IMA Coffee discusses the launch of IMA Coffee Lab

IMA Coffee discusses the launch of IMA Coffee Lab, a scaled-down factory open to customers with the latest processing and packaging technology.

Imagine a coffee processing and packaging plant that could handle every phase of the process available to a business, a plant that could test the best engineering technologies and innovations for the coffee industry.

IMA Coffee has turned this dream into reality by creating IMA Coffee Lab, a unique center open to all customers and coffee processors looking for professional advice and innovative solutions. It houses a fully functional pilot plant covering all stages of handling, processing and packaging.

More than a showroom where customers can appreciate the breadth of IMA Coffee’s expertise, Nicola Panzani, Strategic Director of IMA Coffee Lab, explains that it is a place to experiment with solutions and get an insider’s view. tangible whole of an entire plant.

“Customers are welcome to come and test their own coffee at any stage of the process or complete a full processing and packaging test in the pilot plant. This includes solutions for admission or storage of green coffee, cleaning and sorting, weighing, handling and transport, roasting, grinding, degassing with aroma protection using nitrogen, and the packaging of coffee sachets and capsules,” says Panzani.

Located at the IMA Coffee Petroncini site between Bologna and Ferrara in northern Italy, the Coffee Lab covers 3000 square meters and will be the starting point for many new products and research and development solutions dedicated to the coffee industry.

Panzani says the main benefit of having a single source for handling, processing and packaging is the single-source approach, and IMA Coffee Lab explores all stages in an integrated way, including intake and storage. .

“This is followed by each processing phase, from roasting to grinding, and completed by the three packaging stages: primary, secondary and end-of-line. This allows customers to enjoy and adapt any step in the process to achieve the desired result,” says Panzani.

The Coffee Lab houses an on-site analytical laboratory that deals with testing green coffee, roast coffee and ground coffee for key parameters such as moisture levels or weight loss.

“This allows visiting companies to do multiple tests and gather vital information to help make the right decisions before defining the details of each machine,” says Panzani.

Panzani says a key benefit of the new IMA Coffee organization is a comprehensive selection of accessible coffee-focused services, such as bespoke engineering solutions that can be defined and tested inside the factory. pilot.

“Research and development projects can be used to test and develop customers’ packaging materials on the machines, while comprehensive consultancy services are also available to review and discuss processing and packaging aspects. Quality testing and in-cup tasting services are offered, as well as turnkey solutions for complete processing and packaging lines from a single source,” says Panzani.

“We also have a global presence with sales representatives able to organize laboratory visits, and a Technical Coffee Academy to train and acquire specific skills related to coffee processing.”

Panzani says the IMA Coffee Academy is one of the most engaging ways to increase all skills related to the coffee processing industry.

“Here, company representatives visiting the lab will be able to attend short learning sessions to gain more expertise in green coffee analysis, roasting techniques and in-cup sensory analysis,” he says.

“Following the [Specialty Coffee Association] certification modules is one way, but we also encourage visitors to join a customized training program, which can be coordinated with training staff.

Specialist technicians are also permanently available at the Lab to provide visiting companies with valuable advice and technical details covering all aspects of the machinery and packaging solutions available.

Panzani says IMA Coffee’s vast experience in packaging solutions is backed by Open Lab, another IMA lab, which researches sustainable alternatives by developing proprietary packaging materials.

“The strength of the capsules can also be physically tested in the laboratory and IMA Coffee technicians are available to guide companies in their choice of materials. Customers are also encouraged to carry out trials on their own packaging materials in the pilot plant,” he said.

According to Panzani, working together on the factory layout for each business allows IMA Coffee to tailor key features to specific customer needs.

“Ultimately, the goal is to provide all the answers needed to create an integrated processing and packaging line that will maximize production efficiency, performance and achieve the required product quality,” says Panzani.

“As a functional, scaled-down factory covering the majority of equipment involved in the entire production process, it is an environment that allows visitors to take a close look at all aspects, carry out extensive trials and to get immediate answers.”

To complement the initiative that brings IMA Coffee closer to the market and its key players, IMA Coffee has also opened a spin-off of the Italy-based IMA Coffee Lab at the IMA Coffee North America site in Massachusetts, USA. -United.

“In addition to additional local services and technical assistance, a team of after-sales technicians is present and able to offer qualified assistance for the North American market at the coffee derivative laboratory,” explains Panzani.

IMA Coffee Hub has become a destination for global roasters and, according to Panzani, it is the broadest technical and commercial activity serving the coffee processing and packaging industry today.

“IMA Coffee Hub is the ideal starting point from which you will reach your destination. This is precisely the advantage the coffee industry gets from IMA Coffee, a single supplier, already coordinated from within,” says Panzani.

Panzani says it is important for IMA Coffee that it reaches every corner of the world of coffee handling, processing and packaging, and that it can now solve any problem producers face of coffee with the IMA Coffee Lab.

“Today’s IMA Coffee Lab is more than a logical consequence of a winning approach to the industry. This represents an opportunity for all companies interested in meeting the needs of a global market to interact with a leader in the field and to evolve thanks to the technologies implemented by IMA,” says Panzani.

“IMA Coffee invites coffee industry partners to discover the benefits of the new Coffee Lab to improve their performance in a rapidly changing sector.”

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This article first appeared in the November/December 2022 edition of the Global Coffee Report. Learn more HERE.

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