Mmm, that smells delicious! The aroma of freshly grilled meat fills the room, making the customers’ mouths water. They only have to wait about two minutes for an appetizing brown crust to form around the juicy pink center of the steak. Not that the expectant gourmets can actually see this happen, even though it is taking place more or less right in front of their eyes. And they are not in a steak restaurant either. The steak is being cooked to perfection in a gas station shop.
Oh no, that can’t be any good, exclaims the true meat lover in dismay! But indeed it is: The Roll ’n’ Grill system — or ROG for short — created by the catering expert Aichinger, met with an overwhelmingly positive response from the trade visitors to the EuroShop in Düsseldorf and the Internorga in Hamburg in the spring of this year.
“We thought that the product would go down well, but we hadn’t anticipated such immense interest,” explains Sebastian Holzberger, Marketing Manager of Aichinger GmbH. The Sales department in Wendelstein currently has more than 1,000 inquiries to deal with. “And we are not talking about individual orders,” stresses Holzberger. “Alongside bakeries and butcher’s shops, entire burger and supermarket chains are interested in buying our grill, to say nothing of gas stations.”
Hot off the roll
The idea of a roller grill is not entirely new. 20 years ago, the Palux company produced something of this nature, developed by Peter Gutekunst. It was successfully marketed for several years under the name Rotimat before production was discontinued on account of dwindling demand. “It was a good idea but the time was probably just not ripe,” Holzberger presumes.
That’s how the Roll’n’Grill systems works:
In 2015 the designers at Aichinger GmbH revived the concept and set to work. At the heart of the Roll ’n’ Grill are three rotating, horizontally arranged and evenly heated grilling surfaces made of stainless steel. The food passes over these rotating surfaces and drops onto a grate ready for serving when it is done. The rollers are surrounded by a compact housing with an opening at the top, into which the operator can place meat, or alternatively fish, sea-food, vegetables or frozen burger patties.
He can then set the speed on the control panel and collect all the cooked food from the tray at the bottom of the unit after just a few seconds. “Even for people with no experience it’s child’s play and a crucial factor in the success of the ROG, as the catering trade is always on the look-out for equipment that is simple and intuitive to use and does not require any skilled personnel,” explains Sebastian Holzberger. The compact ROG can produce up to 80 portions an hour and guarantee a consistently high quality standard.
No need to rush
The heart and soul of the ROG system are the motor and the transmission that set the rollers in motion. “The original model already had a ZEITLAUF transmission and a motor from ebm-papst. So our first step was obviously to contact these two companies, that now form one organization,” says Holzberger.
The experts from ebm-papst soon came to the conclusion that the envisaged shaded-pole motor would not be up to the task. “On account of the installation situation, the smooth operation required and the low drive speed, the only feasible option was a compact spur gear,” explains Hans-Georg Konnerth, Market Manager Industrial Drive Technology at ebm-papst ZEITLAUF. “This makes it possible to implement a very high reduction ratio that permits a speed range of two to three revolutions per minute at the transmission output.” The experts decided on the Flatline 85 spur gear with a reduction ratio of 1028 : 1.
“The requirements included different speeds — one for grilling mode and one for cleaning mode“
Matthias Braun, ebm-papst Sales in Landshut
The motor used is the EC motor BG 4310. “The requirements included different speeds — one for grilling mode and one for cleaning mode,” says Matthias Braun from ebm-papst Sales in Landshut. The line-operated EC motor has excellent control characteristics, is energy-efficient and features the appropriate control electronics. On account of the heat generated in the grill, the electronics is installed separately away from the motor and connected to it by cables. Cooling is additionally provided by two small fans supplied by ebm-papst in St. Georgen.
The motor is produced in Landshut and assembled with the spur gear in Lauf, before being supplied to the customer as a tested gear motor unit together with an electronics box. Sebastian Holzberger is delighted that the new grill works so fantastically well, and absolutely raves about the taste of the grilled food. That is something Hans-Georg Konnerth and Matthias Braun still have to look forward to, as they have not yet had the chance to enjoy a steak from the ROG. But that can soon change. “We are planning to deliver the first grills in October,” assures Sebastian Holzberger, and then the aroma of grilled food will start to fill the air in all sorts of unexpected locations.