Service Sphere explains why telemetry is the future of espresso machine connectivity, and why data never lies.
For those workaholics among us, "switching off" when going on holidays can be tough. Do you ever find your mind wondering back to the workplace questioning: I wonder how many coffees we made today? Did we make more lattes or more espresso? Was the coffee machine functioning well? Did the staff remember to clean the coffee machine?
While I like to promote a healthy work-life balance, for those of us who can’t handle being disconnected, telemetry is the best invention since Skype to keep café owners and operators connected to the daily activities of their café remotely.
Thanks to the internet, access to information and live data feeds at the click of a button have changed how people communicate – and in the world of machine technology, it’s the future. Telemetry is a system which monitors an espresso machine’s functions and performance via an internet connection.
Yep, that invisible thing known as "the cloud" can connect all the machine’s functional and operational data and allow users to see what staff are doing back in Australia while you might be sipping cocktails on a business trip in Italy. Some might think of it as "checking up," but I like to think of it as "peace of mind."
LaCimbali uses Telemetry in its M34 and M100 machines, as well as most of its bean-to-cup machines. Rheavendors and Eversys machines use an equivalent E-Connect system, and moving forward, I want Service Sphere to develop its own unique telemetry program.
The LaCimbali Plat-One system allows technicians to monitor an espresso machine’s progress simply with a registration number, username, or by location. Data is generated by the machine on site, sent via Wi-Fi connection to a virtual server and is accessible to those who have authorised access via a PC, tablet or smartphone. Data can be viewed in easy-to-read graphs, calendars, images and text to make sure information is easily understood. Users also have the ability to export data to csv or excel files. LaCimbali’s Plat One system transfers data from the machine to the server automatically, and updates are sent to the web platform every 60 minutes. The information is available in six languages, including Italian, English, German, Spanish, French and Chinese.
Service providers, roasters or franchise groups can use Telemetry to make machine users and staff more accountable. They can use it for fleet analysis, to see if there are any faults with the machine, what chemicals are being used, and whether it’s being cleaned properly – if at all.
Using telemetry, the system can even notify the service provider when the machine is ready for its routine check-up, based on the volume of coffees and water used. It can also indicate a potential problem before it becomes an issue, much like the idea of preventative maintenance.
Telemetry also prevents reactive calls from customers. Rather than deploying a technician on a Sunday to find out why there’s a certain fault with a machine, which can be costly and time consuming for a business owner, a technician can use telemetry to log on to the machine’s software to view certain parameters. For example, what the brew temperature of the last extraction was, and assess if there’s a mechanical issue or not. Even remotely, a technician can alter a brew recipe instantly if needed. If there’s ever a machine fault however, a notification will be sent to the technician to alert the customer, most of the time before they are even aware of the problem.
Telemetry has many benefits for roasters, café owners and managers. They can analyse production volume, determine a café’s most popular drinks, assess the peak times of business, the amount of water running through the machine, output parameters such as boiler pressure and water temperature, and the machine’s history.
Managers can even use telemetry to fact check and count the daily till, and compare that figure with the machine’s data to see if there are any gaps, or how many freebies have been thrown in. If you’re a spreadsheet-sort-of-person, then this system is on your wavelength. You can even save the data using Wi-Fi and compare it with previous or future results.
- Consumption monitoring
- Set beverage parameters
- Control of dispensing parameters
- Parameter delivery control (boiler pressure and temperature, flow rate and timing for each coffee group)
- Direct access to raw data
- Ongoing analysis
- Prevention of malfunction
- Fault analysis
- Cleaning check
- Historical data analysis
- Remote checks
So why care if your machine has telemetry or not? For those looking to make a new purchase, it’s a small investment for long-term gain.
"We already live in a data-savvy environment with access to information at our fingertips, and this system is no different."
LaCimbali traditional machines and Rheavendors models require the purchase of a Telemetry Kit. LaCimbali bean-to-cup models and Eversys machines come with Telemetry in-built.
While it may not look like much to a customer on the outside, on the inside, telemetry is a great business tool. It’s about using data and statistics to make better business decisions and improve the performance of your coffee machine and consistency of your coffee. We already live in a data-savvy environment with access to information at our fingertips, and this system is no different.
Telemetry technology was designed for hospitality, restaurant, and catering chains to be able to communicate to and from their database, but through our own sale research, we can see it’s not just franchise groups craving information. Offices and owners of vending machines want to be alerted when stocks are in need of supply. Cafés want an ongoing analysis of their equipment, to know which of their two venues are achieving higher productivity, and peace of mind that their machine is working in tip-top shape.
Telemetry is the future of data sharing in espresso machines. Like we’ve seen with the introduction of under-counter bench espresso machines, there’s nowhere for a barista to hide – quite literally – and thanks to this transparent data-sharing information, there’s nowhere for data to hide either – it’s exposed for all to see.