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Neuhaus Neotec and Tempelmann Kaffee launch German roasting plant

From the January 2019 issue.

Neuhaus Neotec has completed the construction of a state-of-the-art roasting plant for German company Tempelmann Kaffee, establishing a fully automatic production line from green bean intake through to packaging.

German coffee roaster Tempelmann Kaffee knew when it began planning the construction of its new roasting plant in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, it was not a project that it could hand to any manufacturer.

Tempelmann’s business focuses on private label coffee production for grocery retail chains alongside its own coffee products. These include roasted whole beans, pods, and vacuum-sealed coffee.

With a daily output of 65 to 85 tonnes of roasted coffee, Tempelmann needed a facility capable of roasting large amounts with great flexibility and control.

Tempelmann Plant Manager Anastasios Mihailidis says the company did its research to find a company that would be capable of meeting its requirements.

Tempelmann decided on Neuhaus Neotec, not only for its experience delivering large plants quickly and on time, but due to the quality of its core processes, low energy requirements, emission values, and adaptive technology.

Neuhaus Neotec provided the full fit-out for the roasting plant, from its green coffee intake facilities, cleaning, blending, and roasting equipment, to post-blend and Neogrind fine grinding systems.

“This project is not something you can pick up from a desk and give to a random company. It was created specifically for and with Neuhaus Neotec,” Mihailidis says.
Neuhaus Neotec began construction of the roasting plant in January 2018, completing the project within a 10-month timeframe.

The Tempelmann plant operates fully automatically, through technology Neuhaus Neotec’s developed exclusively for Tempelmann. Both companies say this process is a huge step towards the concept of Industry 4.0, a term given to the increasing automation of production lines.

“We spoke with Neuhaus about how we like to work and how we would like the plant to operate,” Mihailidis says.

“They began work on this system, and we developed it day by day to become more efficient.”

The software time stamps coffee every time it is moved. Its quantity is recorded and digitally stored in a database, providing comprehensive tracking from the receival of green beans until it reaches the packaging machine.

The technology can also identify when and at what stage faults occur in the system. This data is fed to an integrated maintenance tool, which initiates and automatically performs scheduled maintenance works.

The control system was designed ergonomically and efficiently for operator use.

“The display screen allows you to easily find the information you need,” Mihailidis says.

Mihailidis says that although the software is impressive, of all the equipment Neuhaus Neotec has provided, it is the roasters that are key to the plant’s success. Tempelmann has two units installed at the plant: a drum roaster for customers who prefer traditional roasting, and a rotational flexible batch (RFB) hot air coffee roaster. Neuhaus calls the RFB “the machine with the broadest range of roasting profiles, possibilities, and qualities on the market”.

The RFB roaster uses no moving mechanical parts in the roasting chamber, which Mihailidis says reduces the level of breakage and need for spare parts.

Thanks to the low heat storage in the roasting chamber, the control of the RFB is particularly flexible and allows a quick change between different roast profiles without stopping the machine.

“We supply our customers with a wide variety of products, ground coffee or whole beans, either already packaged or in bulk. With this wide range of recipes, the roasting process must be automatically controlled, but at the same time allow a fast change without long downtimes,” Mihailidis says.

The roaster’s low temperature catalyst reduces its emission level and its heat recovery saves energy.  Mihailidis says he found that the machine’s energy consumption levels were even lower than Neuhaus Neotec predicted prior to the machine’s installation.

He says the biggest advantage the RFB roaster provides, however, is the ability to create a separate roasting profile for each coffee.

“With the RFB, you have the possibility to play with all the elements of the roasting process, such as temperature, air flow, and length of the roast. You can set up these variables to suit your preferences. With traditional roasters, you don’t have the same level of control over the roasting profile,” he says. “You can play this roaster like a piano.”

Tempelmann’s requirement for flexibility applies to the roasting plant as a whole. Mihailidis says even the roasting plant’s intake and storage facilities were designed to provide Tempelmann with the ability to adapt as needed.

“One of our most important requirements was the greatest possible flexibility with the highest possible automation,” Mihailidis says. “Because of the complete tracking of the coffee, we are able to transport coffee from silo to silo as needed. You are not fixed to one location.”

Mihailidis adds the streamlined intake process allows the roasting plant to receive multiple types of coffee from different sources. Then, when the coffee is sent away from the factory, Tempelmann is able to accommodate the needs of its customers.

“When a supplier asks us, ‘would it be possible to receive 20 tonnes from a silo?’ I can say ‘yes’,” Mihailidis says.

Though the roasting plant only opened in November 2018, Tempelmann has laid the groundwork to expand its capabilities further in the near future. Mihailidis says there is space at the facility to install another two roasters or increase packaging and storage areas.

When Tempelmann does expand, Mihailidis believes the relationship it has formed with Neuhaus Neotec will be crucial to its development.

“Over the one-and-a-half-year project, engineering, and communication, the two companies formed a close bond,” he says.

“Now we have a very nice cooperation between Neuhaus and Tempelmann.”

For more information, contact www.neuhaus-neotec.de

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