Nuehaus Neotec’s Neogrind

More than 40 years ago, German process plant manufacturer Neuhaus Neotec started to translate creative ideas into new solutions in coffee processing to optimise the processes of roasting, grinding and handling for their customers. The goal back then, just like today, was to squeeze the best out of the bean. With their technical solutions, Neuhaus Neotec cover the majority of the coffee processing chain – from green coffee processing, roasting and grinding to turnkey factories. The company’s focus on energy-saving solutions and efficient technologies mean their machines require few resources and minimise emissions such as CO2. About 75 per cent of the products and services offered by Neuhaus Neotec are exported worldwide, with their machinery used by coffee companies in locations as far afield as India, South Korea and Australia, as well as their traditional markets in Europe and the US. Major international roasting companies such as JDE, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, Folgers and Tchibo, as well as many successful specialty roasters, are among the customers whom the northern German company has supplied with both individual machines and turn-key plants. Neuhaus Neotec also provides turnkey plants for producers of soluble coffee – from the green coffee intake up to extraction. Neuhaus Neotec’s unique Rotational Flexible Batch [RFB] roasting process is known for its flexibility – the roaster can be rapidly adapted to the specific requirements of individual batches of beans, thus ensuring optimum aroma development. “Our plant design stands for high quality, low energy consumption and environmentally friendly technologies,” Neuhaus Neotec’s Production Manager, Karsten Sprenger, tells Global Coffee Report. More than 150 employees work at Neuhaus Neotec’s sites at Reinbek near Hamburg and Ganderkesee near Bremen. In the company’s pilot plant at Ganderkesee, customers are advised individually on product optimisation and recipe development. Customised roll grinders
Apart from roasting plants, Neuhaus Neotec also has a strong focus on the design and construction of powerful roll grinders. “Not only do Neuhaus Neotec grinders represent state-of-the-art technology, but we also cover the entire range of machines for coffee production – from the laboratory grinder via modular grinders for small, medium and high capacities, up to special grinders that meet highest demands,” Sprenger says. Recently, market requirements have changed from grinders with high throughputs to grinders for the production of small quantities of special products such as the production of single serve capsules, pods and pads. The new developments of the Neuhaus Neotec grinder meet these requirements entirely. “Uniform particle distribution, even in the finest grinds, as well as a high reproducibility and low-dust grinding are the strong points of these machines,” Sprenger says. The aim of the developers was not only to comply with legal standards for energy-efficient motors, he adds, but to exceed them. With IE-3 motors for the optional individually driven, continuously adjustable rolls, the German company relies on particularly energy-efficient motors assuring a high capacity. Customer-focused innovation
“It is our innovative solutions for product guidance and very easy cleaning of the interior of the grinder that tend to convince customers of the value of Neuhaus Neotec machines,” Sprenger says. The individual roll temperature control system is an outstanding example of the innovative solutions by Neuhaus Neotec’s developers. “Our strong point is the individual adaptation of our products to our customers’ needs and wishes,” says Sprenger. “You do not have to adapt your production to our plants; we adapt our plants precisely to the requirements of your products.” Neuhaus Neotec refers to its line of grinders as its “grinder family”. Each grinder of each series is an individual product that can be adjusted to the particular requirements of the respective coffee production by adapting the roll length or the number of grinding stages. With the latest member of the grinder family, the Neogrind, Neuhaus Neotec has closed a gap in their grinder portfolio, Sprenger says. The grinder has been designed specifically for the production of pods and pads and is characterised by its highest accuracy in the necessary particle distribution for the products and also by its high reproducibility. A smooth-walled grinding chamber prevents product adhesions and the grinding chamber is fully accessible in order to facilitate cleaning. Like the other grinders of the WMS family, the Neogrind can be easily customised thanks to different configuration options. “The great advantage of Neuhaus Neotec plants for their customers is that all components such as roaster and grinder are supplied from one source, which means that their technology is well-matched,” Sprenger says. “All parts are perfectly matched and all components interact smoothly. This is particularly important for the main machines of a production line such as roaster and grinder.” New challenges for process engineering
Neuhaus Neotec’s experts say that in the long run the development of the grinder market will run shift from grinders with high hourly capacities to increasingly flexible smaller grinders. “Rapid product changes in the customer’s roasted coffee portfolio will become increasingly important,” Sprenger says. “This means that changes have to be possible with running machines so that the product change can be made without stopping the production chain. Rapid responses to ever-changing product specifications will determine the success of grinders.” This imposes new challenges on the design engineers of roll grinders as the machines have to be increasingly flexible. This does not only involve the development of new, increasingly complex control systems with full connectivity and communication between the machines, but also the enormous task of creating interfaces between an increasingly complex technology and its users. The design of complex control systems and their intuitive and self-explanatory operation will be the major challenge of future coffee production, according to the Neuhaus Neotec design engineers who are already working intensely on mastering this challenge at the Ganderkesee and Reinbek sites. “If the customer enjoys our technology, we have done our work properly,” Sprenger says.  GCR

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