ENGINEERING

Why is engineering so important to the development of Pianos? Because the marvel of the piano is that it is the combination of generations of engineer musicians. The piano is perhaps the perfect combination of the arts and sciences.

The Phoenix piano assembly work is done  at Hurstwood Farm Piano Studios near Sevenoaks in the UK. Hurstwood Farm is a working farm in which certain buildings have been made available for piano research,  development, manufacturing, and recitals.

Hurstwood Farm Piano Studios has been a leading piano research and development establishment for many years. HFP owns Phoenix Piano Systems and also an appointed dealer for Steingraeber Klavierfabrik in England.

The Chairman  of Hurstwood Farm Piano Studios and Phoenix Piano Systems, Richard Dain,  as well as being an enthusiastic pianist, has research experience and background in many branches of engineering, several of which impact directly on piano research in Upright and Grand Pianos.  In lectures he gave at Cambridge University and Imperial College he has demonstrated that research and development is a discipline that is applicable to almost any engineering challenge. His work has been in development of:-

  • Gas turbine, Rotary and Diesel engines
  • Rail traction (tilting trains and HS225)
  • Mining and Metallurgy by Solvent Extraction for recovery of copper and uranium from lean sources
  • Chemical and Oil refinery plant
  • Fertiliser plant for phosphate, ammonia and Lime fertilisers:
  • Agricultural machinery – such as very deep ploughing and powered surface cultivators
  • Grape harvesters and nut processing machines
  • Iron and steel making including  Continuous casting and tool steel powder metallurgy
  • Food processing machines for fish and bread industries
  • Road Transport Refrigeration units
  • Ammonia and methane production plant and their associated massive industrial compressors
  • High temperature steam reforming furnaces for producing industrial quantities of hydrogen

Whilst some of these sectors might appear distant to the development of the perfect piano, it is fair to say that the piano is the most wonderful engineering amalgam– one on which we have focussed the accumulated knowledge of several lifetimes of  research and development experience.

 

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