Brambati on why flexible roasting is key

Sustainability is not just about energy reduction and environmental concerns, it’s about ensuring that the money a company spends is optimised in their investment, minimising equipment requirements and working cost.” From commodity coffee, to high quality specialty, to instant, Dr. Andrea Brambati, Brambati S.p.A. Vice President, says that Brambati’s equipment is able to roast different kinds and origins of coffee, depending on customer needs, thanks to an extremely flexible roasting machine. The machine, offers the ability to roast homogeneously also pre-blended green beans, minimising labour and optimising efficiencies. “The highly automated equipment can produce all the type of product a client wants, just by changing the roast profiling,” says Brambati.  This flexibility certainly comes in handy, considering all the markets where Brambati equipment can be found. From North America to Australia, Europe to South America, in all five continents, Brambati’s experience across these markets has shown that sustainability requirements vary throughout. While some markets were early to show concerns over energy usage and emissions in their roasting equipment, this philosophy is now becoming more and more common all over the world. “The majority of markets have started to demonstrate that productivity, energy consumption and environmental concerns are now all important issues,” says Brambati. At Brambati, sustainability requirements don’t apply just to their equipment, but are part of the company philosophy as a whole. Two years ago, the company installed a large scale solar power system, capable of producing 200 kilowatts of power an hour, generating approximately 230,000 kilowatts per year. Complementing other in-house energy savings initiatives, this represents the company’s “360 degree” approach to sustainability.
In roasting equipment, this can be defined as a well-rounded approach to sustainability as an effort to reduce power consumption, gas consumption, emissions production, and increase efficiency. Going back to the roasting equipment, it can be set up with hot air recycling capabilities, which reuses much of the heat created in the roasting process. Without penalising the quality, but reducing power needs and emissions considerably. In the exhaust emissions space, Brambati offers modulating burners. These burners work in conjunction with roasting equipment, and automatically adjust their power levels based on roasting activities. “These burners only work to the level that is required,” says Brambati, “Because various phases of the roasting process produce different levels of exhaust, these burners ‘speak’ with the roasting equipment, to limit energy usage maintaining high efficiency.” Limiting emissions has become increasingly important, as new regulations keep popping up across various markets. A company’s awareness of the regulations that apply to them typically varies depending on the size of the company. Brambati can easily work with larger companies that have a team of engineers with full knowledge of their requirements and is dealing also with smaller roasters to help them understand equipment requirements, as well as what trends may affect them moving forward. “Depending on the company we’re working with, and what market they’re operating in, we try to present the various options available,” says Brambati. “But we’re not just providing them with options that will fit their needs today, but also for tomorrow and going forward.” While some developing countries may still have limited emissions regulations, increasing political concern about global warming means that these rules could change any day. “Even if it’s a large investment, we work together with our clients to prepare a machine that will work for them in the future,” says Brambati. He highlights that Brambati designs flexible equipment with upgrades in mind. As regulations change, the company can work with roasters to fit the equipment as needed. Regulations aren’t alone in driving a company’s sustainability initiatives. In many emerging markets, where regulations are limited, power supplies can also run short. “It’s not the law that’s dictating these requirements, but often just common sense,” he says. “One way or another, as a company we get involved to help clients understanding the advantages of more sustainable equipment.” The key to analysing sustainability needs in equipment requirements is all about balancing what a company wants, with what it can afford, and what it needs. “The challenge is to find that perfect equilibrium between all these parts,” he says. “You need to roast coffee first and foremost, in the way your customer wishes and that’s the ultimate goal. In terms of sustainability you need to think about efficiency, energy consumption and space requirements.” Brambati has had three generations to work on the refinement of this equilibrium. Originally founded in 1945 by Francesco Brambati, the privately-owned Italian company began producing flour mills, and other materials equipment, before building roasting equipment in the 1960s. Their success in the coffee industry has blossomed ever since, and today up to 80 per cent of their roasters are exported to companies around the globe. From receiving green coffee, to roasting, grinding and fitting packaging equipment, Brambati is specialised in fitting out full roasting plants.
A keen eye for flexibility in this full design has helped drive the company’s success. “Our clients know that with Brambati equipment, we deliver on these promises of producing every kind of quality, to maximum efficiency while limiting power consumption and reducing emissions always exalting the quality of the coffee beans” says Brambati “If they don’t know it yet, they inevitably come back to tell us.” GCR

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