© Gernot Walter

Roll out the perfect steak

With his “plug & play” Roll ’n’ Grill, the Bavarian restau­rant and shop­fit­ting expert Aichinger has really struck a chord.

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.

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