Rancilio’s Connect telemetry system is changing the way customers interact with data

Rancilio Group

Rancilio Group’s Connect telemetry system is a flexible and customisable technology that is changing the way customers interact with and utilise machine data.

Italian espresso and coffee machine manufacturer Rancilio Group is pushing boundaries with its Connect telemetry system that puts the customer’s needs first.

As a powerful IoT solution, the Connect system helps customers gather and easily analyse value-relevant data and key performance parameters. This data can be generated by a single coffee machine or an entire fleet via an online gateway, such as a wireless or local area network, or Global System for Mobile Communications network.

The data is then combined into an easily operated dashboard, supporting Rancilio Group’s customers on their journey to becoming a data-driven business.

To develop the system, Christian Schmid, Project Leader of Rancilio Group Connect Telemetry, says the Rancilio Group team started years ago by looking at the sensors already in the coffee machine. From there, they worked out a method to collect the data and send it to a cloud-based platform.

When conducting research on the Connect Telemetry system, Schmid says flexibility in the dashboard display was one of the biggest consumer requests.

As such, the Connect System offers more than 20 different dashboard views and gives operators the flexibility to organise data such as extraction parameters. This encourages Rancilio Group’s clients to easily control and access their own data.

Connect clients can remotely check their coffee machine’s health to know how it is performing.

The biggest challenge in the development stage was learning how to implement the Connect system across both Rancilio Group’s traditional and fully automatic machines. Today, the Connect system can support any of Rancilio Group’s coffee machines produced after 2016. This includes traditional espresso machines under the brands Rancilio Specialty and Rancilio, and fully automatic machines under Egro.

Rancilio Group says it was important for its clients to connect all their devices to one telemetry system. Identified as an “open architecture” design, Schmid says this gives the customer the possibility to manage their whole business in the Connect dashboard and the ability to integrate it with outside platforms.

The first challenge was understanding what recorded data would improve overall machine performance. To Schmid, a key aspect was understanding the different drink parameters from a telemetry point of view.
The Connect telemetry system makes use of the sensors built into each coffee machine. It returns key parameters including quantity, pressure, and brewing time to determine the quality of every drink produced.

Already, Schmid says telemetry is changing the way one interacts with coffee machines. Owners are shifting from a “reactive” to “proactive” stance with machines being checked at a greater frequently resulting in less breakdowns and more consistent high-quality coffee.

“For the fully automatic machines, to manage recipes across different locations is not always simple, because the recipe is slightly different,” Schmid explains. “Imagine you have a Cappuccino in one location; the recipe won’t be the same in another location, so how do you measure this? Is it the same or a different product?”

Through gaining control over brewing key parameters, customers can ensure product consistency and maintain a high level of in-cup quality for all beverages produced from a coffee machine.

Frequently checked coffee machines result in higher-quality coffees.

“Becoming data driven is important because it saves the client costs and they are better prepared to provide a service because they know the condition of the machine,” Schmid says.

By remotely checking the machine’s health, customers know exactly how it is performing and can quickly identify the causes of any faults, prevent machine downtime, and anticipate spare part requirements.

“Connect helps customers to increase their First Time Fix rate, or ability to solve machine issues when they first arise. This minimises on-site interventions and allows most problems to be solved with phone calls, reducing costs and saving time,” Schmid says.

Thanks to the calendar alert and e-mail notification function in Rancilio’s traditional machines, managers can schedule maintenance programs, such as cleaning cycles, to be carried out periodically. This helps maintain the coffee equipment properly.

Data can also inform clients of trends or consumer preferences, from alternative milk choices to the most popular coffee recipes at different store locations.

“Rancilio Group customers can use this to understand what their particular customers like better, and in what combination they like better. They can also compare information to previous years, or correlate results with other data,” Schmid says.

When the Connect system’s bi-directional abilities are combined with Rancilio Group’s newest fully automatic machines, under the Egro brand, Rancilio clients can share videos, screensavers, backgrounds, and images on the touchscreens.

Titled the Egro Next and Next Touch Coffee, the machines also have the ability to change recipes and transfer a new icon for the menu. On the touchscreen, customers can also run advertising and display promotions across multiple locations. Schmid says the true innovation, however, is how Rancilio Group’s clients will use the Connect Telemetry system.

“Especially if our customers are a big chain or have many devices connected to their own platform, we want this system to help them,” says Schmid.

“There are many systems that force the customer to use the manufacturer’s own portal, and with ours, that is not the case. We offer different configurations, and can also design tailor-made solutions for every business.”

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