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Modern Process creates a larger force within North American roasting industry.

As 1991 drew to a close, Modern Process Equipment (MPE) reflected on a year that witnessed several important achievements for the company.

Among these achievements were the completion of MPE's 35th year as specialists in the design, manufacture and reconditioning of coffee grinding equipment, the expansion of their operations to a new facility at 3125 S. Kolin, Chicago, IL, and their appointment as the North American representative for Neuhaus/Neotec, a leading European manufacturer of coffee roasting and handling equipment.

The move to MPE's new plant has more than doubled their design, manufacturing, testing and pilot plant facilities, giving the company the ability to accommodate future growth and provide customers with complete coffee testing capabilities. With this expansion comes increased R & D activities, which will result in the development of more efficient and effective coffee grinding equipment for the future.

Modern Process Equipment was founded in 1956 by Roger Fardig and Donald Stage, two of the original innovators and designers of the roller mill style coffee grinder, a principle that today continues to be utilized throughout the world. MPE has specialized since then in the design, manufacture and reconditioning of coffee grinding equipment. As coffee manufacturing and brewing methods have evolved over the years, MPE's equipment and services have also evolved to provide the optimal equipment for each coffee grinding application.

Today, Modern Process is a family-owned company that continues to grow under the direction of Daniel and Philip Ephraim. For over a decade, the Ephraims have relied on a close working relationship with their customers, which they feel is paramount to the company's successful growth.

"Modern Process Equipment's progression can be attributed to our close alliance with our customers. This alliance has led to a continual series of innovations and developments in the design of present day coffee grinding equipment," said Dan Ephraim.

Indeed, the Modern Process philosophy is to grow with their customers, adapting to the changing coffee industry and developing the grinding techniques required to produce the wide variety of ground coffee products necessary to meet the needs of coffee drinkers worldwide.

Research and development activity is now stronger than ever with the addition of Jim Ephraim, the "younger brother" and most recent family member to join the company. R & D, along with the pilot plant and testing facility, is designed to meet the ever-changing requirements from the smallest gourmet to the largest retail coffee roasters.

Technical Advances

MPE's development of coffee grinding equipment, which typically has paralleled the changing requirements of the coffee industry and its customers, includes:

* The continual improvement of their "Exchange Head Program," which provides for the reconditioning of coffee grinding sections to "as new" condition as the old units become worn.

As part of this program, MPE has constantly explored and implemented new and better designs and materials, resulting in the application of the latest technologies in this regard. * Innovated and perfected the controlling of coffee density throughout the grinding process including normalization and sifting. * Optimized efficient coffee grinding through the utilization of proprietary designs in the whole bean grinder feeding process. * Designed and implemented water cooled coffee grinders and normalization (mixer) chambers to eliminate the generation of heat in the grinding and compaction (dechaffing) process. * Manufactured the IMD 1052 grinder, which meets high volume production requirements and provides maintenance-free installation, wherein each grinding section is independently motor driven, the grinds are automatically adjusted and the rolls are water cooled. * Developed electronic controllers for maximizing grinding efficiency and output as well as controlling, on a flow basis, the bulk density of ground coffee. * Engineered equipment to address environmental considerations and effect product enhancement through the recapture and reutilization of [CO.sub.2] gas generated during the coffee grinding process. * Developed the world's smallest roller mill style coffee grinder (SRM) to afford high quality grinding capabilities in lower volume and gourmet coffee manufacturing applications.

Recent Product Developments

Today, the company's product line ranges from the small roller mill style grinders (SRM 4555) whose rollers are 5" in diameter and 5" in length to large scale units like the IMD 1052, whose rollers are 10" in diameter and 52" in length. Production capabilities range accordingly from 500 to 15,000 lbs./hr., and all equipment can include normalization, sifting, density control, water cooling, etc.

The SRM 4555 roller style grinder is revolutionary inasmuch as it utilizes the same technology as large industrial coffee grinders, yet occupies only six square feet of floor space. This affords the lower volume and gourmet coffee roasters the highest quality coffee grinding capability.

At the other end of the spectrum is MPE's largest grinder, the IMD 1052, which is a fully automated high capacity coffee grinder capable of producing in excess of 15,000 pounds of ground coffee per hour. This grinder fits the needs of high volume processors, particularly those producing a very fine grind coffee.

According to Phil Ephraim, who shares the same philosophy as his brother, Dan, "Our success in the continual development of innovative coffee grinding equipment is due in large part to our ability to meet with and listen to the needs of our customers...large and small. Their input has led to MPE's ability to provide the products we have today."


As the North American representative "arm" of Neuhaus/Neotec, MPE now can offer a full complement of coffee manufacturing equipment including coffee roasters, storage, handling and unloading equipment.

Modern Process views their affiliation with Neuhaus/Neotec as yet another manner in which they may better serve their customers by providing a full line of "state-of-the art" coffee processing technologies.

As part of the Neotec operation, MPE's testing center includes a coffee roasting facility which, when combined with their other capabilities, provides customers with a most realistic representation of their coffee manufacturing potential.

Commitment to Education

MPE's commitment to its customers includes their "coffee grinding seminars" that cover instruction in the operation and maintenance of coffee grinding equipment. These seminars are held either at their Chicago plant location or at customer locations. It is here that customers learn more about the proper operation and maintenance of their grinding equipment. MPE, in turn, receives ideas on how to better serve their customers and the industry's changing requirements.

"The seminars provide us with important customer interaction. While customers tell us that these seminars are one of the most beneficial programs they have ever encountered, we also learn a great deal about their problems and concerns. As a result, ideas are generated for manufacturing better coffee grinding products," states Dan Ephraim, who often conducts those seminars.

"The people who attend leave with an understanding of their equipment's capabilities, as well as a knowledge of how to maintain that equipment. I leave with a multitude of ideas for future equipment development."

Dan summarizes the company's philosophy by saying, "Our dedication to service and customer interaction have allowed us to anticipate and meet the ever-changing needs of the coffee industry with innovative equipment. MPE's reputation is based on a tradition of customer service and quality products, which will continue to be our focus in the future."

PHOTO : Model 1042 Coffee Grinder with 10" x 42" rolls, independent motor drives and modular design.

PHOTO : Don and Philip Ephraim prepare a high speed water cooled grinder for shipment.

PHOTO : Artist's rendition of MPE's enlarged facilities.

PHOTO : MPE has an on-site pilot plant and testing facility for quality control as well as R&D.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Lockwood Trade Journal Co., Inc.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:coffee grinder equipment company, Modern Process Equipment, becomes North American representative for European manufacturer of coffee equipment, Neuhaus/Neotec
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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