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Thread: Help me build a new machine

  1. #1
    Jim
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    Help me build a new machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello All,

    The manufacturer that we represent (HLF) has agreed to produce a high end 1 group machine to retail just under $3000. Our target market is homes, small offices and small retail such as bakeries.

    HLF have previously built a small super-auto we requested that is a thing of beauty so they come up with the goods:
    http://(no free plug here)/automatic-coffee-p-223.html

    The good news is that we get to specify our requirements to suit our needs. Unfortunately my knowledge of this style of machine is good, but not at the extreme end. I would like feedback from this forum on the design features required. So far I have requested:

    - E61 Group (or similar), maybe heated. Are there better groups out there?
    - Computer controlled water boiler (as in digital temp control, lcd screen)
    - Seperate steam boiler so the water temp isnt compromised.
    - Rotary pump preferred over vibration.
    - 14cm cup clearance, booster stand for small cups.
    - Automatic Dose.
    - Option for plumbing.
    - 10amp max power.

    Are there any other features that you think are needed? Are there things in your current machine that annoy you?

    Thanks for your assistance.

    Jim Storey
    www.(no free plug here)

  2. #2
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    how about
    ball joint steam wand (the 360 deg style?)
    boiler and pump pressure gauges

    maybe
    2 grp handles in the box, one already naked
    reasonable qaulity tamper in the box

    BIG drip tray ? (the amount of waste water)
    with ability to plumb to waste :)

  3. #3
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    For a dual boiler machine the E-61 group head is less then ideal. It is very good at doing what it was designed for (Heat exchangers) but leaves much to be desired in a dual boiler setup.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    I reckon all these HX machines , or all serious machines in general should have a standby mode.

    Meaning....
    you can leave them on all day idle cycling heat between a range of approx 105-70* ( whatever)Then throw a switch /press a button and bring them up to an exact brew/extraction temperature within 1 or 2 degrees. Then after 20 min non use go back to gentle long idle or press a button to do the same.

    What do you reckon ...!!!!!!

    Next improvement I would make, along with having a large drip tray , is for the drip tray to protrude 30-40mm past the end of the E-61 head...

    Just my thoughts
    hotshod

  5. #5
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    all serious machines in general should have a standby mode
    Thats exactly how I used my Silvia PID - I would make my morning coffees and dial down the PID aim pt to below 100deg to keep her idling and then dial back up 10min before next coffee :)

  6. #6
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    rotary pump you will definitely want plumbed, not optional.

    I would look for the following features:
    Excellent durability and reliability (ie will last a lifetime)
    Easy to service and maintain
    Use of industry standard parts (eg common portafilters, gaskets, etc)
    Drain plug on the boiler so it can be descaled and flushed easily
    Easy to access/fill/remove/clean water reservoir (if it has a reservoir)
    Excellent durability and reliability
    Easy access to adjustments for the tweakers (ie brew pressure, water temp)

  7. #7
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    Hi Jim

    Ive got a completely different take on this (and am slightly biased as a Lever user).

    The $2-$3K market segment appears to me as being already fairly crowded with global manufacturers producing quite good E61 style machines.

    These existing manufactureres already have global economies of scale and some have choice of manufacturing locations (eg Spain) to keep cost down.

    As a qualified marketing person, if I were in your position I would be looking a filling more of a nice market that is not well served by these existing players. One of these niches is Lever machines (spring levers that is) - which although are more scary for some people to use, are somewhat simpler and may be able to be manufactured at lower cost, but return a higher profit for you - since you will not be competing with many other manufacturers. There is a small but growing interest in Levers for use by some cafes (at least 3 in/near melb CBD), so if there is a trend and it continues it may be worth persuing.

    The cheapest single group commercial quality Lever machine available in Australia starts at around $3200K (Bezzera), so there may be a good niche market for a small player here.

    Good luck with the project. From use of my San Marco and Rancillio Levers, I would be looking for:
    Plumbed in
    Fast action steam and water valves
    Seamless reheating for almost continuous use.
    Easy to drain boiler.
    Does not neccessarily need to have an HX, as long as it relatively temp stable.
    Very solidly built and heavy enough to work with the spring lever forces.

    Cheers
    Mokka

  8. #8
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 4E545052535058515F3D0 link=1257368980/6#6 date=1257380971
    The cheapest single group commercial quality Lever machine available in Australia starts at around $3200K (Bezzera), so there may be a good niche market for a small player here.
    It just so happens that I have a photo of a 2 group Bezzera Lever machine (new model)

    KK


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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    KK: Nice !

    Now a single goup, smaller footprint and a small boiler would be perfect!

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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    I think that the market needs a slightly cheaper version of the Speedster. If something like this can be made at your approx cost mark - I expect quite a few people will sell their mid-market HXs. Especially if you can use the paddle heads.
    [img]www.roytawan.com/cafe/picupreply/115421.jpg[/img]

    I love Kees Van Der Westens work; and I have seen the Mistral at Mecha, and used a Mirage a few times at Quad - the internals are as lovely as the externals.

    http://www.keesvanderwesten.com/speedster.html

  11. #11
    Jim
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    Thank you all for your replies.

    Additional things I will push for:
    - Ball joint steam arm
    - Steam boiler pressure gauge
    - Plumb to waste option
    - Drip tray to extend forwards (I like this one)
    - Temp and pressure adjustment

    I understand from Martial Monkey that the E61 is designed to absorb and stabilise the over-heated water from a heat exchange. With our computer controlled boiler sitting at the required 92 (or what the user selects) degrees then the metal absorbing heat will only serve to reduce coffee quality. I guess we actually want to get the water from the boiler to the coffee grounds as quickly as possible, maybe with a teflon tube.

    Matt King - Can you clarify why a rotary needs to be plumbed. We currently use vibration pumps with an internal filling tank supplied either via gravity fed water or mains filling.

    Thanks again.

  12. #12
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    Just what Ive heard... not sure if its because they need the inlet pressure or because they dont like running dry or something else.

  13. #13
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    This is not sounding like the machine I would want ......!

    Prefer a big ,shiney, heavy Hx E-61 with a few tweeks.

    For domestic use.

  14. #14
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    Re: Help me build a new machine

    Rotary Vane pumps (the type of pump used with coffee machines) are designed to be used with a positive line pressure (plumbed in) simply because they are not self priming and will burn out very easily if the pump is operating dry. That being said it is possible to use a rotary off a tank (for example both the La Marzocco GS3 and Izzo Alex do just that) but you are putting much more strain on the pump. If you are going to run a rotary from a tank you must make sure that a one way check valve is installed (to prevent air getting into the line) and that the machine shuts the pump down before all the water is drained from the tank.



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