Coffee culture at its finest - At Segafredo the right coffee roast is decisive
It is a long way from the green coffee bean to the tasty beverage. Many processing steps are necessary and often it comes down to fractions of a second. All this can only be managed with a high performance controller, therefore predestinated for VIPA.
Precise temperature and time monitoring determine the roast procedure
The roast procedure is a science in itself. The longer you roast the coffee, the more tasty and digestible it becomes. But if it becomes too hot it burns. If the temperature is too low, it does not taste good and still contains too many substances that do not agree with us. Thus, in production it not only depends on the duration, but also on the perfect temperature during the entire process and fast cooling in order to halt the process when the desired result is reached. So a roaster is a high-tech plant full of control processes with numerous measured values.
The company NeuhausNeotec located in Ganderkesse/Bremen/Germany specializes in the development and setup of coffee factories and the special machines required such as grinders and roasters. The plants of Neuhaus Neotec are also able to detect variations of quality in the raw product. So they can counteract with temperature and air volume adjustments during the roasting process.
The software for these state of the art machines and plants are developed by the company XAPI in Speyer/Germany. XAPI has been in the coffee business for 25 years and was established in 1989, when computer technology found its way into the coffee industry, by Claus Siegler in Speyer. Segafredo Zanetti has been a customer for many years. The company, established in Bologna, is well-known for its premium coffee, which is served in the food service industry and Segafredo espresso shops.
Particular demands on the PLC controller
The XAPI team had already planned the modernization of the coffee factory for the location Salzburg. The mechanical systems were supplied and installed by NeuhausNeotec. Due to numerous complex processes a particularly powerful CPU was required which needed to have multiple interfaces. The SPEED7 CPU was chosen, not only because of the speed but also because of the numerous interfaces on board, such as Ethernet, PROFINET, PROFIBUS, MPI, the large memory and the compact design of the components.
Now the automation of the roaster in Salzburg was on the agenda. As the premium brands of Segafredo are roasted here the process was very demanding. The roasting process takes considerably more time and is divided in up into 15 levels. The environmental conditions are measured regularly to ensure the required temperature to bring out the maximum taste from each bean – and all this in fractions of a second. When the roasting degree is perfect the temperature is immediately reduced by adding water and cooling air. Depending on the type of coffee, the temperature curves differ minimally from each other. Also the basic products are not always the same so it has to be closely monitored and controlled during the process. The batch-oriented recording and archiving of the production data helps to find the perfect master roasting over a period of time and to take this as a basis for the reference curve.
For this project it was important to have a particularly fast, reliable and powerful CPU, which can handle large amounts of data and which provides interfaces to handle not only the control processes, but also, to see the data remotely and be able to implement an alarm management.
Now it is possible to see all batches at a glance and to compare parameters such as temperatures, pressures, roasting times, batch weights or color values from anywhere via browser access to the web server and thus on the database to optimize the processes.