Theres a similar discussion over on Coffeegeek, so there may be other ppl having this issue.
Theres a similar discussion over on Coffeegeek, so there may be other ppl having this issue.
The "X-posted in the title meant that it was cross-posted- I have the same post on Coffee geek as well as a detailed thread on Home barista.com.
Ohhhh x-posted.... Sorry Randy.. Many may never have read all the finer details and terms that many forums state in there T&C etc etc..Originally Posted by 6D5E515B466078113F0 link=1261423233/2#2 date=1261438829
I like it when people say x-posted... At least when attempting to find a problem / answer I am aware that search results may not be exact etc..
In addition, many think cross posting is just for one forum, but can be across many forums...
Further more... Like ya post, the detail ya went into and the local fix.... Am assuming that the manufacturer has been advised; thus the root cause fixed..
Keep up the great web page...
No problem. I have contacted the US importer and they told me that I am the first to report this, and was asked if I lived near water! I dont.
My fear at this point is that there are a lot of folks who have this happening and do not know it because the powder coating holds the bracket well after the spot welds have rusted away. By the time they push on the bracket and the powder coating cracks and allows the bracket to come loose, the rust will be as bad or worse than mine. Not everyone has the resources to do the sort of repairs and fabrication that I do.
The test is to press down hard on the outer edge of the support. The owner needs to crack the powder coating holding it on the side wall of the chassis. Once that happens, if the sport welds have rusted the bracket will fall right off.
Whether you call it a design flaw, a manufacturing defect, or a lack of attention to detail, the one thing I would recommend is to NOT buy a black VBM.. get it in stainless or get something else.
As I understand, the vast majority of aussie machines have a lip in the front plate to direct water when backflushing to the drip tray. In older flat front machines, I guess it might run down behind the drip tray?
Id suggest that if you own an older machine (most of which are from the previous importer) that its probably a great idea to have a wipe under the drip tray when you backwash....
I am sure that ECA will respond in due course as well....
Just to be clear, this ONLY affects the BLACK machines and not the stainless models.Originally Posted by 1C292423170B272E2E2D2D480 link=1261423233/5#5 date=1261452741
In my review from 2007 one of my complaints was that water could bypass the drip tray, but the amount was negligible. The lip helps, but is not a cure for the problem my machine exhibited.
The problem is that where the rust occurs is not AT ALL accessible. Even high humidity, over time, is sufficient to cause it. The area in question is such that once water does get it it cannot be easily removed, and worse, the rust is not at all visible until the bracket falls off.
One over-filling and flooding of the drip tray.. just once, or a few spilled mls of water would be all that it would take to start the problem.
I do hope my machine is the only one... But I doubt it.
I got a black one about 2 years ago now, and Ive noticed rust in a few spots on the chassis. Kicking myself for not getting a SS version, and tbh I cant believe they didnt go to more effort rustproofing such a machine. Next time Im home Ill have to check out the drip tray supports, cheers Randy.
I recently started this thread http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1260663210/new in an effort to understand why the group heads on some machines flex, in the end I concluded it was because of the light weight material used in the frame/chassis of some.
Im not suggesting this is the case with the Domobar, however in light of Randys post it does raise some concerns regarding quality control, suitability of materials used and fabrication methods in some E61 machines. :)
Actually, I think the problem is that if its ferrous, it can rust.Originally Posted by 447778726F495138160 link=1261423233/6#6 date=1261464344
Gee Randy, surely there are plenty of ferrous materials around your home. Is your place falling to bits because of it?Originally Posted by 447778726F495138160 link=1261423233/6#6 date=1261464344
To warn people worldwide not to buy a black VBM because your two year old model has rust is a bit of a long bow imho. There have been several changes made to the VBM over the past two years. I know the current AU importers are diligent and it was they who initiated the change to the lip on the front.
Jon, if you have a car, lean on any panel and it will and should flex. Im no engineer but imagine it would take considerable bracing to make that 4.5kg lump of brass that we all admire totally rigid against the force applied when inserting the group handle. When the day comes that a group comes away from the machine while Im doing this, then and only then will I begin to worry.Originally Posted by 4F737A6277160 link=1261423233/8#8 date=1261568386
If you notice when the covers are off your machine, all the copper tubing attached to the Group Head will have at least two bends (all machines that I have played around with have been like this), between the Head and the Boiler/HX or where-ever else they may be connected. This ensures that any applied torque is relieved through the torsional flex of the copper tubing thereby preventing any untoward flexing at fixed connections. Its common practice to do this with any pipework leading away from fixtures where vibration or flexure is possible or likely.Originally Posted by 59787373746E1D0 link=1261423233/9#9 date=1261570536
This effectively takes care of any issues that may arise relating to the movement of the Group when locking in the GH. If you have a machine that doesnt relieve rotational forces applied to the pipework in this way, then yes, it may possibly lead to eventual failure of the copper tubing at one or more connections but it would take an awfully long time I believe....
IMO, your *attitude is not only unhelpful, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of this specific problem, as well as being insulting.Originally Posted by 78595252554F3C0 link=1261423233/9#9 date=1261570536
The rust I show in the photographs (one of which I have added added above) takes place in an area that is totally hidden from the user. *Yes, I understand that ferrous metals rust. That is why they are normally treated- paint, plating, galvanizing, or other treatments are used to protect it from exposure.
The problem with the VBM black machines is this: The raw metals seem to have a coating on them applied before the construction of the chassis. It is a light gray color. The supports for the drip tray are SPOT WELDED to the chassis. This process produces high heat and by definition MUST melt a bit of the metal together... *in spots. This burns through the protective coating. After this the entire chassis was powder coated.. BUT, the powder coating (at least in my case) was not applied to the area concealed by the bracket which includes the area "sandwiched" where the bracket sits upon the base of the chassis- the vary same area that was spot welded, exposing raw steel which is a ferrous metal.. with me so far?
To exacerbate this problem, the powder coating seals the visible edge of tat support bracket along the side of the chassis, and even more so to the base of the chassis. But the powder coating does not seal the hidden edge of the support, nor does it even coat the side of the chassis under the bracket.
Now, over time, that area, under the drip tray, is exposed to a high-humidity environment. If the drip tray spills during removal or floods over from not being dumped in time, or any other number of factors that might introduce any additional moisture in there that gets behind these brackets, the rust begins. Where does it start? UNDER the brackets where it cannot be seen. Once water or moisture gets into that area there is NO WAY for the consumer to even know it has penetrated this sandwiched area, and further, no simple way to get it out.
If you examine my photos carefully you will notice that there are areas of the chassis, concealed by these two brackets, that are not protected by powder coating that DID NOT RUST. This would seem to indicate that the spot welding played some part in this.
The real problem is not threat there is rust, but the extent of damage that can be done before the owner even knows it took place. The brackets will not come loose until the rust gets so bad that the spot welds are ALL totally oxidized away and the powder coating that is then holding the bracket in place breaks away.
The powder coating will break away either from force from the owner (purposely, or during cleaning or inserting the drip tray, etc., or even from vibrations during operation of the machine), or when the rust progresses so far that the metal under the powder coating rusts so badly that the powder coating is no longer adhering to the metal. Note the bubbled areas of powder coating along where the edge of the bracket resided. These would be difficult to discern by the owner unless they were probed with a pointed tool. Visually, they appear to be like over-applied paint. I never noticed them until after the bracket came off. Who would think of examining that area with a bright light to check for such a thing?
Since this is in an area that a reasonable person would assume that might be subject to moisture, it would also be reasonable to assume that the factory would protect that area from that same moisture. Apparently they did assume that some water might get into there as there are places that seem to be designed to allow water drain away (check the way a gap in the corners of the chassiss left open), just in case such an incident occurs. At the same time, it is reasonable for an owner to assume that metals in these areas would be protected from rust. *This assumption might be assumed to go even further for the consumer after spending $1700 USD on a machine that makes coffee.
I ask in my article for folks to do a test of their machine and report whether there are any signs of rust or not, or if the brackets are loose, etc. I understand welding and the powder coating process and do not believe that my machine is the only one that the manufacturing process left this area in question unprotected.
To repeat myself, the problem is that, I believe that if the consumer is ignorant of this problem it will eventually result in the same outcome as I have experienced. It would just be a matter of time.
Guys, play nice please *:-?
Currently, it looks to me like we have 1 case worldwide. Seems to me that there are 2 possibilities:
[*]There is a problem with frame build of one machine[*]There is a problem on a larger scale
Rather than squealing loudly and broadcasting it all over every coffee based forum worldwide, have you referred the issue to the US importer and has the importer raised the issue in Milan? *:-?
We live in vastly different climates and what is a very disappointing issue with one machine may well be just that...
I spoke with ECA two days ago and they have referred it to Italy for a response for the Australian market. They also informed me that the vast majority of Australian DS stock is stainless.
Hopefully, Aussie owners will have something to read shortly and I hope you can get some answers as well Randy.
Good luck Randy. I hope you can get a satisfactory resolution. ;)
I do (did) have a relationship with the US importer. You see, I worked with them when I created the owners manual.Originally Posted by 124D554348434F464645454D414E200 link=1261423233/12#12 date=1261597087
At this point they did say that I was the only one to report this thus far, and the only they had seen (so they said to me). I was asked if I lived near water.. Further, it was said that either something happened to mine, or no one else uses their machine. :-?
IMO, if mine is the only one, then I am owed a new chassis as it is a manufacturing fault. On the other hand, I doubt it is only mine. If I were the on the other end of this, I would be in CYA mode in a hurry.
Still, the reason I put this info on my website is so that if this is happening to other users they can mitigate the problem as soon as is possible. I would suggest that anyone with a black model constructed in this way to spray some heavy duty, penetrating rust preventative into that void.
All of that sounds reasonable to me Randy.
Hopefully your importer will raise the issue with VBM and some resolution to your issues can be found...
I agree with you that a rust treatment certainly wont do any harm...
I didnt meant to insult you but rather, put things into perspective. Im sorry you didnt read my remarks that way.
I do believe I understand the issue and agree regarding the suggestion of rust preventative treatment.
There does appear to be quite a degree of sensitivity to criticism of some machines, surely we are not seeing commercial factors coming into play.
Dennis, comparing espresso machines with cars! hardly valid, cars are designed to crumple on impact, when was the last time you rode in an coffee machine?
Some manufacturers have managed to anchor that 4.5 kg lump of brass very effectively, others, not so much, its an undeniable fact that flex in solidly mounted components equals stress and stress leads to ultimate failure, how long it takes to fail is of course another question, I suspect that the group will never separate from the frame with normal use, my point is that the material weight used in the manufacture of some of these machines is marginal and is an indication that they have been built down to a price not up to a standard.Originally Posted by 5F7E757572681B0 link=1261423233/9#9 date=1261570536
*I agree with your comments re copper tubing Mal, although as far as Im concerned this was only a side issue.Originally Posted by 5F72767A771B0 link=1261423233/10#10 date=1261574738
My main concern remains with the weight (or should I say lack of weight) of material used in the frame of some machines.
“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
I think that there is / may well be a 3rd problem..Originally Posted by 722D352328232F262625252D212E400 link=1261423233/12#12 date=1261597087
1: If ya dont know; you dont know...
Many here have an issue and post on a public form (world wide) and often never report to the manufacturer...... Thus others are aware and have the opportunity to learn and work towards a solution.
Randys first post was short and sweet and linked to http://home.surewest.net/frcn/Coffee/VBMrust.html where the detail and a solution was posted....
Other than a critical electrical fault and pressure from state or federal government... *I doubt if many suppliers would do a Recall... *Most would sit on it and if and when a problem is identified.. Then Warranty or other action may or may not be taken... *Where an agent is aware and reports the problem... Then the manufacturer once fully informed... May again look at the risk and make a decision as to how to manage the issue... Does $$$ come into YOU BET.
Future models should have the issue resolved, if the manufacturer is aware.. *:o
Current models... I bet that unless you find it ya self... No one will tell you.. *If a sponsor was involved.. A good chance of solid support... As to many others, post warranty... I some how doubt it... *:-/
Thus until others step up and inspect their equipment... *The manufacturer will not know the true state of affairs, the other owners will will also be in the dark... :-X
Quality.... *Report the problem, and ask why at least 6 times... *Randy, found and report as well covered off on some of the immediate causes as he observed and clearly documented...... Implement the required actions and steps to resolve the root problem... And manage teh bandages that will need to be used... *Follow up and feedback as part of a continuous approach..
In some ways Randy has manage the first steps of teh recal.. To notify Users and suppliers of a potential problem.. *And has carried out some useful on site investigations.. :)
Am interested on at least two fronts as to how this progresses and teh outcomes..
What more can I rant about *:D
I miss working and living Quality...
Now can I have a coffee with that *;D
Yes Jon,Originally Posted by 704C455D48290 link=1261423233/16#16 date=1261607904
In fact, Id go as far as to suggest that pretty much anything we are likely to purchase these days is built to a price. Perhaps an espresso machine might be the price of a slayer if it was built with little consideration for price- but then we all know that they can fail too ;)
A little flex is normal and is no indication one way or another of quality IMHO. Also, we need to be able to lift these things....
ECA has been importing VBM machines for just over 2.5 years. At that time there was a small design change to the front face panel (as per image below) of the VBM DOMOBAR Super. The purpose of this change was to improve the way water is guided into the drip tray, especially when back flushing the group. This new lip combined with appropriate general care and clean up of spillages has reduced the possibility of water pooling beneath the drip tray.
With regard to suggestions that humidity has contributed to the degree of damage to the chassis, we can only comment on experience in Australia and would say that we have not witnessed such an indication during the 2.5 years we have been importing these machines. *The VBM DOMOBAR Supers have been in Australia through previous local importers for over 8 years. A noted case study of chassis failure to a similar degree has been seen with a 5 year old unit up north near Sunshine Beach. We found a combination of water pooling underneath the drip tray and geographical location (near ocean and its salt spray) had contributed. With this length of history in Australia, if there was a fundamental problem, we would believe that more cases to date would have arisen. *
As with all machines, we would suggest that owners of older model DOMOBAR Super (black) maintain good and appropriate cleaning and care regime and make a concerted effort to dry the chassis underneath drip tray especially when back washing. Please feel free to contact Espresso Company Australia on 1300 326 326.
Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all!
The info I provided above relates to common practice through all forms of industry, not just espresso machines... From 2.0GW Power Stations to a humble drink dispenser. Materials are chosen for their suitability whilst fitting within many other constraints of design. It is common for panel fitted mechanical control devices, to transfer forces through to the panel on which theyre mounted. It is important that the overall design of a "system" takes into account all identifiable environmental, operational and physical properties likely to affect the "reasonable" longevity of a system in service.Originally Posted by 49757C6471100 link=1261423233/16#16 date=1261607904
I have yet to identify a machine from the many commercial designs (including small commercial units) used by the vast majority of members here that have any issues as a result of oversight or deliberate cost-cutting measures. One must keep proper perspective when evaluating any form of manufactured machinery and dont forget to include "reasonable" into the equation.... If you want something that would survive a thermo-nuclear detonation, then youre going to have to be prepared to pay for it. An exaggeration? Sure, but I know my Diadema machine is going to survive me and still be in good enough condition to bequeath to one of my offspring. In my view, thats reasonable...
Originally Posted by 567B7F737E120 link=1261423233/20#20 date=1261628821
To be fair... I think we are getting off topic a bit and assumptions are being made..
Weight (err Mass) does not always = Strength or longevity...
It comes back down to the basics of Eng principles... Fit for purpose, life expectancy and COST ;D
At some stage, ya have to draw a line in teh sand... As per Mals machine and mine... Would well outlast me... If looked after...
Have seen some that are built like battle ships... But a bit of misuse and they will fail.. In many cases it is the Elements / Boilers and or electronics that go before teh frame or teh Head... Yes, they can all be managed... But who would pay..
Thin metal and pipes with extra coils etc are ways to manage vibrations and flex... A solid pipe etc may not visually vibrate but will suffer severe stress internally and fracture at a time much sooner that a coiled pipe.. Many systems have bends and kinks just for one reason.. Just look at the Ally pipes in an AC unit in a car... tell me there aint some harmonics that have to be managed in that situation.. I am glad my car does flex and vibrate a bit... If it was rock solid.. My ass would be sore :D ;D
Today... We want it yesterday and we want it cheep... If it fails or does not work as expected. Toss in the bin and buy another... Sad but true...
I am still looking for a Phone that is a phone..
All right, if you want the stats to start adding up, mines rusted on every edge and round the bolt holes etc under the drip tray and I would expect that its penetrated further underneath. And its under 2 years old.
I just assumed that because its powdercoated that rust was a normal thing to expect.
Who do I go to, and can I buy replacement stainless components now that Im slightly richer? ;D especially one of those splatter guards? The dual-tip steam wand is a killer for getting water down the back of the drip tray. ;) Backflushings never really as much of an issue for me compared to the dual tip when purging.
Edit: Ive had a quick stickybeak with a torch, and without removing the spot-welds (Im not so bold), the visible area looks the same as Randys visible area. Given the oozing rust around the edges Id guess its pretty similar, if not quite as far advanced.
Hi Intellidepth, if I may make a suggestion. If you know one of the local smash repairers it could be worth taking it down to them for a look. The spots can be drilled out, the rust treated, sealed & the rails re-manufactured (or just cleaned up) rewelded and painted. It wouldnt be 100% as when you weld up the spot weld holes the heat will burn the surrounding treatment/seal. But it could extend the machines life substantially.Originally Posted by 7E5943525B5B5E535247435F370 link=1261423233/22#22 date=1263299616
Do something NOW, rather than waiting..Originally Posted by 56716B7A7373767B7A6F6B771F0 link=1261423233/22#22 date=1263299616
Depending on your skills... The following is a good start..
If ya offer them a coffee etc once the job is done... It may not even cost you any hard cash...
Or it might be a few coffees for a special occasion.. Either way; the worse they could say is NO.
Now if ya were closer to me... We could strip / bead blast and get things back to normal over a weekend...Originally Posted by 527071701F0 link=1261423233/23#23 date=1263331012
Ditto........have had more years in the smash repair industry than I want to admit ::) ;)Originally Posted by 7F50595B4C735F505F595B535B504A3E0 link=1261423233/24#24 date=1263333690
I have rewritten the Vibiemme Domobar Super Black rust article on my website. It offers some insights (most of which have been discussed in this thread) as well as some prevention and solution ideas. The article is at: