Follow the link below to a case study for the Breville Citrus Press and then read the interview transcript from its designer, Keith Hensel
Transcript of an interview with Keith Hensel.
Keith Hensel, Principal designer, Breville Design – Housewares International, talks about the citrus press project
I suppose the start was we wanted to design the best juicer in the world. From then it kind of branched into a multitasking kind of project I suppose. We identified at least a dozen areas where they were like little mini projects that we had to design. For instance the reamer, the arm movement, even the way this would clip in and out, drip stop spout, cord wrap, stability, the motor and the gear box were all individual projects.
One of the biggest challenges in the project was probably getting it to juice all fruit types. We could quite easily juice an orange with a customised shaped reamer but what became difficult is when we got a grapefruit or a lime and we tried to put it onto this and we found it just didn’t work. In particular what was really hard was trying to hold the fruit from rotating in the fruit dome here. Because it needs to be held in here so it doesn’t spin otherwise you just end up grinding all the rind off the fruit and end up with a very bitter drink.
So a substantial amount of work went into prototyping – probably about 30 or 40 of these prototypes, looking at what the shape of the reamer should be to do all fruit types. And you can see we have ended up with something that is quite conical up in here and it’s got a dome shape at the bottom and it has a transition point – we have put patents on all of this. What it does is enable the fruit dome in here to hold a very small shape in the top cone but a large grapefruit can deform its way over this whole thing. So basically this system can take the juice out of anything from a very small size to a very large size.
So when someone loads the fruit – which is another little innovation we’ve got in here – nothing happens when they first push it on. This arm moves in an arc until the central line of the fruit dome is directly over the centre line of the cone – it’s moved in an arc. And then using a system of four pivot points that we have patented here, the arm changes direction and the fruit dome now travels straight down the centre line of the reamer, and that’s when the unit starts up. So this means that it’s well clear for loading the fruit, there’s very little travel time for the consumer – they don’t have to take it too far, and then it pushes the fruit perfectly parallel on the bottom of its travel.
I wanted people to feel that it was a high quality product. So initially I suppose I wanted them when they walked up to it to feel like it was well made and it functioned well. I wanted them to be excited by the form. I wanted it to be a sculptural form that someone would want to leave out on the bench as a talking point. And I wanted it to be satisfying – that they’d want to use it in the morning and be excited about it.