Customer Success Stories

21st Century Coffee Breaks with Animo and Altium

"We’re excited to use Altium 365 on these projects, because we’ll be working side-by-side with electrical, mechanical, and software engineers throughout the entire development cycle.”

Johan Huizing
Hardware Designer
Animo

Animo, a commercial coffee equipment company based in The Netherlands, has been creating state-of-the-art equipment for over 70 years. Animo dispensers range from traditional filter coffee pots to award-winning, state-of-the-art touchscreen systems that are as beautiful as they are functional.

Animo’s designs have been at the forefront of the European commercial coffee dispensing market, winning some of the world’s most venerated design awards, including the iF Design Award and the Red Dot Design Award. Their products are sold in over 70 countries, bringing fine design and superior performance to breakrooms, buffets, and more.

Animo’s most recent series, the OptiMe, gives people the ability to craft bean-to-brew coffee and barista-quality cappuccinos, espressos, and macchiatos right from the company breakroom or coffee cart.

The PCB design software Animo has chosen to help design these futuristic wonders is by Altium.

To expedite the development of second-generation OptiLine machines, Animo have moved to developing products in-house, using both Altium Designer and Altium 365, the world’s first cloud platform for PCB design and realization.

Fully-Modern Coffee Machines

Animo’s OptiLine series features four different styles—the OptiVend, the OptiFresh, the OptiBean, and the OptiMe—each meticulously designed for the ultimate convenience and countertop elegance.

Animo’s OptiVend is a filter machine that prepares drinks in seconds. The OptiFresh is a cutting-edge take on the classic filter coffee machine. The OptiBean is a large bean-to-cup machine that allows users to create their own gourmet coffee drinks using a sleek touchpad. The OptiMe is a compact, bean-to-brew powerhouse that’s fully customizable, with optional fresh milk dispensing capabilities.

These statuesque devices can yield up to 1250 cups of coffee daily, and they’re built accordingly, with Swiss grinders, Italian brewing systems, and stainless steel chassis. 

The touchpad, in particular, is one of Animo’s most popular features, showcasing imagery that corresponds to each desired beverage. These are exclusive to the OptiLine collection, featuring far more sophisticated mechanisms than previous Animo designs.

As Johan Huizing, Hardware Designer at Animo, elaborates, “Our more advanced machines all rely on printed circuit boards for controlling valves, temperature, switching on motors and a human-machine interface (HMI).”

First-generation iterations of OptiLine devices were created using freeware PCB software, but as designs became more complex, Animo began working with external firmware development houses that relied on Altium Designer. 

"We’re excited to use Altium 365 on these projects, because we’ll be working side-by-side with electrical, mechanical, and software engineers throughout the entire development cycle.”

Johan Huizing
Hardware Designer
Animo

Boldly Brewing into the Future

To expedite the development of second-generation OptiLine machines, Animo have moved to developing products in-house, using both Altium Designer and Altium 365, the world’s first cloud platform for PCB design and realization. Huizing is eager to use the platform to design a new master controller, adding more functionality for customers using multiple units.

“We’ve been working on new designs for the OptiLine, with dedicated interfaces that allow users to brew coffee before they even arrive at the office. We’re excited to use Altium 365 on these projects, because we’ll be working side-by-side with electrical, mechanical, and software engineers throughout the entire development cycle,” Huizing reports.

Having Altium 365 on hand has already inspired Animo to explore a previously-untapped trend in the coffee industry: internet connectivity.

“Animo’s product design and functionality are driven by market needs. One of the biggest ones right now is being able to use cloud technology to monitor everything from machine performance to daily supply levels,” Huizing explains.

The next-generation of OptiLine machines will prominently feature internet connectivity, allowing users to create coffee drinks and more completely touch-free, as well as keep units well stocked and operating smoothly.

As Huizing details, “The new OptiLine designs will harness Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a custom Animo user app, so coffee drinkers in offices, universities, sports clubs, and even on cruise ships can just use their smartphones for fresh, whole bean or filter coffee hands-free.”

With Altium 365 supporting the project every step of the way, Huizing is confident that Animo can have the next-generation OptiLine devices completed within less than a year. 

“We’re currently working on a new HMI interface, and are busy redesigning the main controller that’s in all OptiLine machines and updating some of our older machines with touch-screen functionality. Since we’re designing everything in-house, we’re looking forward to using Altium Designer with Altium 365 so we can bring these machines to market much faster than before,” Huizing concludes.