Rancilio Group develops high-tech monitoring systems designed for traditional Rancilio and fully automatic Egro coffee machines. Turning a coffee machine into an internet-enabled device capable of generating and processing data in real time gives Rancilio Group a greater competitive edge in the global market and, thanks to investments in R&D ranging 6-8% of the company’s business volume, Rancilio Group has industry 4.0 standards firmly in its sights.

Connected machines

Connect is an internet-of-things (IoT) application designed to optimise the use, efficiency and profitability of coffee machines. This solution has been developed by the Rancilio Group R&D in partnership with leading cloud providers, including Microsoft. Connect uses telemetry to collect data generated by each coffee machine. This data is transferred to the Microsoft Azure cloud, allowing selective remote access to authorised personnel. A smart gateway provides connectivity for the machines, enabling them to connect to 2G and 3G networks, rather than sending the data via the internet.

‘Take a range of top-class machines then ask what could be added to make them truly amazing’: this was the question that sparked the intuition, and then a new awareness, in the Rancilio team that even the most high-performance products need to be precisely targeted and correctly monitored, at all times. It was essential to push forward with a process of creative design, leaving nothing to chance. This is why the Rancilio team thought long and hard about the technology most suited to perfect control of equipment.

The challenge was to design a new tool for the remote management of data produced by the coffee machines, making them even more competitive.

The challenge was to design a new tool for the remote management of data produced by the coffee machines, making them even more competitive in a practical way. The objectives were to provide a full picture of the hourly production of coffee, hot water and steam; to change the essential parameters of each machine when required, without visiting the website; and to solve problems quickly.

The solution Rancilio Group came up with was made possible by IoT. This term refers to a whole family of technologies aimed at making any object, including those not originally designed for the digital world, an internetlinked device, benefitting from all the features of those objects invented for connectivity. Being constantly connected makes it possible for the machine status, operations and state of health to be under control at all times.

Benefits for the managers

Connect guarantees more efficient management at all times. Food and beverage, and equipment managers now are able to monitor effective consumption constantly and to correct any errors made by the sales outlet that, according to some estimates, can represents a loss of turnover of the order of 10-15%. Maintenance managers can optimise their work, helping them organise their assistance teams and stocks of spare parts, through partial remote management of the machines.

This makes for a considerable improvement in the profit margins for maintenance work, with a saving in labour costs. Rancilio Group develops personalised technological solutions and shares its experience with customers to convert the demands of the market into new products. The telemetry option for Rancilio Group machines is designed in modular form to meet differing customer needs. This guarantees more sales opportunities, because Connect is now available on Rancilio Classe 11, Classe 9 and Classe 7; Egro ONE, TWO, BYO and NEXT machines.

Rancilio Group has a strong belief in the importance of the data generated by the use of traditional and fully automatic machines. The company is constantly seeking out new hightech solutions for the remote monitoring and management of coffee machines, with a view to making full use of the data collected for business purposes.