If you're going to spend $2,000 on a coffee maker, you might as well get one that's made with the best acetal resins that money can buy.
That's the belief at Ticona Engineering Polymers, the global materials supplier that is supplying Hostaform-brand acetal for a high-end, fully automated coffee center made by Siemens Electrogerate GmbH. Hostaform is used in several of the appliance's parts, including its lever arm, brewing unit and gearwheel.
Siemens chose Hostaform for the machine formally known as the EQ7 because the material offered the right combination of ductility and flexibility, according to Guido Latz, head of the appliance segment and non-injection molding applications for Ticona.
Three different grades of Hostaform are used in the EQ7. A grade used in the lever arm provides a solid moving mechanism, while a grade used in the brewing unit has enhanced acid and chlorine stability. A third grade used in the gearwheel reduces noise levels and keeps wear to a minimum.
Ticona based in Kelsterbach, Germany, with an Americas headquarters in Florence, Ky. already had some experience in working with Siemens before the EQ7 was commercialized early last year. The coffee maker is aimed at small business and residential uses and retails for 1,299 euros about $2,000.
Typically, the EQ7 which is manufactured in Europe would be used 20 or more times a day, making individual cups of coffee. And while the price may seem a bit high, Siemens sees a growth opportunity for the durable device, especially in a European market where consumers spend 175 million euros (about $225 million) on coffee machines each year.
With the change in the economy, people would rather make a good cup of coffee at home than spend $4 or $5 at Starbucks, Latz said. It's a real investment in lifestyle.
The firm, a unit of Dallas-based Celanese Corp., posted sales of just over $800 million in 2009, representing about 16 percent of Celanese's overall sales total.