Probat unveils Neptune 1000 . drum toaster

Probat’s skillful manufacturing and engineering has resulted in a new Neptune 1000 drum toaster that puts maintenance in the spotlight and flexible solutions in the roasters’ hands..

German manufacturer Probat has always sought to provide toasters with industry solutions based on their needs for size, accuracy, and consistency, but there has been a single-size drum toaster that has eluded its line of machines, until now.

The new Neptune 1000 is Probat’s answer to customers who demand a mid-range drum roaster that falls between specialty coffee and commercial batch sizes.

“We know from discussions with our customers that we need to bridge the gap between small and large roasters and provide a solution,” says Marco Petri, Sales Manager for Probat, Germany.

“Not between the two sizes has been the growing number of specialty roasters, especially from Italy and southern Europe, who are considering expansion, are about to get bigger and are looking to the next best option in terms of machine performance, size, capacity and price point. They probably already have a model drum toaster. Neptune 500 or Px120, but the next size in our collection was the Neptune 1500 drum toaster, which is pretty big.”

At the heart of the Probat Neptune Roaster is a horizontal roasting drum with a rotary motor. The blades of the shovel rotate the coffee beans during the roasting process. The burner flame generates power for the roasting air which is directed through and around the roasting drum by means of the plates. Heat is applied through conduction through the hot inlet air, but also through conduction via contact of the bean with the roasting drum.

To reduce maintenance downtime, the engineering team at Probat evaluated how the machine was built and assembled in the factory, and how more technical changes could be implemented to help with serviceability and accessibility.

As such, the engineers repositioned the engine on top of the cooling sieve, which was previously located under it. This change makes cleaning the cooling sieve much easier. It also gives technicians direct access and replacement capabilities in the event of engine faults, while significantly reducing operator downtime. Other changes to improve maintenance include the use of a steel compensator instead of a cloth compensator to connect the heating furnace, and there is now the possibility of checking the rolling bearing without disassembling the gear motor.

Thanks to the ergonomic and hygienic design of the Neptune 1000, the toaster is also easy to clean in a short period of time. An enlarged inspection hatch has been set up at the back of the drum and at the bottom of the insulation cover on both sides of the machine, there is improved space and access to the burner chamber, roaster drum and cooling sieve. Stainless steel materials have also been used to avoid contamination of the final product. A platform can also be built around the roaster as an optional addition for better access to aroma and smoke tubes and fill hopper.

“Our engineers have studied all the possible ways a technician and roaster interact with their roasting machine, how they can best clean it, and access to parts for regular maintenance. They work directly with our customers every day to understand their wants and needs, and the Neptune 1000 is a reflection of that, ‘ says Petrie.

“This toaster truly represents considerations from every division of Probat, and we are convinced we have developed a machine that embraces how to manage common issues, and how we can ultimately reduce maintenance and downtime for our customers.”

The model has a modular design to allow customers to purchase a different type of model, built on a base version, with the option to implement additional features based on customer needs, such as the addition of a recirculation system, and Proair exhaust cooling air handling. This energy-efficient solution treats airflow by passing through a series of cold plasma units to eliminate odors from cold exhaust air, helping to reduce odor pollution by up to 91%.

To further avoid eliminating harmful emissions and dust particles into the environment throughout the roasting process, Probat’s high-efficiency cyclones with optimized flow processes ensure less dust deposits, efficient straw separation, and quick and clean disposal.

As part of the standard feature of the Neptune 1000, users can also choose an exhaust air treatment system from afterburner to thermal precleaner with catalyst, to Proforte, the technological advantage in exhaust air treatment in terms of energy and purification efficiency.

“It’s a delicate balance between energy savings, high production performance, and high-quality coffee production,” Petri says.

To provide users with the ability to ‘play’ and control the roasting, the PILOT Roaster 2020 control system allows operators to monitor the roasting temperature in real time, view the roasting profile, and the curve. Optionally, users can display bean color using Probat’s color control scaling system. The quality control device determines a color value or color curve that is continuous throughout the roasting process, making the desired quality and taste more consistent.

“The new PILOT Roaster 2020 control solution is a vital human-machine communication. It is an easy-to-understand and intuitive system that allows the user to always know what is happening in the device,” says Nico Moyed, Probat Development Project Manager.

With its modern design and expanded screen, users have a clear overview of the roasting process, with visual information and data about the timing and position of the first crack. They can display versions of recipes, historical trend of process values, device status, and a system that indicates the error while providing photos, videos, and feedback. The overall benefit is increased visibility, reduced training, and cost savings thanks to the simplicity of the solution.

“The new operator menu makes controlling the toaster easy. Everything the roaster needs is on the screen in front of it, making for a more comfortable experience,” says Petrie.

In addition, the Neptune 1000 has individually controlled frequency converters and thermocouples inside the roaster to control drum speed and provide temperature-related information, such as air supply, product temperature, ambient temperature, and exhaust temperature to give the operator more control when developing roast profiles .

Typically when roasters upgrade to a larger industrial roaster—particularly specialty roasters—they lose the ability to “play” with the toaster’s features, such as drum rotation and the size of the fans, Petrie says, but with the Neptune 1000 operators can control the machine as much or as small as they like.

“We have equipped the roasters with every tool and function so that we can use and operate the roaster to its full potential. All the tools are available to play with if they wish. The level of flexibility is the real advantage. It’s the future,” says Petri.

The idea of ​​flexibility extends to roasting length based on market preferences.

“Customers typically prefer a drum roaster between 14 to 20 minutes to bring out a high intensity of the aroma and flavor of the beans. However, many other people ask us if it is possible to roast in a shorter time, such as six minutes.

“The extended roasting time range gives our customers the flexibility to create roasts of any flavor. Propat is a world-class brand. Our roasting technology is flexible to meet any roaster’s needs, and the Neptune 1000 is a reflection of that. It really can do it all.”

The Neptune 1000 is scheduled to be released digitally on May 18th before it is released to the global market. When that happens, Moede says, he hopes customers feel that Probat’s technical and sales teams have carefully listened to their needs and delivered exactly what they wanted.

“The result is a truly flexible, intuitive and cutting edge model that benefits not only our customers, but technicians from a maintenance standpoint,” Moede says. “Neptune 1000 combines optimizations and optimizations in one device.”

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This article was first published in the May/June 2022 edition of the Global Coffee Report. Read more here.

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