Design of new innovative upgradeable espresso machine!

Guercil

New member
Feb 23, 2016
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Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum and to the world of coffee lovers. However, I am a mechanical engineer working for Grenoble Institute of Technology (INP) and am leading a project on the design of a new innovative espresso machine.

An important electronics company (who's name I cannot disclose) is wishing to start producing products that are environmentally friendly, yet attractive to the public.

In specific, my part of the project revolves around the eco-design of a coffee machine which is modular and upgradeable. This will ideally extend the useful lifetime of the product for more than 15 years (target of over 25) reducing the depletion of natural resources associated with modern consumerism.

The first step of the project requires the completion of a 5 min survey. (survey found here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MWX3VX7


Sorry about posting a link without having 5 posts logged!
I hope you will be able to help (and be thrilled to contribute :lol: ) the development of this project, which could bring coffee machines in a more environmentally responsible 20th century!

Thanks a lot in advance!

Lorenzo Guercini
 
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Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
890
2
Not sure I understand just how esprresso machines currently produced are not environmentally friendly, or more to the point, just how they can be made more environmentally friendly. Would you be able to give us some idea where your efforts are focused without jeopardizing your IP rights?
 
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Guercil

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Feb 23, 2016
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Not sure I understand just how esprresso machines currently produced are not environmentally friendly, or more to the point, just how they can be made more environmentally friendly. Would you be able to give us some idea where your efforts are focused without jeopardizing your IP rights?


Hi Mr Peaberry,

The research is based on the engineering methodology of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). In short, this means that while designing a product ( the coffee machine in this case) engineers pay special attention to the whole life cycle of the product (manufacture, usage, upgradeability, recyclability, disposal) focusing on reducing the carbon footprint.

Examples of solutions proposed through LCA methodology are :

Making the coffee machine with recycled and low impact material and processes (maufacture)

Adding low energy consumption modes (usage)

Making the machine modular and upgradeable, so that the consumer that buys, say, a mid range coffee machine ( 400 euros), can decide to upgrade it, instead than throwing it away and buying a better one. This can extend the value life of the product to over 20 years, while keeping it attractive. For example the consumer (who bought the 400 euros espresso machine) could own a high spec machine after a few upgrades. 10 years down the line, he could own a product that looks completely new, works with the newest technologies available, without buying a whole new machine. This is all obtained through modularity, upgradeability, serviceability and remanufacturability (this is the main focus of the project).

Finally the machine could be made so that the parts that do reach their end of life early (or which fail), can be extracted easily and replaced, as well as being grouped in similar material modules with innovative assembly methods to obtain an efficient disassembly and recycling process.


In general, this should be how all products in the future will be designed, with the aim to reduce natural resource depletion, which is a huge problem at the moment! Ideally companies would not be "selling the products" at all, (coffee machine bought is still property of the company) but selling the service, i.e. excellent coffee for more than 20 years.

The aim of the survey is to shift the attention slightly from pure environmental responsibility to a product that will also be interesting to the market!

Hope I've been able to be concise and insightful!
 

Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
890
2
Thank you for the very thoughtful answer. I am impressed. I live in California, a state in the USA known for environmental activism. There seems to be a lot of companies lately engaging in "greenwashing" their products or services to appeal to the sustainability minded consumer. Glad that you're not one of them! I'd be glad to take the survey! Also, if there is a way to sign up to receive updates of your progress, that would be just swell!

Cheers,

Peaberry
 
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Guercil

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Feb 23, 2016
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I am happy you like the project. The aim is to create environmentally responsible designs which directly benefit the consumer ( rather than only flaunting the eco aspect).

I have looked at the survey and it seems that your response has not been logged (maybe try again?).

I would greatly appreciate if you, being a senior member, could help me get as many survey entries as possible (currently at zero! :decaf:).

With respect to the updates I might be able to add something in this thread from time to time, but the fact that it is a research project means that most information has to stay concealed ( I'm already revealing a lot of ideas through the survey!).

Thanks again!

Lorenzo
 

Mr.Peaberry

Member
Aug 7, 2013
890
2
I took the survey, and found it to be quite thoughtful...much like your reply to my original post here. I hope others here will support your efforts by taking your survey in the hopes that it will help your concept become a reality. I particularly am hopeful that a truly upgradable machine can allow a newbie to keep pace with the level of skill they acquire without breaking the bank. I know a lot of folks have fantastic jobs and great retirements that afford them the luxury of collecting coffee equipment, but for those less fortunate, it would be a very nice option to be able to scale up as the budget and passion permit.

Cheers,

Peaberry
 

jbilyeu15

New member
Feb 13, 2016
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Boulder, CO
Awesome. I took the survey and found it to be very well thought out. I think that you have the opportunity to be innovative and bring about some impressive new concepts, especially within the modularity of the machine. Good luck and I hope to see more posts about your progress!

Jason
 

Pinewatt

New member
Aug 2, 2015
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San Jose
Just took the survey, I used to live in Grenoble and attended STENDHAL. Love the city. Would love to see what you come up with.
 

friedcoffee

New member
Jan 12, 2016
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India
That seems to be a nice concept...not throwing away a machine and simply upgrading it. I guess, it is going to be a big hit once it enters into the market and most of the things are going to work on the same process in other niches also like mobiles, tablets and other household items too.
 

javanize.me

New member
Mar 21, 2016
47
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Montreal, Canada
Hi Guercil,

I filled up the survey. Good luck with your R&D and I hope you guys come up with a great design and solution. If you need financing, I think that would be a suitable project for Kickstarter and Indigogo. Wish you the best!


If I may suggest, some people buy Acaia espresso scale to use with their espresso machine.
- I believe that if you design a dripper pad with a weight sensor (scale)
- And if you integrate some bluetooth altogether to get some statistic from the brew you make with the machine, you would also be totally innovative.

The advantage of the bluetooth and statistics, is that people can improve their technique and the software on the remote device compiling the statistics can tell you what you are doing wrong and how to improve. Not that useful in a professional shop (unless for training purpose) but at home, I can see some interest.


Regards,
 
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