Reference Food industry

SONTEC sensors determine temperatures in WMF coffee machines

Espresso, cappuccino, latte macchiato – the modern person enjoys coffee in all kinds of different variations. One of the global players in the market is the WMF Group, which produces high-quality coffee machines. Application-specific SONTEC sensors ensure, among other things, optimum coffee making and drinking temperatures.

WMF – Germans associate these three letters with quality and elegance of cutlery, cooking utensils, kitchen tools, cutting tools and table and home accessories. Hardly anyone knows that the "Württembergischen Metallwarenfabrik AG", founded in 1853 in Geislingen an der Steige, launched a high-quality coffee machine for the catering industry back in 1927. The coffee makers are still developed and produced in Geislingen to this day. "Our fully automatic coffee machines can be found worldwide in high class hotels as well as on cruise liners, in offices, cafés and bistros", says Ralf Weber, the buyer responsible for sensors.

Sensors for maximum coffee enjoyment
Modern WMF machines are full of electronics to ensure guaranteed maximum coffee enjoyment. "For example, we have to determine the temperatures in the hot water and steam boilers within seconds so that the machine can accordingly reheat quickly and the required degree value can be maintained", explained Ralf Weber. "This is only possible with reliable temperature sensors." Here the buyer believes nothing can top the SONTEC technology. "We initially purchased SONTEC sensors through a system distributor", he recalls. "As they then changed the manufacturer the quality of the sensors supplied nose-dived."
Following market research WMF switched to the original sensor manufacturer. Since then SONTEC has been one of the A-list suppliers of the Swabian firm. For many WMF machines the sensor specialist in Lennestadt produces tailormade solutions made up of sensor, cable, connector and fixing – like WMF, Made in Germany. "In our collaboration with SONTEC we value the company's development expertise and flexibility", says Ralf Weber. For example, SONTEC replaced an NTC temperature sensor, which previously consisted of three expensive rotational parts, with one sensor with deep-drawn sleeve. "This is also tapered at its tip and has a special heat transfer paste to optimise the response of the sensor." In this way a WMF machine can control its temperatures even more quickly.
On schedule delivery and a complaints rate of almost zero are also important to the buyer. No wonder then that the SONTEC orders increase continuously. Whereas the Sauerland company delivered around 23,000 sensors to Geislingen in 2013, last year the number rose to over 62,000, divided between nine different types. SONTEC sensors can also be found in the new WMF espresso machine. For example, an NTC immersion sensor in the autosteam lance, to measure the temperatures of milk and foam quickly and reliably.