Back in early April, pro audio ODM Tymphany revealed that it would be opening a new R&D facility, located in Bridgend, Wales, in a strategic move to ramp up its activities in Europe.
The UK Design Center will be led by Tymphany veteran George Bullimore and will have two primary focuses: ‘high-performance transducer R&D and early-engagement system design and prototyping for professional and premium audio customers worldwide’.
The facility features in-house voice coil winding, comprehensive measurement and simulation facilities, and an end-to-end prototyping lab with 3D printing capabilities. This, along with its full test and validation lab, will enable the center to act as Tymphany’s global IP & innovation center for transducers and related technologies.
PSNEurope editor Daniel Gumble spoke to Bullimore to find out more about what the new centre has to offer...
Tell us about the new Wales facility?
The state-of-the-art facility is intended to enhance our research and development capabilities. It offers in-house voice coil winding, comprehensive measurement and simulation facilities, along with an end-to-end prototyping facility with 3D printing capabilities. Initially, we will focus on high-performance transducer R&D, but will also offer early engagement system design and prototyping for Tymphany’s growing customer base.
Why was now the right time to open a new UK site?
As Tymphany grows, it makes sense to diverge locations, and with engineering sites in the US and Asia, we can offer our customers 24-hour engineering coverage. It also provides further access to the worldwide talent pool, while being local to our global customer base.
Wales has a rich history in loudspeakers, with Harman, Panasonic Automotive, and REL (among others) being based in Wales at some point or another. There’s also a strong engineering support presence in Wales, with many local facilities close by. Lastly, it offers good transport links with Cardiff International Airport 30 minutes away, and London two and a half hours away.
How much of a focus is there on the European market at the moment?
We have a strong focus on the European market. Our engineering focus will be on innovation in pro and high-end transducers and related technologies. With our recently acquired manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic, we have a unique opportunity to offer local support with access to Tymphany’s global scale.
Do you foresee any issues with an impending Brexit?
We don’t see any significant issues. Since Brexit, there is a strengthened desire from the UK Government to support and enhance the UK’s R&D ventures.
What are the biggest opportunities for you in the European market?
We are seeing strong demand in Europe for highly innovative, high-performance professional market transducers and acoustic systems, alongside the more traditional premium Hi-Fi.
Will you be looking to open more facilities in Europe?
My personal focus is on developing the UK facility to reach its full potential, but who knows what the future may hold?
What are the biggest challenges you face in your European expansion?
As always it takes time to set up a new facility and team, and we want to be running at full capacity as soon as possible. We are finding equipment lead times are typically much longer than those in Asia.