A Flexible and Automated MPE-Designed Coffee Process System

BY Cyberoptik | December 20, 2020 | Video , , Case Study , Process System Coffee Chain-Vey

When our friends at Philz Coffee told us their amazing new MPE-designed processing system was going to be on the news, didn’t miss catching the clip for ourselves.

Philz Coffee is one of the most widely recognized names in the coffee US coffee scene. In the past 10 years they have grown tremendously with coffee shops in numerous American cities. Part of their success can be seen in their expanding roasting and processing capabilities, exemplified in their MPE-designed system in San Francisco, CA.


Plant managers wanted a plant that could accommodate green bean storage up to 90,000 lb (40,800 kg). They needed the ability to blend up to 10+ beans for their finished products, along with wanting a high degree of automation. The finished product would be both ground, largely drip filter, and whole bean coffee. MPE Systems Group designed a flexible and fully automated process system.

Green Bean Intake and Cleaning

The green bean intake, cleaning, and storage bin system comprises:

  • A green bean unloading station. This elevated platform roughly 12′ x 16′ (3.6 x 4.8 m) has a funnel underneath that the coffee falls into. A worker cuts open palletized burlap sacks of coffee to empty them into the hopper below. Traditionally, the dust created from the coffee as it fall into the mezzanine would be inhaled be the worker above. But this issue is solved entirely with the use of dust collection intakes added by MPE engineers.
  • The green coffee transport is done using a Chain-Vey tubular drag conveyor to a green bean cleaner.
  • The green bean cleaner removes any broken beans, dust, or foreign material.
  • Another Chain-Vey transport the coffee to any of the 6 storage bins.
  • Each storage bin is holding a maximum capacity of 15,000 lb (6,800 kg). Each bin sits on 4 load cells and has 2 level sensors, for accurate green bean inventory. A slide gate under each bin dispenses coffee within ±1% to recipe specifications (typically within one pound or half a kilo).
  • A final Chain-Vey with intakes for each storage bin transports coffee to (2) different roasters.
  • The Chain-Veys used throughout the system use carbon steel chains with quiet split discs.

Post-Roast Coffee Packaging

The post-roast, grinding, mixing, and packaging system comprises:

  • 4 vibratory feeder stations, where 600 lb (270 kg) capacity totes are wheeled onto floor scales for emptying.
  • Floor scales measure the loss in weight as roasted coffee empty from the totes, dosed out by vibratory feeders.
  • A Chain-Vey transports coffee to a paddle blender which mixes up to 500 lb (225 kg) batches.
  • The paddle blender empties into a post-mix surge bin yielding less than 1% breakage.
  • A Chain-Vey carries the mixed roasted coffee recipe to a MPE 600FX coffee grinder or, if intended for whole bean sale, onward to a packaging surge bin, followed by a packaging machine.
  • The Chain-Veys used throughout the system use carbon steel chains with quiet split discs.


Philz’ system has been running smoothly for nearly five years now. Plant managers can easily blend together their recipes, while affording flexibility as to how the coffee is processed. Its grandeur has caught the focus of other industry publications, such as Daily Coffee News and Roast Magazine, even the San Francisco ABC affiliate station.

If you are considering a large coffee process system build out at this scale, whether smaller or larger, call us at 773-254-3929 and ask to speak with Systems Engineers Scott Will or Andrew Huynh. Or email [email protected].


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