We’re hiring a Sales Assistant

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MPE is seeking Sales Assistant to coordinate the Sales activities of the company. This entry-level role, which requires strong organizational and communications skills, will encompass verbal and written communications with customers, development of professional presentations and proposals, and coordination of activities amongst the sales team. The role represents the opportunity to serve as a member of a high performing team in a dynamic and fast growing business. There’s plenty of great coffee each morning too!

Apply on LinkedIn

Waste No More; How a Pet Food Manufacturer Saves Product and Labor with Chain-Veys

Case Study Visual 1

Pet Food Co. is a multi-billion dollar pet food producer located in the US. One of their products is a kibble pet food for dogs, which involves extruding kibble meal into perfectly sized bits. At the beginning of each batch, plant operators must run some calibration tests to get the right product shape. This results in misshaped pieces that cannot be packaged for quality control reasons. Even after calibrating the machines, periodic misshaped pieces come out of the extrusion machine which must be caught by light sorters before they’re packaged. Because production managers do not want to waste any product, they return all misshaped pieces back with the kibble meal to go through the extrusion process again.

The old way of moving this misshaped product back to the extruder was challenging though.

Pet Food Co.’s Needs

Prior to Chain-Vey engineers stepping in, Pet Food Co.’s workflow was to collect the misshaped pieces into mobile totes. Workers then wheeled over the totes to a bucket elevator, which then fed into a screw auger conveyor for reentry into the kibble meal mixer. The entire process overall is labor inefficient and required cleaning of two separate conveyor systems and mobile totes. Plant operators wanted a turnkey conveyance solution that would be low-maintenance, easy to clean, and reliable.

MPE’s Solution

Chain-Vey engineers designed a system comprising:

  • (4) 3″ systems to replace the totes, freeing up labor and reducing production times
  • (1) 3″ system to replace a bucket elevator and screw auger which previously fed surge bins atop of a kibble meal regrind process

The Result

Pet Food Co.’s five Chain-Vey systems have delivered on great expectations. In the words of one plant manager, “the Chain-Veys are running so well and we haven’t experienced any issues 6 months in.” Plant operators are saving on labor not having to worry about moving large totes around the system. Chain-Veys are also easy to keep clean and this saves the headache of having to disassembly of screw auger conveyors for cleaning.

Talk to a Chain-Vey engineer to learn more about how Chain-Vey compares to other conveyance systems.

Making a high-quality cold brew product? You’re going to want a GPX

Limitless Coffee & Tea‘s bottled cold brew coffee is ground using an MPE GPX grinder

Cold brew coffee takes time, patience, and most importantly, the perfect grind. MPE designed the industrial-grade GPX and GPC-140 coffee grinders to meet the demands of small batch cold brew makers looking to brew the best quality product.

The precision disc-style GPX and GPC-140 grinders are designed for capacities of 200 – 1,000lbs/hr and run continuously without diminished grind accuracy. The GPX uses 5.5 inch diameter “diamond hard” grinding discs that are precision-cut to optimize cutting action with infinite adjustment control, resulting in a cool, uniform coffee grind for optimal brew performance. The GPC uses larger 7.1 inch diameter discs for greater volume.

Consistent grind is critical when steeping for long periods of time, and can influence the quality of the coffee you serve. Ensuring grind uniformity, in combination with cold brew steeping methods will ultimately deliver the smooth, round taste identified in a truly well-made cold brew beverage.

Get in touch with a sales engineer about upping your grind.

Why densification is a must in coffee capsule and pod manufacturing

Good coffee capsule and pod production requires more than just roasting, grinding, and packing coffee into pods and capsules. It also requires an extra step to make sure the density of the ground coffee is optimal for capsule and pod brewing. To understand how density works and its role, we must look at the following:

  1. The coffee particles’ shapes when they exit the grinder and how to optimize their shapes for greater density
  2. The use of water pressure in capsule and pod coffee makers and how density is a factor to increase extraction

Coffee’s shape when it leaves the grinder

Coffee particles are not smooth and spherical when they exit the grinder. They are jagged and non-spherical, which means they tend to fill the capsule inefficiently. With less coffee in each capsule, the results are a weak and under-extracted cup of coffee.

electron microscope image of ground coffee
This electron microscope image of granulized coffee at 250 micron target size shows undesirable oblong shaped particles

Using a process called densification, the coffee particles are literally rounded out, sometimes even having many smaller fines clustering together into larger sized particles. On a microscopic scale this means considerably more total dissolvable solids can fit into the same amount of space.

65 particles example
An illustrated example of densification (each box has 65 particles), which rounds out jagged coffee particles so that more coffee can fit in the same space

The role of water pressure, and density as a factor

Densification is not a new concept. Tamping an espresso is basically a form of densification. It not only serves to fit more coffee (and dissolvable solids) into the portafilter, but also provides the resistance needed for the hot water to forcefully extract the crema and volatiles in such a short brew time.

Tamping espresso
You wouldn’t skip tamping your espresso, so why would you skip densifying the coffee in your capsules?

Like espresso machines, capsule and pod coffee makers also use pressure to extract the coffee’s flavor and volatiles. Densified coffee in pods and capsules provides an optimal amount of resistance for the pressurized water to extract the dissolvable solids of the grounds.

The result is the consumer enjoys a better cup of coffee.

Speak to a representative about how densification can be added to your coffee capsule and pod production

Black Ice Deflectors on IMD granulizers, for improved flow of coffee

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MPE’s Black Ice Deflectors (pictured above) are another design innovation found inside IMD Series granulizers. Their function is to make sure oily and static-charged ground coffee falls consistently into lower sections

Why inconsistent flow of coffee must be avoided

After coffee is ground by the top section, it takes on a static charge, which, along with the help of the coffee oils, causes it to stick on the inside surfaces of the roll chamber. Gravity is what makes the coffee fall into the subsequent rolls, however not consistently—at least not without the help of the Black Ice Deflectors.

Without these deflectors, coffee accumulates like snowpacks on the internal surfaces and then falls like an avalanche. These avalanches are hard spikes of resistance detrimental to rolls, components, and motors. The sheering function of the rolls suffers when the rush of coffee forces its way between the rolls leading to crushing, which is not good for achieving accurate particle size distributions. Some manufacturers answer the problem by having chains inside each chamber that slide across angled deflectors. But this is a purely mechanical approach not favored by MPE because while chains manage the problem, they do not solve it. Coffee particles still accumulate like snowpacks waiting for the next chain sweep, merely dividing up the avalanche into many smaller ones.

How MPE’s Superior Approach Solves the Problem

The approach favored by MPE is a two-fold solution. First, a vibration device behind each panel renders the entire surface unstable and virtually impossible to stick to. Secondly, application of a food-grade non-stick Black Ice coating on the deflectors helps transient particles in their downward slide into lower chambers. This two-prong approach achieves a consistent rate of coffee always falling into subsequent rolls to eliminate torque spikes and achieve the most accurate particle size distributions.

Genuine thru-water cooling on rolls, journals, and bearings

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A light shines through a roll installed in an IMD Series granulizer to demonstrate the genuine thru-water cooling of MPE granulizers. The roll’s journals are mounted inside the bearings and water fittings will soon be added at both ends. This design ensures temperature stability on all rolls, journals, and bearings for better operation and extended life of components

Granulizer rolls, journals, and bearings are designed for precision grinding in large volumes. With applications requiring tight particle distributions and roll gaps as small as 50 microns, stabilizing tolerances and controlling temperature can make all the difference between a great coffee product and an inferior one.

Heat alters tolerances and contributes to faster mechanical wear. Heat on just a single bearing can throw off the parallelity of the rolls and significantly alter particle distributions and reduce overall precision.

To control the heat of the components, one of MPE’s signature engineering designs is genuine thru-water cooled rolls found on most IMD models. The idea is simple; running water through both sets of bearings and journals—and rolls of course—so that they stay a consistent temperature during operation. This two-sided cooling keeps the rolls in perfect parallel operation and reduces component wear.

Water-cooling designs seen on competitors’ industrial coffee grinders are usually one-sided. And while this may adequately cool the rolls and prevent an undesired 2nd roast of the coffee, non-cooled bearings on the other side are liable to increased heat-related wear and metallurgical expansion leading to a loss of roll parallelity. This loss results in a less precise grind, and consequently, a lower quality ground coffee product.

Chain-Vey’s rotating discharge tube

Tubular drag conveyor discharge tube
Front view of the rotating discharge tube

Chain-Vey’s rotating discharge tube is designed around the needs of our customers. The unit can open and close while the conveyor is running—no stopping and starting required. It won’t break any product either as its rotating tube gently glides around the chain and pucks that pass through. For potentially sticky applications, a compressed air nozzle inside the unit sprays the chain and pucks to ensure complete product removal.

MPE’s Rotating Discharge Tube is Clean-In-Place-ready for all system types; from hybrid to full-CIP. Models range for all Chain-Vey diameters from 3″ to 6″.

Talk to a sales engineer about our Chain-Vey conveyor systems today.

See Chain-Vey Up Close at Petfood Forum 2017


Petfood Forum in Kansas City, MO is a great place for pet food manufacturers to see Chain-Vey in person. It’s also an opportunity to talk with our engineers, discuss project demands, and learn about other projects and ideas. Chain-Vey will be there with a 4″ diameter fully operational model to showcase its gas-tight, hassle-free, and automated clean-in-place design. Engineers Andrew Willse and John Eiting will be there to meet everyone who stops by.

Chain-Vey’s location at Petfood Forum 2017 is booth 473.

Global Specialty Coffee Expo 2017 & Interpack 2017; a momentous lineup

Mar '17

Modern Process Equipment (MPE) is excited for a momentous lineup of shows this year; most notably Interpack 2017 and Global Specialty Coffee Expo 2017 (check mpechicago.com for a complete listing).

For over 60 years, MPE has built the finest array of commercial and industrial coffee grinders in the world. This year is no exception in the level of innovation MPE brings to the industry. The IMD.2 800 Series grinder makes its worldwide debut at Interpack 2017; the first of its kind to implement independent drive motors for each roll. Users can electronically customize each roll’s speed to achieve a range of ratios from 1:1 to 1:4. The IMD.2 800 Series’ automated recipe-driven control system with precision servo gap control allows for micro fine adjustments in 10-micron increments. This heightened precision in gap control coupled with individually adjustable roller speeds is beneficial for espresso pod and capsule applications; effectively engineering a perfect, repeatable grind. Genuine thru-roller water-cooling ensures a continuous flow of cool water through all rolls and bearings, keeping them cool. This stabilizes tolerances and ensures perfect parallel operation—even during periods of extended operation. MPE will also bring its 3” Chain-Vey system, built for unsurpassed preservation of coffee aromatics during conveyance. Its gas-tight design and nitrogen-purge capabilities are great for Turkish coffee, pod, and capsule makers. For an up-close demonstration at Interpack 2017 visit booth A04 in Hall 2.

The MPE booth at Global Specialty Coffee Expo 2017 will feature the GPX.WCI and SRM 4555 coffee grinders along with MPE’s 3” Chain-Vey system. The versatile water-cooled GPX.WCI stands beautifully with its stainless steel hopper and black, blue, and polished steel exterior. Capable of grinding between 50 microns (ultrafine) to as large as 1000 microns (coarse filter), it is the staple of many startup roasters. The more robust SRM 4555 grinder is the perfect fit for those making their first foray into the world of accurate, higher-capacity roller-style grinding. MPE’s booth number at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo is 1010.