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Brambati advances specialty software

From the January 2019 issue.

After decades of leading innovations in roasting equipment, Brambati has focused its attention on roasting software, creating a system with greater connectivity and usability.

For more than 70 years, Italian roasting equipment manufacturer Brambati has managed to not just keep up with but often lead technological innovations within the industry.

From developing electronic controls in the 1960s and turnkey solutions in the 1970s to its modern adoption of 3D engineering and design technology, Brambati has established itself as a market leader in terms of coffee processing and roasting equipment.

Now, Brambati is looking to change not just how roasters work but how operators work with them. With the launch of its BR18 Advanced Specialty Software, the company aims to improve the connection between the production needs and requirements of specialty coffee applications.

Brambati President Fabrizio Brambati says the company collaborated with its clients while developing the new software, combining their requests and suggestions with its own experience in the industry.

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“We have created a unique environment where the user can follow the entire roasting process from the creation of a roasting profile to the evaluation of the results with cupping sessions,” Brambati says.

The software emphasises recipe management and repeatability of roasting profiles as key aspects of coffee production. Users can register important properties of the coffee like the yellow point, crack points, and cinnamon point. It is also possible to overlap the actual profile with previous ones during the roasting phase to view discrepancies in real time.

Real time monitoring of these factors provides operators with the opportunity to address issues occurring in a roast as they happen, rather than after the fact.

“The system has graphic tools that show in a simple way the differences between the actual profile and historical ones,” Brambati says.

The ability to overlap historical profiles provides operators with the ability to view how changing any of the parameters of the roasting process will affect the coffee produced.

“[This means] the user can do their own trials, adjust the setup in real time before the roasting ends, and avoid losing the entire batch [if the trial is unsuccessful],” he says.

This feature can be used to identify discrepancies that variables outside of the roasting process have caused.

“By comparing the historical profiles, the user can understand how a variation on the recipe affects the results,” Brambati says. “In the same way, it is possible to compare the results obtained in different situations, such as seasonal variations, different green coffee lots, and maintenance of the machine.”

To gather this information, the software can be used to record cupping sessions following roasts. The system collects the evaluations of all the different testers and performs a calculation to mark the flavour of the coffee.

The software used to record cupping sessions can be accessed externally from the roaster, allowing information to be gathered from offsite cuppings.

“Usually, cupping sessions are done in a laboratory or away from the production department where the roaster is placed. For this reason, it is important the system can be accessed via external PC or mobile to perform the tasting session,” Brambati says.

With the BR18 Advanced Specialty Software, Brambati says it has not only improved the possibilities of roasting technology, but its user friendliness too.

“We reduced the actions that the operator has to perform during the roasting phase, grouped the pages by functionality, and used common symbols to help the operator do their job [as efficiently as possible],” Brambati says.

“There is an overview page where the operator can view the machine status, actual roasting profile, requested recipe, and status of the main parameters of the process at the same time.”

Furthermore, recording key points in the roasting process provides the roaster with insight into how their coffee is roasting and when key stages occur.

“These characteristic parameters help the roasters to understand if the coffee is roasting well,” he says. “The system calculates the probable temperature range of these points, according to the previous saved points, so that the user can understand better at which point of roasting [a current batch of] coffee is [in].”

All of this information can be accessed externally from any device connected to the roaster network. This includes computers, tablets, smartphones, and mobile devices.

“With this feature, all users can connect together at the same time to the roaster, reducing the time it takes to evaluate the coffee, even if they are not in the same place,” Brambati says. “This makes the accuracy of the tasting results much more meticulous.”

The advanced specialty software monitors key performance indicators including the number of batches the machine has done, recipes used, discrepancies between the temperature requested and the temperature obtained, frequency of the alarms, drift of roasting times, and production performances of the roaster.

Currently, Brambati’s advanced specialty software is only available through the company’s BR18 model, though Brambati is migrating some functions to the KAR model, and it can be installed on BR16 units. Over time, Brambati intends to further enhance the features of the software.

“We are developing maintenance tools and studying predictive maintenance,” Brambati says. “We are also developing new functions during the roasting phase that help the roaster to design and obtain the roasting profile in a very simple way.”

Brambati says the BR18 model and its advanced specialty software is a step towards Industry 4.0. It connects programs from the start of the coffee production process to the end through compatibility with different types of manufacturing execution and enterprise resource planning systems.

“The roaster is deeply integrated with our feeding plants,” he says. “With the Brambati solution, it is possible to track the entire process from the green coffee warehouse to the packaging machine feeding.”

For more information, contact www.brambati.it

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