History, Experience And Design: Spengler Offers It All, In One Package

History, Experience And Design. In the second part of our major article about coffee machine manufacturer Crem, we put the company’s Spengler brand under the spotlight and wonder, ‘will it cut the mustard in the UK?’

 

MAIN PICTURE: Crem’s team in the UK, L-R:  Lee Rushton, Anders Bäckström, Thomas Swierkowski, Kurt Wood, Cindy Macdairmid, Geoff Sampson, Emily Taylor.

For the moment at least, we still refer to it as ‘the vending industry’, but in recent years operators have been required to deliver office coffee solutions to their customers. Manufacturers have responded to this change of emphasis by developing a new breed of table-top machines designed to deliver coffee shop quality direct to the nation’s workforce.

History, Experience And Design
Sandra Metzger-Zeissl

The marketplace for OCS machines is crowded, to say the least; so you have to ask ‘why would operators choose a brand that’s relatively new to the UK over more established players?’ Sandra Metzger-Zeissl has the wonderful title of ‘Key Account Success Manager’ at Crem in Germany and she sums up the offer in one simple sentence: ‘because Spengler offers history, experience and design in one package’, she says. ‘We have a product range broad enough to provide the optimum beverage solution for each and every workplace, including stand-alone vending machines, OCS and HoReCa products. Until very recently, the missing link in our range was fully-automatic machines, but that’s no longer the case. Whatever a UK operator needs to serve customers large and small, Spengler has it.’

History, Experience And Design
…it’s a brand with considerable history.

 

Spengler may be a relatively unknown quantity in this country, but it’s a brand with a considerable history that’s well known and respected throughout Europe and beyond. The company was founded in 1932 by Walter Spengler in Bruchsal, the largest city in the district of Karlsruhe in Germany. The Spengler family grew the company until in 1998, they sold out to another family firm, Maas.

With a  head office in Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Maas is considered one of the largest companies in the industry. Maas’ 7-year ownership of the Spengler brand had a huge influence on the development of Spengler products, as we’ll see…

In 2015, Maas sold Spengler to Crem International and then in March 2018, Crem was acquired by giant US corporation, the Welbilt group, as we noted in Part One of this article.

History, Experience And Design

Although the machines are manufactured in Åmotsfors, Sweden, they are designed by our multi-national R&D team in Spain, Germany and China. Within the company, the core-tech R&D operation at Spain and Germany is known as ‘the nerve centre’, a reference to the importance with which the company’s R&D function is viewed. Thomas Schörner may have the title ‘Sales Manager Key Account Europe’, but when he’s asked to discuss the machines, he falls into the same group of ‘anoraks and aficionados’ as his R&D colleagues…

History, Experience And Design
Thomas Schörner

‘All the core components in Spengler machines, such as boilers, brewers and grinders, are designed by our team core-tech R&D operation at Spain and Germany’, he says. ‘Our designers have been given carte blanche to think out of the box, they are encouraged to have ‘crazy ideas’ and see if they can turn them into real products that improve the quality of our equipment. In fact, if they come up with an idea and they can’t make it work, they take it very personally.’

Spengler’s business philosophy seems to be that the success achieved by the inhabitants of the nerve centre should be shared with the coffee world at large. ‘The truth is that a lot of Spengler core technology, which is invented by Crem, is licensed out to our competitors, and that’s good’, Thomas says. ‘In fact, that’s especially true of our espresso brewer, which is a component part in some of the marketplace’s leading brands. The quality of our core components is widely acknowledged’, he adds.

So, referring back to Sandra Metzger-Zeissl’s original premise, the ‘history’ and ‘experience’ boxes are duly ticked – but what about ‘design’? The sleek, black exteriors of Spengler machines really are in harmony with the zeitgeist. They’ve incorporated high-resolution, touch-screen user displays since 2014. The screens enable multi-media functions such as still images, movies and customisable icons, allowing operators to provide their customers with a truly bespoke beverage solution.

History, Experience And DesignHistory, Experience And Design

‘All our beverage machines are eco-friendly in that they have been awarded A++ certification’, Thomas says, ‘and we think that is unique. They have an ‘intelligent power saving’ mode, the operator doesn’t have to do anything. Within 14 days of installation, Spengler machines learn the routine of their location. So, they learn to turn themselves on every Monday morning, power down at the end of a shift and turn themselves off on Friday evenings.’ Thomas is warming to his task… ‘All components in direct contact with water are 100% nickel free’, he says. ‘Nickel is widely used in the manufacture of alloys and in products such as stainless steel, but it can become carcinogenic and toxic in high doses. Women are more commonly allergic to nickel exposure than men. The risk of using nickel maybe small, but it’s not a risk we’re prepared to take.’

‘The advanced electronics used in Spengler machines can handle three payment systems at the same time’, Thomas says, moving swiftly on. ‘That means customers can have the option of using coins, notes, cards and cashless solutions on the same machine.

History, Experience And Design

‘Many technologies are available to operators and their customers. Our dedicated espresso brewer works with 9-bar pressure, and we have a fresh-brew system that works without pressure to create perfect filter-style coffee. With the addition of a further filter, that same technology delivers perfect fresh-leaf tea and I think that alone guarantees our success in Great Britain! Customers can specify a variety of instant containers if they want to offer chocolate, instant coffee, and powdered milk. They can also combine systems, so they can offer authentic espresso and freshly brewed leaf tea in the same machine’, Thomas says. ‘Our keyword is ‘flexibility’. If a customer comes to us with a large machine order, we’re quite happy to design the machine’s capabilities to his exact specification.’

You may suspect that this flexibility comes at a cost? That, maybe, the machines are complicated to service and maintain? Thomas is quick to point out the error of that particular idea…

History, Experience And Design‘That’s certainly not the case and we can thank our 7-year association with Maas for that’, he says. ‘Maas is one of the world’s largest operators of vending machines and they insisted from Day One that the machines we designed were easy to service and that every aspect of maintenance and part replacement could be accomplished from the front of the machine.’

A recent trial of Spengler equipment has confirmed that UK based field engineers agree: the serviceability of the machines is excellent. ‘Cleanliness is very important too’, Thomas says. ‘A Spengler machine always looks immaculate when you open it. In a table top, for instance, there’s small waste bin which captures any overflows and delivers them straight to the drain.’

History, Experience And Design

When it comes to the Spangler brand, it’s clear that Crem means business. The company is determined to make its mark in the UK; all that remains to be seen is whether British operators are prepared to invest the possibilities incumbent in an alternative beverage solution. What’s for sure is that Spengler machines are worthy of serious investigation…

 

Part One: ‘Is Crem About To Rise To The Top?’ is HERE
The Crem website is HERE

About the author

The Editor

Planet Vending’s Editor is Ian Reynolds-Young and it’s Ian’s unique writing talent that has made PV what it is today – the best read (red) vending blog in the world, and vending’s best read (reed). Ian ‘tripped and fell into vending’, in the capacity of PR executive, before launching a specialist agency, ‘reynoldscopy’, dedicated to the UK Vending business. The company continues to represent the interests of many of the sector’s leading brands.

‘It’s all about telling stories’, he says. ‘We want to make every visit to PV a rewarding experience. By celebrating the achievements of the UK’s operating companies, we’re on a mission to debunk the idea that vending is retailing’s poor relation.’

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