Scoping & Planning
BKON is a craft beverage technology leader with 22 patents awarded for their Reverse Atmospheric Infusion (RAIN) process. After successfully commercializing a single serve platform, BKON looked to scale up their technology to an industrial level – this is where Oat Foundry’s product development process came into play – developing a food safe system that could be operated by an industrial control system and semi-autonomously handle large scale RAIN brewing.
GOAL: EFFICIENTLY SCALE UP COLD BREW COFFEE PRODUCTION
System Level Design
The system level design for BKON’s STORM unit required detail oriented planning to ensure the integration of each subsystem would work seamlessly together. From the various pumps and numerous sanitary fittings to the pressure regulators and flow sensors there are a limitless supply of mechanics that allow this machine to effectively brew large batches of cold brew coffee. The latest software was used to aid in laying out the piping and instrumentation diagram, the 3D CAD model, the programmable logic controls, build out the BOM and more.
Oat Foundry engineers worked tirelessly to weld, grind, wire, polish, clamp, solder, and mount all components in place to get a functioning STORM unit in our shop. The different subsystem designs were fabricated with final assembly in mind, milling mounting holes for specified hardware prior to having everything bolted up. With engineering drawings in hand, the system came together as planned and was ready to start being put through its paces in the ever iterative effort to reach the production ready design.
A machine of this complexity doesn’t always fire up flawlessly at the nascent stages of the development process. After a few trial runs with water and tweaking setpoints and fittings throughout the system it was ready to run a full batch. The system successfully autonomously measured and dispensed coffee grinds and fluid, regulated pressures, temperatures and weights, and completed the patented RAIN brewing process to produce a beautifully flavored cold brew coffee, in minutes. Many more gallons of water and pounds of coffee grounds later, a standardized process was realized with valuable input into the final pilot production ready design.
Pilot Program Manufacturing
With a beta prototype producing delicious cold brew coffee for BKON, it was on to manufacturing the pilot. This included some tweaks to the design and improvements for manufacturability.
“I was impressed with Oat Foundry’s ability to come up with a solution just by the variety of core competencies that they have in-house.”
Co-Ceo & Co-Founder // BKON