Customer Success Stories

Getting Wired with Luminaire Coffee, La Marzocco and Altium

“Altium 365 doesn’t make you feel like you’re connected to the cloud. You’re still working in a desktop environment with Altium Designer, so workflow isn’t broken and there’s nothing new to learn. Everything you need is just right there and it works.”

Chester Macklin
Electrical Engineer
Luminaire Coffee

When it comes to coffee aficionados, your average grind and coffee maker simply won’t suffice. Those who have a true passion for coffee, especially classic coffeehouse staples like espressos and cappuccinos, understand that having the right equipment is as important as having the right beans.

Luminaire Coffee, a Seattle-based startup, was founded on these principles, driven to help baristas and coffee aficionados craft the perfect cup of coffee with efficiency and ease. Subsequent innovations, based on studied observations of what was lacking in the coffee preparation sphere, included shot timers, flow measuring scales and a special heating device, all designed to ensure that optimal flavor notes could be achieved with ease.

These efforts culminated in a partnership with the world’s most respected manufacturer of espresso machines, Italy’s iconic La Marzocco. Regarded by many as the Rolls Royce of espresso machines, La Marzocco’s Linea Classic machine has been a staple in coffeehouses around the world since 1979.

When the company sought to create the most intuitive, foolproof machines on the market, Luminaire Coffee’s designs aligned perfectly with their vision. Luminaire Coffee worked closely with La Marzocco to integrate countless innovations into the core of the Linea LB, La Marzocco’s most technologically advanced espresso machine to date.

Luminaire Coffee relied on Altium Designer to create the next generation electronics that run the Linea PB, from its shot timer, temperature control functionality and flow pulse counter to its integrated scale, nestled inside the countertop unit’s drip tray.

With the addition of Concord Pro on the Altium 365 cloud-based platform, Luminaire Coffee’s electrical and mechanical engineers have the PCB software equivalent of the Linea LB at their disposal.

“We love challenging projects. And with Altium in our arsenal, we know the possibilities are endless.”

Chester Macklin
Electrical Engineer
Luminaire Coffee

Improving PCB Design from Concept to Creation

Luminaire Coffee has used Altium Designer for over a decade. It’s been their go-to software tool for all of their projects, streamlining workflow at any stage in the design process.

Altium Designer’s sheet symbols, hierarchical design support and design rules help Luminaire Coffee across multiple points of the design process. As Chester Macklin, Electrical Engineer at Luminaire Coffee, elaborates, “One of our challenges is dividing up work across the team so that multiple engineers can work on a single project at once. Altium's hierarchical design support works really well with our workflow. When a project starts, we have a meeting and lay out the architecture in a top level schematic sheet, making sheet symbols for each of the different functionality and adding the ports we need to link them up. This sometimes goes a few layers deep. We can then divvy up these empty symbols and fill out the schematics for them in parallel. In addition to making the division of labor easy, it helps ensure good design with functional components broken out and connections clearly described.”

Designing sophisticated espresso machines like the La Marzocco Linea LB presents a unique set of challenges to Luminaire Coffee. With Altium Designer, Macklin and his team are always up to the challenge of designing to different EMC and manufacturing standards.

“Concord Pro's real-time component management has become a single source of truth for our shared libraries.”

Chester Macklin
Electrical Engineer
Luminaire Coffee

Part Searches and Process Improvements Made Easy

After seeing how much easier Altium Designer made the PCB design process, Luminaire Coffee upgraded to dramatically expand their library and version control capabilities with the addition of Concord Pro. With Concord Pro on the cloud-based Altium 365 platform, finding the right parts at the right time, as well as part and supply chain intelligence, has never been easier.

Concord Pro has been exceptionally helpful for streamlining the part management process. According to Macklin, “Concord Pro's real-time component management has become a single source of truth for our shared libraries.”

Taking PCB Designs to a New Dimension

Altium Designer has been essential for Luminaire Coffee’s extensive work on the Linea PB. “Providing just the right artifacts for a given manufacturer or client can be a pain, and often is different from prototyping to production. By adding exporters to a single output job shared across all our projects, we're able to make all these artifacts quickly and with confidence,” Macklin reports.

Native 3D PCB design inside Altium Designer has given Luminaire Coffee a secure, easy way to help bring all of their clients into the design process. “We really appreciate the ease of integrating high quality 3D models with footprints. Beyond the advantages of exporting complete models when integrating with mechanical engineers, we find it extremely useful for showing clients what their boards will look like. With Altium 365, we can showcase complete designs anywhere, from consumer electronics trade shows to La Marzocco’s corporate headquarters. It makes it really easy for clients to ask about things like connector placement and silkscreen labels,” Macklin adds.

With Altium 365, Luminaire Coffee also has a way to improve their internal processes further. As Macklin explains, “We often have two to three engineers working on projects simultaneously, so we wind up running into each other. With Altium 365, our entire team can use Altium Designer and Concord Pro without any problems.”

As Luminaire Coffee expands their partnerships to include innovative cooking tools and scientific equipment, they’re primed to tackle exciting new endeavors. “We love challenging projects,” Macklin says, “And with Altium in our arsenal, we know the possibilities are endless.”

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