Neuhaus Neotec on its commitment to the US

Neuhaus Neotec

Neuhaus Neotec on its deep roots in the United States market and advanced coffee roasting methods that strongly impact the coffee industry.

When former Neuhaus Neotec Managing Director Gustav Lührs was looking for the most advanced roasting solution in the United States, he was approached by Chemical Engineer and Coffee Industry Consultant Michael Sievetz, the inventor of fluid bed air roasting.

“Based on that roasting idea, Lührs and his team developed the rotational flex batch

(RFB) technology and thus began the journey to a more sophisticated system of roasting,” says Neuhaus Neotec Head of Marketing Lars Henkel.

Henkel says Neuhaus Neotec’s former director has a very close relationship to the United States, having established the roasting method of RFB technology in the country.

Neuhaus Neotec’s RFB roasters allow the coffee beans to be moved solely by the air flow in the chamber, and the thermal energy of the roasting air is transferred homogeneously and directly into the beans.

“The RFB hot air roasters meet the demands of the increasing variety of coffees on the market like no other system. The gas heated RFB roasting systems are available in different versions depending on the roasting capacity, from 30-kilogram batches to 450-kilogram batches with roasting capacities of up to 4500 kilograms per hour,” says Henkel.

With this capacity range, Neuhaus Neotec meets the demand of industrial roasters with high volumes of roasted coffee as well as the needs of smaller specialty coffee roasters with lower quantities but high-quality demands on the roasting process and maximum flexibility in roasting profiles.

Moreover, the RFB roasting technology shows its full advantages when it comes to flexibility and control of roasting profiles and energy consumption. The direct heat transfer from the heated air into the bean led to shorter response times of the system and therefore allows maximum flexibility in designing the roasting curve.

Within the last few years, Neuhaus Neotec together with a leading roasting company, have developed an additional patented feature that extends the range of profiles to uncommon curves and a maximum control of the undesired acrylamide formation during roasting.

“Chemical components in the coffee are moved more into the focus and are increasingly regulated by the authorities, this new feature called Triple-A is of great interest in the coffee industry,” says Henkel.

In order to follow the requirements of minimum energy consumption, Neuhaus Neotec has also optimised its main energy consumption, through burners with high modulation range, the closed and leakage-free circulation of hot gas, and exhaust cleaning systems with minimum demand for additional heat energy for chemical reactions.

Today, Henkel says the RFB roaster is the most energy efficient roaster in its capacity class, roasting up to 4500 kilograms per hour. Cleaning the exhaust gas has also been made less energy-intensive thanks to new exhaust cleaning technologies that have been adapted to the RFB roasting system.

“Neuhaus Neotec is proud to supply a large US roaster with the RFB technology in combination with preheating and a regenerative thermal oxidation (RTO) for exhaust treatment, which reduces the total energy consumption clearly in the multidigit range,” says Henkel.

As well as this, for catalytic cleaning systems the reaction temperature can be reduced to a lower temperature level, which means savings in gas consumption.

“In many large roasting plants, the RFB roasters are now a part of the standard equipment for a wide variety of coffee products, from specialty roasting to instant coffee production,” Henkel says.

He adds that another long-standing US customer that has relied on RFB technology for many years has just ordered an upgrade of its existing machines.

Ralf Torenz, Director of the Coffee Division and President of Neuhaus Neotec USA, sees this as a great sign of confidence in the cooperation, but also in the future orientation of the technology.

Henkel says Ralf Torenz is responsible for the sales activities in the US and has a close relationship to the company’s customers overseas.

“He feels very connected to the American community and sees the United States as a country with a strong coffee culture. From the beginning the US customers were open to new roasting technologies, which was one of the reasons why RFB technology was also able to achieve initial success in the US market very early on,” he says.

The topic of alternative energies remains prevalent in the production industry not only in the US and Europe but worldwide, noting the current price development for fossil energies is also contributing to thoughts on new technologies.

Neuhaus Neotec addresses this challenge with its latest development and soon-to-be-released large full electrical roaster, which will first launch in America.

Henkel says the company’s entry into roaster development began on the American continent and will possibly experience its next big leap there.

“Due to this special relationship with the US roasting industry, it was always a matter of the heart to be present in the US market, and it has led to the first company expansion with its own office and service team in Atlanta,” Henkel says.

“The US is such a diverse country, and different parts of the country are looking for different things. The market also changes very fast, so what you need to provide today is flexibility.”

For roaster operators, that flexibility is reflected in the opportunity to conduct a short or long roast, light or dark, and all with energy efficient options.

While the company’s entry into roaster development may have begun in the US, the German manufacturer has now established itself as one of the world’s largest suppliers for coffee handling and roasting manufacturing equipment.

“Since its beginning, Neuhaus Neotec has constantly developed different roasting technologies and provides some of the most efficient roasting machines on the market,” says Henkel.

“Whether roasting, grinding or the entire handling, we are constantly developing new solutions in order to optimise the processes for our customers. Our goal is to get the best out of the bean across all process steps.”

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This article was first published in the May/June 2022 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.

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