SaltWorks® is a sea and mineral salt company located in Woodinville, Washington producing a range of specialty salts for wholesale customers and consumers. In addition to their selection of popular salts, they also produce custom salts with customer-selected characteristics—not the least of which is grain size. SaltWorks is unique within its market because of its economies of scale in producing high quality salts.
Coarse Red Hawaiian-Style Sea Salt
Coarse Bolivian Rose™ Andes Mountain Salt
Cyprus Black Mediterranean Black Sea Salt Flakes
Flor de Sal Portuguese Sea Salt
SaltWorks reached out to MPE because their previous grinder was not doing a great job and translated to higher production costs for two reasons:
A high number of fines up to 25% meant more product was needed for yields of a desired grain size. While excess fines were still valuable for use in other products, processing them a second time required extra inventory and labor
Switching between Himalayan pink salts and white sea salts require cleanings to ensure purity and integrity. However manually cleaning their old grinder was a laborious and inefficient process
For these reasons, plant managers wanted to find a grinder that could reliably achieve a lower fines rate and integrate into SaltWorks’ existing environmentally conscious clean-in-place (CIP) system.
A supersac unloader unloads larger crystals into their IMD79, which sits on a mezzanine
A true showroom-quality facility with even the finest details executed with perfection
MPE engineered a custom IMD 79 Gran-U-Lizer for SaltWorks (model IMD79) with two roller stages, affording an ideal amount of control and precision in the particle size reduction process. The programmable logic controller (PLC) allows operators to electronically set grind size and improve consistency across all products. Additionally the IMD79’s 4 rolls were made out of stainless steel and therefore can be wet washed as part of SaltWorks’ CIP system.
SaltWorks production managers are now experiencing a fines rate of only 2-3%. Their two-stage electronically controlled gap adjustment grinder allows for nimble transitioning between orders of varying grain sizes—with repeatable accuracy. Plant managers have never been happier when it comes to particle size reduction.
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.
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.
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
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.
Chain-Vey’s Clean-In-Place System is a flexible solution for stress-free, automated cleaning of your Chain-Vey. The system begins with a Chain-Vey tubular conveyor built to water-tight specifications with CIP-integrated drive and turnaround boxes at each end of the system. The drive and turnaround boxes are where high pressure water or foaming agents are sprayed onto the chain and pucks and/or flood the system (depending on your selected cleaning cycle).
The cart is a detachable unit providing plant managers any selection/sequence of high pressure water, foam, or flooded-system cleanings. Then using warm, dry air pumped throughout the system, the cart can dry the entire Chain-Vey for quick resumption of operation. The cart can then be quickly detached and wheeled to other Chain-Veys for staggered cleanings as part of routine operations. Virtually all cleaning agents can be used and the cart needs only water and electrical (230/460 V or 380 V) sources.
With foam cleaning, a cleaning that might otherwise consume hundreds of gallons of heated water for a fully flooded cycle can be done with a fraction of water and energy—while meeting or exceeding all sanitation specifications.
Flavorings, allergens, sanitation-sensitive products, pharmaceutical, and high purity applications are well answered by the Chain-Vey’s robust CIP system.
MPE of Chicago, USA is pleased to announce their strategic service, support, and representation alliance with Petroncini Impianti S.p.A. of Ferrara, Italy.
MPE is the world’s leading manufacturer of coffee grinders and tubular drag conveyors, and a leader in coffee processing system designs with a 60 year reputation for American engineering innovation, quality, and commitment to customer success.
Petroncini is a world leader in coffee roasting, processing equipment, and plant designs with a 98 year long tradition combined with cutting-edge design and European modernity.
Now formally allied together, Petroncini will be assisting in sales efforts and service/product support for MPE coffee grinders and Chain-Vey® tubular drag conveyors. “This alliance will be of great benefit to our European, North African, and Middle Eastern customers who will have closer access to MPE’s technical expertise and products channeled through Petroncini,” says MPE’s President Daniel Ephraim. “Years of past systems integration together and mutual appreciation of each other’s work led to this partnership. It was just a natural step,” he added.
This alliance’s complete range of product offerings, fully integrated and supported throughout the world, will continue both companies’ pursuits in providing the best products, service, and support to coffee roasters worldwide.
We invite you to meet with MPE and Petroncini, together in person, at the MPE/Petroncini booth in Hall 2, Booth A04 at Interpack 2017 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
When our friends at Philz Coffee told us their amazing new MPE-designed processing system—with its shiny new green coffee silos, classification system, Chain-Vey tube conveyors, roasters, and packaging system—was going to be featured on ABC 7 News, we knew it was because Philz is obviously an incredible roaster doing something special in the coffee world. But it’s nice to see our own work play a part in Philz’ story and success as one of the US’ fastest growing roasters.
Bakery Co.* is a multi-billion dollar food processing company that produces a popular breakfast biscuit (and several variations) consisting of rolled oats, rye flakes, various flours and other ingredients. These recipes, while nothing too complicated, became difficult to scale with Bakery Co.’s existing process system and production managers were experiencing quality control issues prior to MPE’s involvement.
Bakery Co.’s needs
The biggest issue was that after blending dry ingredients; flours, sweeteners, and additives would segregate during transport through a pneumatic tube system to a bulk bag filler. Needless to say, this issue created headaches for production managers
Plant managers also wanted to find a replacement process system requiring less maintenance and reducing energy costs—as their pneumatic conveyors consumed a lot of electricity, were quite loud, and required frequent upkeep
MPE engineered an entirely new process system for Bakery Co. in the following order:
Bulk pack (also known as supersac) unloaders feeding a tubular drag conveyor
Transport to stationary surge bins on load cells (large scales) with active bin bottoms to ensure consistent subsequent outflow of dry ingredients to loss-in-weight feeders
Loss-in-weight feeders ensure precise dispensation of ingredients in adherence to recipes
Then feeding measured ingredients to a second tubular drag conveyor transporting to a ribbon blender
After blending, the (still dry) mixture feeds into a third tubular drag conveyor for transport to a subsequent bulk bag filler for storage until baking production
A picture is worth a thousand words
Bulk bag ingredients are quickly unloaded with no waste and efficiently transported to interim storage; ingredients are then accurately measured and transported to the mixing hoppers; product integrity is maintained during transport from mixers to the final bulk bags; all at a fraction of electricity usage and noise pollution. Meanwhile, Bakery Co.’s breakfast biscuits never tasted better.
*We substituted our customer’s real name with the fictitious name Bakery Co.
MPE’s president Dan Ephraim extended his advice in Roast Magazine’s January/February 2017 issue in the first of a two part article “Building a Mid- to Large-Scale Specialty Coffee Roasting Plant.”
This advice echoed by Ephraim, who recommends clients start with a “5,000-foot view” of the overall project, allowing them to “develop an order of magnitude on the kind of space and resources necessary to move forward.”
Ephraim also suggests having the latest design resources available, such as 3D modeling, to “eliminate issues down the installation road.” He adds that someone on your team needs extensive experience with the software to make the best use of these tools.
We are very happy when the work of our customer Green Mountain Coffee is featured on a TV show as fun and exciting as Unwrapped 2.0; but we’re especially proud when the work of our engineering, sales, and manufacturing teams is featured so prominently as well. And in case you were wondering, those are 5″ Chain-Veys (featured at 0:45 and 1:15) and IMD-999 grinders (at 2:25) inside Green Mountain’s roastery.
Activated carbon (also known as activated charcoal) is a highly porous material used in a wide range of applications—if you’re reading this you probably already know that though. What you may not know however is that MPE offers the latest in activated carbon grinder technology for achieving high yields (80% – 95%) on a wide range of target sizes (20 x 50, 30 x 80, 80 x 325 mesh, etc.). Unlike conventional grinding equipment, our activated carbon Gran-U-Lizers produce narrow particle size distributions with fewer “fines” (dust), resulting in higher yields and less screening. The MPE activated carbon Gran-U-Lizers handle all target ranges, and adjust configuration in seconds, with a fully automated option available.
Our product line ranges in capacity from 500 to 5,000 lbs/hr (226 to 2267 kgs/hr). And are appropriate for virtually all activated carbon applications; including coconut, coal, coke, and wood-based carbon products.