Moving to the Building Process

2012 February 17

The tests on the prototype have gone about as far as possible. The results have been promising and so it is time to move to building the real roaster. I have been sketching for days on various aspects of the design. It is coming to the point where ideas and sketches need to make their way to steel, copper, plastic, brass, glass, electronics, motors, etc.

My approach will be Design-Build-Test-Modify (DBTM). Basically, I will start out with a grand design that does not have every detail worked out — just the most important ones. Without a team of engineers to power through the whole project and 3D modeling, the idea of building the roaster in one try is ridiculous. Plus, that would take the fun out of the whole project. Edison famously had numerous failures in trying to develop the light bulb and one learns much from failures (as much as from successes, really).

Instead, I will do a detail design of a key section and then build it. That section will be tested and then redesigned and modified, if necessary. Once that section is perfected, I will move on to the next section. Going step-by-step in a logical succession, the final product will emerge.

Because I may end up drilling holes and attaching ultimately useless items to the design while going through this process, I am prepared to go back and remanufacture final components. Rolls Royce used to build their engines, run them on a test platform, then take them apart to measure and reassemble. The final roaster is going to be done in the same way. When a component is perfected, but has been cobbled up during the process, it will be discarded and a pure one made to replace it.

I will attempt to do a modular design to make things easier to assemble in the first place and to maintain later. The order of module development, at this point, is as follows:

1. Roasting bowl mount and drive system.
2. Fixed return blade assembly (roasting bowl).
3. Movable return blade assembly (roasting bowl).
4. Cooling bowl mount and drive system.
5. Fixed return blade assembly (cooling bowl).
6. Movable return blade assembly (cooling bowl).
7. Roaster ductwork.
8. Roaster blower.
9. Rough enclosure for roasting chamber.
10. Burner assembly.
11. Cooler blower.
12. Cooler ductwork.
13. Rough enclosure for cooling chamber.
14. Green coffee delivery system.
15. Cooled coffee output system.
16. Water misting system.
17. Sensors.
18. Control system.
19. Cyclone separator.
20. Cooling hex frame and cladding.
21. Cyclone hex frame and cladding.
22. Roasting hex frame and cladding.
23. Detailing.
24. Certification and listing.

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