Verena Street’s Showroom-Quality Process System

Verena Street Coffee is a specialty roaster in Dubuque, Iowa. They recently moved into a 34,000 square foot facility and needed help building three new post-roast processing systems.

Verena’s Needs:

Each system needed flexibility for employees handling multiple blends, batch sizes, grinds, flavors, etc. Additionally, Verena’s owners needed systems that could scale with projected growth without the need of replacing conveyors and equipment that had yet to make a return on investment. Verena took full advantage of its situation in building a new operation from scratch; consulting with MPE engineers in judiciously laying out each system to ensure ease of transport of totes, safe worker movement, and the facility’s overall aesthetic appeal to white-label customers. Additional engineering considerations like broad sweeps of the tubular conveyor elbows and extra outlets (for grinders and totes) ensured operational longevity of each system at full speed and capacity.

MPE’s Solution:

Flavoring system: Taking totes of roasted coffee, transferring to a blender for flavoring, then transferring back to totes

Grinding system: Transferring coffee from totes to a grinder and then back to totes

Blending system: Taking totes of fresh roasted coffee, batching specified quantities for blending, then moving blends to totes


Flavoring System

Tube conveyor system inside Verena's coffee facility
On the floor-level is a Chain-Vey tubular drag conveyor inlet where totes can be wheeled up to and emptied. The conveyor transports the coffee upwards to the mezzanine where the mixer is. After flavoring, the coffee will drop vertically through the mezzanine floor into another tote (yet to be installed in these photos)
Marion coffee mixer atop of mezzanine at Verena facility
The perspective atop of the mezzanine looking at the flavoring mixer. Note the Chain-Vey above has two outlets, yet only one mixer to empty into. Eventually Verena will add a second mixer without needing to modify the tubular conveyor system

Grinding System

Grinding system at Verena coffee facility
The grinding system begins with a floor-level tube conveyor inlet where totes of coffee are emptied. The coffee is conveyed upwards using a 4″ diameter Chain-Vey to a mezzanine where batch bins reside as intermediary storage to regulate the flow of coffee into the 600 FX grinder below. After the coffee is ground and densified, a 3″ Chain-Vey conveys the coffee upwards to another batch bin for intermediate storage until it’s ready for transport
600 FX grinder and Chain-Vey integration
For aesthetic and workflow reasons Verena wanted the grinder and Chain-Vey to sit in-line with each other. MPE placed the Chain-Vey’s turnaround inside the grinder’s footprint to achieve this
Grinding system at Verena facility engineered for scaling production in the future
In another example of planning ahead, a second batch bin located atop of the grinder system’s mezzanine is ready for eventual installation of a second grinder and Chain-Vey

Blending System

Coffee blending system at Verena facility
This is a wide shot of the blending system; on the left are three floor scales and unloading inlets for wheeling up and emptying totes of coffee; on the right is a blender and corresponding outlet for finished batches
Floor weight scales and load cells measure loss in weight of coffee from totes
The floor scales are robust enough to handle sizable steel totes but also precise enough to measure specific losses-in-weight consistently for desired coffee blends. The scales send these measurements to the fully programmable and automated PLC which starts and stops the feeders according to the program recipe
Mixer for blending coffee in processing system connected by tube conveyor
This blender sits on load cells to measure weights of incoming and outgoing coffee; data which is then transmitted to the PLC. This second weight measurement affords redundancy in the blending process and allows for easier process management

Results:

Verena Street Coffee now has a showroom-quality facility with three MPE-engineered systems. Together, Verena has the flexibility and operational efficiency that fits with their current business needs while fully prepared for future growth. Their white-label business is especially poised to benefit from this easily expandable capacity. The reliable conveyance Verena Street Coffee enjoys with their Chain-Veys, the unsurpassed grinding quality with their MPE grinder, and the expertise MPE engineers leveraged from hundreds of past systems integrations coalesce into Verena having one of the most prized roasteries in the Midwest.

Get in touch with our processing systems engineers to discuss the possibilities of your project.

Also check out other coffee processing systems like what we did for Philz Coffee and Keurig Green Mountain.