpiece blank is continually flooded with liquid coolant, splashing in all directions, which is why each machine is fully enclosed and observed only through a window. The process looks messy, but it is very precise.
We now have numerous different clarinet mouthpiece designs and accessories in our inventory, each one most readily adaptable to a different tonal character. As produced by CNC machines, BEHN™ super-blanks are playable, but they still benefit from the final handcrafting and facing that adapts their tone to each customer’s preference. They have proven themselves unusually willing recipients of this modification, which allows us the flexibility to achieve your concept without risking your playing comfort.
Other methods of production would be lower in cost, but we prefer CNC manufacturing. Its greater cost is more than offset by its flexibility, greater precision and higher quality.
Since 2005, our manufacturing process has greatly advanced and has become more consistent, sophisticated, and efficient. As we evolve with advances in technology, our process is always changing. Below are some fun video examples of our manufacturing processes over time.
CNC Machining one of our prototypes
Laser Engraving a Mouthpiece
NOTE: We no longer laser-engrave our mouthpieces—instead they are engraved by the CNC—but this is a short and sweet video of the process!