One of the most important elements in our production process is the design stage. Our designing, from every trail to every success, is completed in house. In this role, is Joan Carles Branes, CAD/CAM engineer and product designer. We wanted to ask Joan some questions about this process for our blog!
Hi Joan. It’s great to have you on board at Tranquil PC. How long have you worked for Tranquil PC?
I am coming up to one year!
What did you do before you worked for us?
I was the CNC programmer and operator in a plastics engineering company in the Manchester area. Before that I studied both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Industrial Engineering in Barcelona for 7 years.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do at Tranquil PC? What are your day to day responsibilities?
My role is CAD/CAM engineer which means I help with designs and programming. It’s not a straightforward role as it involves many areas, working with many people. There is a lot of multitasking. It’s crucial that the person who is designing knows our machining standards and furthermore, how the product will be assembled.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to your work? Do you find the design or CNC side the most interesting?
Although I learned a lot in my previous experience as a CNC operator, with Tranquil PC it was more challenging to approach because we machine a single aluminium block.
When I first joined the company, I had to focused entirely on the CNC side. I implemented a new programming standard that reduced the machining times up to 30%. Also, we have recently introduced new tools, that have improved our products quality significantly. I feel proud of this and so does the rest of the team.
As I have been evolving in this role, I’ve been able to focus more on the design side, which I find more interesting because it not only involves technical knowledge but, also, lots of creativity.
You worked on a recent project, the Pulsar 1. Would you say that has been your most challenging project so far?
Our MD, Phillip Thompson initiated the design for this unique product which consists of two shells, assembled. The way it works is different because it uses both aluminium shells to dissipate the heat from the AMD Ryzen 3200 CPU and motherboard. It is like a fried egg sandwich. In fact, before we had an official name, internally we called it ‘the sandwich’.
It is our most ambitious project for various reasons, including; the heat transmission complexities, the internal spacing, the way the motherboard is held, the LED lights, the build-in feet, the external chamfer, and front switch alignment, etc. We really pushed our imagination and capacity to its limit to create such a unique product. Although the project was complex, the solution is simple and easy to manufacture. You know you did a great job as a team when the project is successful!
Do you anticipate that there will be improvements on some of the other products in the future?
Yes! I help with most of the design work here which gives me the chance to be consistent throughout our designs. Classic products are being updated to the new standards. After helping to design the Pusar 1 successfully, I feel more confident and I know this company’s capabilities. What we thought was impossible, we achieved. We will push our designs to our imagination limits and surprise you.
In relation to this, is there any upcoming products that you could tell us about that you’ve been working on?
I don’t think I can share some projects details now as they are top secret. But I can disclose that we’re extending our existing catalogue. We’re hoping to release cheaper entry level versions of our most popular products like the Rugged Mini ITX iCore 7th Gen. Also, we could also potentially be working towards higher IP rating products as our customers are looking for this. For now, that’s the most I can say!
Do you think there is going to be bigger expansions on the production side?
Right now, we're recruiting a CNC supervisor. This will give me freedom to move into a purer design and product development role which is really what I hope to focus on. It will change my career and I’m very grateful Tranquil PC have given me the opportunity to do this.
This CNC supervisor and I will be implementing lean manufacturing principles. The idea is to work smarter, not harder. We expect to reduce failures and setting times whilst improving the quality and tool usage. It is all about a continuous improvement where the team can share ideas.
It sounds like you have a lot of experience to help whoever it is that comes into the business. So, one final question, which is your favourite product?
For me it’s the Ultra Slim NUC. Why? Because it’s the tiniest CPU you can buy with this fanless solution. I think it’s a masterpiece!
I thought the same – it’s such an innovative product. Thank you Joan!
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