The laboratory's most important and highly utilized production process, coffee brewing, has been automated and made available via internet. The coffee brewer takes orders and sends notifications to the lab's coffee lovers with its embedded jabber and IRC clients. It also reminds everyone of coffee breaks. Of course, the brewer has also a manual operating panel for less nerdy personnel. The system has been in service for several years with an average order rate of 60 pots per month.
The process system's key components include a magnetic valve for water supply, a silo, screw conveyor and motor for coffee dosing, an off-the-shelf coffee brewer for cooking, etc. Industrial type Ethernet I/O is used for interfacing the instruments.
The coffee system is a result of several student assignments (project work course) and some features of the control software originate to research demonstrations. Features and technologies worth mentioning are, for example:
- OSGi framework
- Ethernet I/O
- JNI device interfacing
- Jabber and IRC connectivity
- Hardwired safety circuit