When Bühler began manufacturing coffee roasting equipment in 2009, it was because the multinational food processing company saw a potential to establish relationships in emerging markets. Its first machine, the RoastMaster20, provided many would-be roasters with a stepping stone into the industry. As these customers grew, so did Bühler, which released larger RoastMasters from the 20-kilogram batch size of the original to 60- and 120-kilogram models. Now, a decade after the RoastMaster20 was introduced, Bühler has launched its largest machine in the series yet, the RoastMaster240. The 240-kilogram batch size machine is capable of roasting one tonne of coffee per hour, reaching a new milestone for the RoastMaster line. Gabriel Wuerth, Marketing and Communications Consumer Foods Manager for Bühler Group, says with the machine making its debut in Vietnam in June 2019, he is excited to help Bühler’s customers continue to increase their capacity. “The RoastMaster product family is a very proven series with hundreds of units installed worldwide,” Wuerth says. “Some of our customers are repeat buyers who constantly increased their production using the RoastMaster series. They started with a RoastMaster20, then installed a RoastMaster60, followed by the RoastMaster120. Others are choosing to replace older equipment with modern technology.” Mirjam Baumgartner, Process Technology Engineer Coffee at Bühler Group, says the RoastMaster240 provides a familiar experience for customers used to working with Bühler machines. “When we started developing the RoastMaster series, it was because we wanted to offer a drum roaster that produced high-quality coffee beans for good value. The RoastMaster240 provides all the benefits of the rest of the series with an even larger throughput capacity,” Baumgartner says. “You use it very similarly to how you would operate the RoastMaster60 or RoastMaster120, which is a huge benefit to those who have worked with our previous models. Our software is easy to understand and monitoring the process comes quite naturally.” The RoastMaster240 is manufactured at Bühler’s coffee competence centre in Bangalore, India, and was developed in collaboration with the company’s headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland. “Working together ensured the breadth of the company’s coffee knowledge was applied to the RoastMaster series,” Baumgartner says. The roaster uses “proven and reliable” drum roasting technology and mainly convective heating, where hot air is used to transfer heat to the coffee. “We’ve focused on convective heat transfer for the RoastMaster range because it leads to a more homogenous roast and appearance of the beans,” Baumgartner says. “Drum roasters are proven and reliable technology and we want to manufacture machines that our customers can use to their full potential.” While the RoastMaster series embraces traditional coffee machine manufacturing methods, its operating systems and touchscreen control panel allow users to bring these processes into the present. “There is a very intuitive interface, meaning beginners operate the roaster very quickly,” Baumgartner says. “For more experienced roasters, it offers numerous options for profile roasting to really create new products.” This multi-step profile roasting technology offers its users a wide degree of flexibility, with precise control over temperature and airflow at each process stage. “The user defines multiple steps to create the roasting curve. Through this multi-step recipe, they’re not just making decisions about roasting colour and time, but the coffee temperature and how it evolves over the roast,” Baumgartner says. While the RoastMaster series is largely the same between models, Baumgartner says as time goes on, Bühler has been able to refine them with the advent of new technology. “The basic values stay the same, but over time, we have improved our machine’s process control and improved on safety as we go larger with batch size and capacity,” she says. “We’ve employed a state-of-the-art safety concept using CO monitoring, which keeps track of gas concentration during roasting as an extra safety mechanism.” This monitoring system complements an air recirculation system intended to reduce the machine’s energy usage. “There is a trend in the manufacturing industry towards energy efficiency and sustainability, of which Bühler stands at the forefront,” Baumgartner says. “These values are present in the RoastMaster240 through its air recirculation system, which recycles already warm air instead of heating it from room temperature.” Baumgartner says the RoastMaster240 fills the gap between the RoastMaster and Infinity Roast product lines. “InfinityRoast is our high-performance, flagship model that allows us to explore innovative solutions and new technologies, while the RoastMaster series meets the need of the market for drum roasting technology at good value,” she says. While Bühler is still relatively new to the coffee industry, the company’s roasting credentials – in barley and cocoa – goes back decades. However, Baumgartner says this experience in other industries and resulting reach is what sets the company apart. “Our global organisation, with offices, applications labs, and service stations in more than 140 countries means support is always close,” she says. Meanwhile, Baumgartner says Bühler will continue to emphasise that traits that make the RoastMaster240 shine. “Bühler has been a leading food manufacturer over the last 160 years. We’ve always laid new standards in the industry. We set ourselves high goals and constantly come up with new features or processes,” she says. “We know we can deliver quality, consistency, and flexibility, and with Bühler constantly investing into research and development, we will continue to improve on our energy efficiency and process control in the years to come.” For more information, visit www.buhlergroup.com Follow Global Coffee Report on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for up-to-date news and analysis of the global coffee industry.