It’s not a contradiction: high quality can reduce costs

A high-end seal for a high-end coffee machine – the sealing specialists at Angst+Pfister in Italy convinced Carimali, a company with tradition, to use a very high quality lip seal in their brewing units. Even though the new seals come at a price, now that less servicing is required the overall running cost of a professional fully automatic coffee machine has gone down.

​Cristiano Pinca knows what he is talking about: “False economies can be expensive.” If you consider the overall running cost of a professional coffee machine – including repairs and maintenance – then at the end of the day apparently cheaper solutions for the internal workings result in unnecessary costs. Some time ago, Cristiano Pinca, Product Application Engineer for sealing technology at Angst+Pfister Italy, tried to persuade Carimali, manufacturer of coffee machines, of the benefits of various sealing solutions for the steel brewing unit of its machines. The seal in the automatic coffee machines moves up and down and because of this it has to be able to endure a lot of wear. A special lip seal ensures there is a scraping effect to keep the area free of coffee remains. “That provides a first class coffee experience,” explains Cristiano Pinca. In addition, the sealing has to comply with a range of hygiene standards.


Tenacity does it

“We were totally convinced that we could help Carimali with our solutions and in 2012 began to make a few recommendations – first the standard fluorocarbon O-rings that had to have a low unit price,” says Cristiano Pinca. “In the following years, we tried out a lot of new seals and then approached Carimali with them.” The company was impressed with the purity of the material and its exceptional health compatibility. “This is important, because the legislation includes stiff penalties for non-compliance,” warns Cristiano Pinca. Initially, Carimali insisted on staying with the old components and suppliers due to the sales targets which focussed mainly on cost. The team around Cristiano Pinca showed persistence.


The two Product Application Engineers Walter De Vecchi and Carlo Lorenzi as well as Sales Application Engineer Alessio Bertini at Angst+Pfister Italy did not lose heart and looked for other ways of enhancing the quality of the Carimali coffee machines – without losing sight of the cost issue. Six years after the first O-rings the day finally arrived: Angst+Pfister triumphed, winning over Carimali with a special product of exceptional quality and durability. “Angst+Pfister won our trust with a special product of exceptional quality and durability”, tells Adamo Ballo, R&D Manager at Carimali.

Lower overall running costs

The new technical director of Carimali recognised, in renewed tests, the benefits of the silicone-filled lip seals with the scraping-effect (mentioned above) that the engineers of Angst+Pfister had specially designed: The seal contains an internal spring to maintain elasticity for as long as possible. Carimali realised that all in all, in effect here was a more economical solution than the previous one. It fulfils the requirements for seal resistance particularly well and Carimali can now expect fewer repairs, fewer complaints and higher customer satisfaction. At the same time, the seal complies, of course, with the strict European Union purity requirements for components that come into contact with foodstuffs.

“The point is that although the new seal is more expensive per unit than the previous seal – when you look at the overall running costs, the price is more than justified,” says Cristiano Pinca pleased. In the long run, the new high quality seals are the cheaper ones. The seal will now be used in the sort of high end coffee machines for which the customers have equivalently high expectations. "We are convinced that this will give them even more quality and indulgence", says Adamo Ballo of Carimali. Angst+Pfister will also be supplying O-rings for a second coffee machine model with a plastic brewing unit from the product group PERTEC® – with the highest degree of purity with regard to the EU regulations.

More information on PERTEC® products is available here.

Carimali – coffee as you love it

The traditional company Carimali has a great deal of technical experience: It was founded in 1919, produces coffee machines for commercial use and sells them the world over. Its headquarters are located near Bergamo in Italy. This is also the site of its most important production facility. A second plant with a logistics centre is situated in Suzhou, China. The product range includes semi-automatic and fully automatic coffee machines, coffee grinders and accessories.

Carimali manufactures coffee machines for commercial use.

«We continually endeavour to be not just a supplier for our customers – but a real partner, too.»

Cristiano Pinca, Product Application Engineer, Angst+Pfister Italy

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