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  • Sponsors machine calibration - what does it mean?

    Hi all,

    Nice to see that the site sponsors seem to be pushing the envelope.

    I note that today Di Bartoli announced that they are offering a new calibration service using their Scace device:

    After assessing your temp / pressure stability, machine can be calibrated to either your preference or to 9-10 bar at 92-94 degrees Celsius, subject to make and model.
    What, exactly, does this entail?  Renzo?  Ofra?

    Similarly, Cuppacoffee announced:

    ... all coffee making equipment is professionally calibrated and tested to ensure it performs as it should ...
    What does this mean?  Is Chris calibrating the machines before they are sent up?  Dennis?

    I suppose that another further question is to all of the other site sponsors; why arent you advertising more about your machine calibration?

    I guess that my interest is piqued because a bunch of manufacturers seemed to have difficulty getting commercial machines to perform to similar standards for the WBC machine tests this year, so Im wondering what is actually possible with a domestic machine.  To this end, for ages, I have been meaning to get a set of custom restrictors machined.  Are any sponsors able to help (for cheaps)?

    Cheers,

    Luca

  • #2
    Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

    Originally posted by luca link=1223648886/0#0 date=1223648886
    Are any sponsors able to help (for cheaps)?
    Love it Luca ;D....

    Mal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

      ;D Your last couple of posts have been the best I have read in months Luca! Thanks!

      "Watch me turn a Silvia into a GS3..Tada!" (cue smoke, fireworks, dancing girls and adulation from audience).

      Talk Coffee performs a full bench test- we check for leaks, dings, check group pressure using a p/f pressure gauge and adjust when/if required. We also check that the pressurestat is correctly set. Some machines are DOA and we check that as well and repair or return as required.

      The term calibration to me implies a technician spending many hours testing according to a protocol (such as that published and required for WBC eligibility) and then attempting to make the machine meet that set of requirements. Frequently, this is impossible. Its always expensive.

      We have also at times done a little work on Giottos- after a whole heap of testing different combos of restriction/multiple restrictors etc to make it a slightly better beast to work with. The Giotto is/was a great machine anyway. The bits are worth a few dollars. The time taken to get a consistent outcome was many months. Those who purchased bought I.P- plain and simple, and they knew it. We chose Giotto because we sell lots. Simply stated, it was possible to amortise the time commitment required to make an improvement over many sales.

      No amount of time with a Scace/Fluke combo is going to turn a crap machine into a good one and for me to imply that it would be possible to do it would be blowing smoke out of my proverbial (to put it crudely)..i.e. rubbish.

      I have a Scace and Fluke for personal interest. For us to apply a set of datalogged results to any individual machine and suggest that in the blink of an eye (hey presto, rabbit out of hat style), a repeatable improvement in shot quality could be achieved would be unethical- a lie. We dont and cant to it in 30 min- because its not possible in that time frame. The research and experimentation to achieve this would more likely take many months and a whole heap more than $50. For example, its why Jims Silvia PIDs are expensive and are worth EVERY cent. The bits dont cost so much but the research and incredible attention to detail does.

      I use my Scace sometimes to get a better idea of what a machine is doing and to help calibrate the group handle nut for a better outcome.

      I say again, buy the right machine and learn how to use it properly. Its time we concentrated on whats required to make a great cup and do so consistently...

      Chris

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

        Hi Luca, I was referring to a few things...

        1) We often oeverlook the fact that the manufacturer has already spent a fortune in time and money in R&D, and build their machines to perform to specs. The machines are built to work as designed, straight out of the box.

        2) As Chris said so eloquently, sometimes bad things can happen in transit, or we elect to modify what may already be a great product to something even better. A simple example would be the addition of a water softener cartridge that is added to the Diademas.

        3) I didnt want people to be given the false impression or concerned that there is a need to modify equipment that theyve just purchased, or have had the equipment for some time and is working properly.

        Hope that clarifies.

        Cheers!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

          ... all coffee making equipment is professionally calibrated and tested to ensure it performs as it should ...
          I suppose that another further question is to all of the other site sponsors; why arent you advertising more about your machine calibration?
          Because we (euro Coffee) are not doing anything different today that we were not doing ten years ago.

          every machine is bench tested for faults, pressures and temperature checked,
          and then we make black and milk coffee.

          always have, always will

          graham

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

            Hi all:

            I am very happy that the sponsors of CS are doing this testing as well, the calibration service are more for the CSS who did not buy their machines from any sponsor, or believe that their machine is running hot or over pressure.

            This service is being offered because some of the members have asked us for it.

            Luca if you need some restricters you should ask me I will be very happy to send you some. And If I ever need legal advice I will call in the favour


            regards


            Renzo

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

              Thanks for that, guys. I just found it all a little confusing and Im sure that your explanations have been very useful for everyone.

              Its nice, though hardly surprising, to see that yall seem to be doing the right thing by your customers. Having worked at Veneziano, I can tell you that it would have been very easy to just get the machine in a box and sell it without doing much to it. Spending hours tweaking domestic machines is the part of the job that I miss the least. Well, maybe that and the weekly crockery soaking. Ugh.

              Renzo, Id be happy to discuss a writs for restrictors program ;P Im not going to have time to fiddle with my machine for a little while, but Ill get in touch when Im about to.

              Cheers,

              Luca

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                Originally posted by luca link=1223648886/0#6 date=1223861953

                ...  Having worked at Veneziano, I can tell you that it would have been very easy to just get the machine in a box and sell it without doing much to it.  Spending hours tweaking domestic machines is the part of the job that I miss the least.  ...
                so, are domestic machines calibrated when they are sold by Veneziano? ;-)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                  Because I am a direct importer I guess my situation is a little different from others.

                  I have been working with my manufacturer since 2000 or earlier and over that period have reported all and sundry likes and dislikes to him about the machines we import. This results in a long history  of feedback regarding the way the machines work and......our resulting "signature specifications" ie, the result of a long standing relationship like this IS the way in which our models are built and adjusted for us on the production line.

                  This means, when they build our orders, they pull out the book that specifies all the little changes and adjustments we like, and that sets aside our "signature specification" from that which other importers like to have in their machines.

                  The way I like my imports tp perform, is tempered very strongly by the fact that I am primarily a coffee roaster and if there is one thing I do not like, its coffee machines that wont do justice to my fresh roast coffee.

                  Again due to the long standing relationship between myself and my manufacturer,  this means that end clients that buy my imports get a machine that has been specced up or calilbrated to operate in the way I want it to, thereby plugging into my experience of long standing.

                  Also, because my relationship with my manufacturer is long standing, there is virtually nothing for my resellers to do now when they unbox a new machine and test....it has already been done on the production line.....unless of course they have a different philosphy and want to change something.

                  The models this affects are my:
                  Diadema Plus machines (various models);
                  Unico Splendor MAXI machine,
                  Diadema EXTRA 2 litre model;
                  Diadema REGAL 2 litre model;
                  Diadema PERFETTA.

                  Thanks for the opportunity to get this information out there.


                  Regardz,
                  Attilio
                  first / original CS site sponsor.

                  oh and PS for the record,  our FULLY COMMERCIAL Diadema machines are signature specced in the very same way for us and work exceptionally well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                    Out of interest Attilio,

                    Where can I find some info on the Diadema "Regal"?

                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                      Originally posted by chartres link=1223648886/0#7 date=1223933552
                      Originally posted by luca link=1223648886/0#6 date=1223861953

                      ...  Having worked at Veneziano, I can tell you that it would have been very easy to just get the machine in a box and sell it without doing much to it.  Spending hours tweaking domestic machines is the part of the job that I miss the least.  ...
                      so, are domestic machines calibrated when they are sold by Veneziano? ;-)
                      ... as I asked; depends what you mean by "calibrated" ;P

                      Im not working there any more, so Im not in a position to give an answer on behalf of the company. I do know that they have a full time tech and do the bench test and tweak thing, or at least they did whilst I was there, and they have the thermowizardry stuff in the tech room.

                      Cheers,

                      Luca

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                        Originally posted by luca link=1223648886/0#10 date=1223988389
                        ... as I asked; depends what you mean by "calibrated" ;P

                        Im not working there any more, so Im not in a position to give an answer on behalf of the company.  I do know that they have a full time tech and do the bench test and tweak thing, or at least they did whilst I was there, and they have the thermowizardry stuff in the tech room.

                        Cheers,

                        Luca
                        FWIW, I believe that the term "calibration" is frequently incorrectly used....

                        For me, a check for dings, leaks, check of group pressure using a p/f pressure gauge and perhaps a turn or two of a pressurestat screw if the machine is shipped with weird settings- thats a bench test...(This happened with a VBM I tested yesterday- 13 bar at the group and 0.7 bar boiler pressure  ...Weird as I have never seen one that far out).

                        On the other hand, if specialised measuring equipment is used to datalog and then custom bits are employed to make a machine perform differently to how it might be expected to perform out of the box, Id call that calibration.

                        One would hope that this calibration is done against some sort of controlled parameters to get an accurate idea of what the machine actually does. The machine would need to be logged again after the mods and this would be required for each different machine.

                        If if this doesnt happen, were probably talking bull- I reckon...

                        Chris

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                          Originally posted by luca link=1223648886/0#10 date=1223988389

                          ... as I asked; depends what you mean by "calibrated" ;P

                          Im not working there any more, so Im not in a position to give an answer on behalf of the company.
                          Oh, sorry, Luca, I missed that you stopped working for Veneziano, thats why I asked you this question in the first place... Well hopefully you are out there for bigger and better things, new projects ;-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                            Hi Chatres,

                            I live very close to Veneziano and am there so often that one would be forgiven for thinking that I am a fixture! Im currently focussing on finishing my degree.

                            Hi Chris,

                            Thanks for that - your comments underscore my confusion and why I asked the question in the first place. It seems like the term "calibration" is being used interchangeably with "bench tested," or, at least, does not imply that machines can be "calibrated" to achieve anything that is specified - something that even manufacturers had difficulty doing for the WBC tests.

                            It is unsurprising to learn that most, if not all, sponsors have the integrity to do a bench test before they sell a machine.

                            Hi Attilio,

                            I echo Mal in asking for photos of the "Regal"! The "Extra" looked like it had solid internals when I saw it briefly - kudos.

                            Cheers,

                            Luca

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Sponsors machine calibration - what does it m

                              Not referring to espresso machines in particular....

                              The act of calibration assumes that one has, in the first place, a set of instruments that have been tested against a set of standards from an appropriately attributed institution such as a University Lab. These instruments are then stored safely away in controlled conditions and used as references against which a set of "working" instruments is calibrated on some sort of regular basis, with records kept.

                              If one is then calibrating new espresso machine P/stats, Pressure Regulators, OPV valves, etc to satisfy a particular specification using these working instruments then there is no reason as to why you couldnt claim that such machines have been calibrated to operate within this specification. It really depends on just what the business is trying to do. No doubt though that the concept of calibration and bench-testing gets confused and I guess "calibration" sounds sexier than mere bench-testing. Coming from an engineering background where we often were required to maintain standards labs, I know just how meticulous one needs to be if we are talking genuine calibration protocols...

                              Cheers,
                              Mal.

                              Comment

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