When a New Zealand coffee roastery expanded their business, manually wrestling 60 kg bags of coffee beans was no longer a viable or safe way to do business. Looking for bulk material handling conveyors as a solution, they turned to Floveyor for help.
Kōkako Organic Coffee was the first organic coffee roaster in New Zealand. Founded in 2001, the premium specialty coffee brand distributes their beans to cafes and restaurants throughout New Zealand. The environmentally minded company only sources certified Fairtrade, organic coffee beans, cocoa and cane sugar.
New Zealand coffee roastery diversifies business
A recent expansion into supermarkets with a new specialty coffee brand for consumers tested their plant operation. Kōkako processes 1.5–2 tonnes of coffee beans a week and wanted a conveyor that could help with multiple stages of the roasting process, including loading silos and loading the coffee roaster. In addition, the company needed flexibility in application, mobility, and ease of product transfer.
Improving safety and increasing efficiency in their daily operation were the main drivers for purchase.
Head Roaster, Sam McTavish explained Kōkako had two main challenges:
- Manually loading each bulk tub into a 25-kilogram Probat roaster
- Loading green beans in a silo that held approximately 1 tonne
“We were carrying 18 kg tubs of green beans up a set of stable stairs and loading the roaster manually. We roast between 12 and 30 batches of coffee daily, so it was a physically demanding job with much moving up and down steps,” Sam said.
“We wanted to relieve some of that manual labour and make the job safer and more approachable for everybody.”
Kōkako wanted to load their coffee roaster from the ground level. In addition, they were looking for processing equipment they could also use to load their silo.
Conveying technology to improve safety and efficiency
Kōkako had investigated in a couple of different kinds of loaders but found them slow and noisy. They wanted a closer look after seeing a Floveyor bulk material handling conveyor in action at another roastery and the global beverage producer gave Kōkako a demonstration.
“The Floveyor was considerably quieter and much faster than anything else we had looked at before,” Sam said.
“That sealed the deal for us once we had seen it in operation. Floveyor was a good solution to both of our problems.”
Kōkako purchased a Floveyor Elementa F3 mobile unit. The installation and set-up began the day after the machinery arrived at the Kōkako site. Global Head of Sales, Tristan Bower explained the setup, the safety features, and how to maintain the equipment.
“The service was excellent. Everything was explained super clearly. It was very easy for us to use, and we could easily train other staff members,” Sam said.
Staff experiences immediate benefits from safer workflows
Kōkako has four roasters who work on rotation across the week. Adding a Floveyor to the process made an immediate difference to the staff.
“Our team were much more energised throughout the day,” Sam said.
“We have a better workflow and more time and energy to concentrate on the roast. It’s definitely a more sustainable way to work.”
Mobile Floveyor bulk material handling conveyor streamlines process and frees up floor space
Using a Floveyor with FloDisc Technology® improved the Kōkako production in unexpected ways. Kōkako stored green beans on pallets on the floor, which used up a lot of space.
“We have the Floveyor facing the roaster for the roasting part of the day, then swing it around once or twice every two weeks to load up the main silo with green beans,” Sam said.
“We were able to purchase three additional silos because the Floveyor made loading the silo so much more efficient,” Sam said.
“Now we can hold more green coffee in all four silos, fill them easily enough and have increased our floor space.
Floveyor helps Kōkako improve production line efficiency and staff health
Kōkako has reduced the physical work that goes into the roasting process, resulting in better outcomes for the team’s health and wellbeing. In addition, Kōkako saves time weighing and preparing each roast.
“It’s just a lot more efficient. It’s a matter of pressing a button and loading our roaster compared to carrying bulk tubs up and down a flight of stairs every 10 minutes to load a new batch.”
“We fully recommend Floveyor to other coffee roasters. It’s really great to use and the service has been really good.”
For more information
If you are looking to upgrade your food processing equipment and would like to learn how a Floveyor with FloDisc Technology® can improve your food and beverage process line, increase staff health and wellbeing, and increase overall efficiency in your operation, contact us.