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When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > When do you need...  
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fredk01
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Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 1:30pm
Subject: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

Serious espresso enthusiasts really like commercial machines.  Duty cycle (number of shots) seems to be one of the reasons.

The few times I have seen duty cycle mentioned in single group commercial machines it has been 20+ cups per hour.  That's a LOT of espresso, even for a hard core caffeine addict. :-))

That got me wondering just how many shots a small single group commercial machine is capable of compared to what the serious enthusiast might consume.

Lets say that, on average, a shop using a small single group pulled between 50 and 100 shots per day (is that reasonable?).  That works out to  between 18,000 and 36,000 shots per year. Yowza that's a lotta shots!!

Is that the duty cycle that these small commercial machines are designed to?

Next to that 4,000 shots seems tiny.  Can your average consumer espresso machine (like a BDB) really not handle 4,000 shots a year?
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GVDub
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Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 2:14pm
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

Machines like the La Pavoni Pub 1 and the Rancilio Epoca S, both light commercial machines, are rated for 120 shots an hour, so your 20 cups an hour (or one shot every three minutes) seems like it would be a little on the light side.

Even my NS Ellimatic, which would be considered a prosumer or very-light-duty commercial (I think it was NSF rated) is rated at over 40 shots an hour.
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kolu
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Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 3:29pm
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

120 shots per hour? that means one shot per 30 sec - I really wonder what's their recommended extraction time - or they suppose you have two portafilters and during the extraction with one you prepare the second one for the next shot?. however it sounds crazy.
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 5:43pm
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

It's something of a side issue, but let's start with manufacturers' claims of shots per minute.  Pulling shots faster than 1/min over any length of time greater than 2 or 3min doesn't happen with a one or two group in the real world, if for no other reason than there's not enough space for the work-flow.  What they're really talking about is recovery time.  That is, if you could actually work that fast, the machine could keep up with you.

Which has nothing to do with "duty cycle."  The term refers to how long something's going to last.  But the threshold issue here isn't so much duty cycle, but who's really concerned with it.  If we're talking about folks thinking about putting a true commercial machine in a residence, duty cycle isn't -- or shouldn't be -- an important consideration.  They should be looking at things like the quality of the group, quality of the controls, recovery time, steam performance, etc.

Also, "duty cycle," doesn't do a very good job of reflecting espresso machine reality in a residential setting, because so much maintenance is needed.  That includes periodic replacement (at varying intervals) of seals, valves, p-stats and just about everything else short of the frame and boiler.  While the duty cycle of the group's head-gasket may be a year, as long as you keep everything in repair,  the duty cycle of a true commercial in a residential environment is "forever."

But even "forever" needs context.  It sounds great, but the duty cycle of a high-end prosumer -- with the same maintenance -- is the same, near enough.  

And in a commercial setting, if the duty cycle isn't forever it's a helluva long time; and consequently is far less important than ease and cost of maintenance, speed and consistency.  

BDL
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fredk01
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Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 6:47pm
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

With apologies to the original poster (not picking on anyone):

"That's 4368 shots a year.... I would look to something more robust than a BDB for this fairly heavy home use."

I see recommendations like this quite often when the number of drinks per session goes over two or three.

I can understand if one wants features that low end machines do not have, but the suggestion that a commercial or semi commercial machine is needed once you produce more than a certain number of drinks puzzles me.
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andys
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Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 7:37pm
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

GVDub Said:

Machines like the La Pavoni Pub 1 and the Rancilio Epoca S, both light commercial machines, are rated for 120 shots an hour

Posted December 6, 2013 link

It's a deceptive rating. They really mean 60 double shots an hour x 2 = 120 singles an hour. That actually makes sense in a continuous flow Italian bar serving single espressos.

 
-AndyS
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GVDub
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Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 8:22pm
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

Plus, the fact of the matter is that we home baristas tend to take more time grinding per shot, dosing, grooming/distributing and getting the basket and portafilter holder ready to pull a shot that, even working at our most fevered pitch, pulling more than 30 shots in an hour would be unlikely. You'd have to put the doser back on your grinder and learn the "thwack-thwack-tamp-pull" method to churn 'em out in short order.

I figure "shots per hour" is like watts figures for hi-fi gear—a theoretical max that no one is likely to actually get anywhere near.

BDL—to me, "duty cycle" is not total lifetime, whcih I would think of as MTBF (mean time before failure), but how long at one continuous stretch something can be used. For example, before the advent of LED lighting fixtures for FX and theatrical lighting, a spot, strobe, par can, etc. might have a duty cycle of 20 minutes on, then have to be let cool for 20 minutes before you could use it again. Some of the lighter commercial grinders have that type of duty cycle—run the motor more than 60 seconds and it can overheat, so the manufacturer recommends 60 seconds on, 120 seconds off (or something like that).
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Frost
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Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 9:06am
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

Beyond 2-3 steamed milk drinks in a row is where you really want/need to go beyond a SBDU machine to keep up a reasonable pace. I don't see the issue as keeping up the shot pace for home use; it's about the longevity of the machine and how many years you expect to get out of it.  Build quality is an issue with these 'home appliances'. Dishwashers, refrigerators, washers can easily last 15-25 years without fail (...well they used to anyway). Espresso machines are far simpler, but things like plastic compression fittings, switches, and galvanic corrosion ( "Re: Breville BES900 hydraulic diagram + some technical details" )  can and will eventually cause problems.

The other issue is user maintainability and which manufacturers have a 'no user serviceable parts inside' policy.

MTBF is Mean Time Between Fails

Duty Cycle is percent usage or on time.  Ex; During one hour,  percent time  the heater is on would be the 'duty cycle' of the heater.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

As others have said, MTBF is a better metric.
One major thing that causes us to look to commercial machines VS home duty machines is consistently. Long ago, I left home duty equipment behind. I still have my Sylvia that I bought for office duty. It is considered to be one of the strongest built home machines but it feels much less robust when placed next to a real commercial machine not to mention how much easier it is to be consistent with the commercial machine.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Frost
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Frost
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Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 11:12am
Subject: Re: When do you need a commercial machine (fun with math)
 

It is the 21st century. The world is ready for an espresso machine that pulls a 200F shot when the display reads 200F.   The water dance, the flush and surf,  it's all well and good. It's just archaic and esoteric.
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