The coffee industry is constantly growing and competitively producing new flavors of coffee and coffee derived products. These trends present producers with many process challenges such as quality, finish and of course taste.
A leading multinational chain of coffee houses and roastery reserves approached Schenck Process Food and Performance Materials (FPM) to discuss problems they were facing when conveying their green and roasted coffee beans to a new roaster. The existing roasting room was heavily congested and needed to be ‘up-graded’ to meet growing coffee demands seen in both the UK and Europe.
The client outlined special requirements for the storage of green beans, as well as for the conveying of roasted coffee. The entire system involving Schenck Process FPM E-finity & EDIP pneumatic conveying technologies would need to ensure limited product breakage and reduced power consumption to enable the client to meet its sustainability goals. Schenck Process FPM’s in depth knowledge of the client meant that they could utilizetheir experience and technical know-how gained from previous contracts to assure them that they were ideally placed to improve and optimize both the client’s existing and new processes quickly, using 3D scanning & modelling tools.
Technological advances alleviate strict time constraints
The customer was under strict time constraints due to the pressure on their already congested system. To alleviate these problems, Schenck Process FPM utilized the latest 3D scanning and modelling techniques, working with the client’s main contractor to achieve success.
The ability to use remote technology to lessen the impact for the client and ensure the project progressed in accordance with their timeframes was fundamental to its success. Effectively utilizing 3D scanning techniques meant that Schenck Process FPM were able to deliver precise site layouts and equipment stack-ups without the need to visit site. The optimized modelling contributed to each conveying line being established with the smoothest route possible to keep breakage to a minimum. Schenck Process FPM employed their extensive test data and project references to allow ‘smart‘ decisions to be made regarding conveying technologies. This, combined with strong project team integration from day 1, provided advance visibility of any design issues so that these could be rectified prior to manufacture and site assembly.
Pioneering solutions to complex conveying needs
The client detailed a number of specific requests they had around the delivery of their green beans and roasted coffee conveying needs; to meet the demand to the new storage and packing lines.
For roasted coffee beans a breakage guarantee was required. Schenck Process FPM utilized their leading-edge E-Finity low pressure continuous dense phase technology to achieve the required process guarantee which was less than 1.0% by weight fines generation per transfer.
Schenck Process FPM recommended their EDIP technology as it is designed to optimize conveying parameters to reduce energy consumption and deliver the required increase of green beans to storage. Typical energy savings range from 20-40% verse operating the same system at full blower speed. The installation of the EDIP system resulted in a dilute phase system that dramatically reduced power consumption, bean damage and system wear compared to other contemporary dilute phase systems.
Schenck Process FPM also recommended the E-Finity low pressure, continuous dense phase conveying system, to transfer the coffee beans, as it is especially designed for fragile materials. With precise pressure monitoring to allow the system to operate efficiently under all conditions, while gently inducing materials through the convey line in slug form, it was perfect for the customer’s specific needs and was able to meet the performance criteria.
The recommendations Schenck Process FPM proposed delivered the following benefits for the customer:
With excellent cross-regional communication and a strong ongoing customer relationship, product modifications were designed and developed explicitly for the customer’s requirements. This meant that the new systems installed not only met their immediate needs, but the Schenck Process FPM team’s forward-thinking approach ensured future conveying throughput would also be met. Schenck Process FPM were able to progress the project to completion, delivering it on time, on budget and to the customer’s satisfaction. The client stated that ‘working with Schenck Process FPM on this major project has been an absolute joy.’
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