A Day in the Life – Planet’s Associate Director, James Marchant

In this new series, we’ll be introducing you to members of Planet Partitioning & Planet Products staff across our 5 regional offices. By showing you their typical day, you’ll get an insight into how the internal wheels of Planet grind and how we work to produce the best service and products possible.

Meet James Marchant, Associate Technical Director, based at Head Office, who has been with the Company for 7 years.

“My role affords me contact with all parts of the Company, from the Accounts Department to Planet Products, here at head office, and our five regional divisions spread across the country.

My primary role is to ensure that the Technical Department runs smoothly, offering accurate technical advice across our range of partitions and producing job specific drawings for client approval.

My day generally starts with the Technical Team discussing the live workload and assigning jobs to the appropriate team member, as well as discussing larger upcoming projects. We also discuss any issues that have arisen the previous day and share suitable solutions across the team to ensure everyone is up to date on the latest components, systems and fixing methods. Sharing knowledge is a key aim within the Technical Team.

Product development is a key aspect of my role – creating conceptual designs for individual components or a whole suite of components for new systems. I start the design process using Autodesk AutoCad, which enables 2D sketches of components to be made, to get a feel for sizing and, where applicable, assimilation into our existing product families. Once the sketch is complete, the 2D drawing is used to build a 3D model to highlight possible integration issues with existing or compatible components. The model will then be rendered using Autodesk Showcase to produce a realistic representation for team members to review.

The next step in the process is to 3D print the relevant part to check for fit and compatibility; this also offers a chance for non-technical members of the Company to view something tangible and gain a greater understanding of the product.

During the two years we have been 3D printing in-house, we have found this capability invaluable for many reasons, including speeding up the whole process. It is a fast and cost- effective way of engineering out problems before committing to the expense of tooling and production run quantities.

Another crucial aspect of my role is to review and update our test data and certification to ensure we comply with the latest industry standards. I have just completed a major overhaul of our acoustic tests, with new laboratory testing having been carried out across our partition range, with the aim of producing a Global Acoustic Document, ensuring continuity between all our systems and providing a common appearance for certification.

My job is extremely varied with challenges arising daily, which keeps it fresh and exciting.”