La Pavoni early heating elements - a lesson on volume

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redbone
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Postby redbone » Apr 11, 2017, 3:39 pm

I've been on a quest to find a local or even North American based facility that would convert older fine thread La Pavoni Europiccola elements from 220v to 120v.
The services offered in Hungary are great but I found the transaction time to be too long.

These are dual elements having two sets of coil rod heaters, 200w and either 600w or 800w.

Found a few places that would be willing to do the conversion but due to jig setup costs I'd be looking at $90 usd (120cad) for 6 units at a time.
I'm not able to provide 6 units at a time. Maybe 2 at best. That idea was put on hold.

After emailing many companies I received a call from a larger company with a foundry who would make the entire element with base for $67.50usd (90cad) after the initial setup fee of $105usd ($140cad) with a 10 minimum order.
Edit: He bailed on me and would not return my calls.
I don't want to invest in 10 units that may not sell and put that idea on hold.

Thought I'd share my adventure.

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Rob
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bill
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Postby bill » Apr 11, 2017, 6:54 pm

Robert,
I just asked Gabor the cost to replace a burned out 220 element like this and here's his response. "It then costs 50 euros to build new heaters on the original copper base. Plus you have to pay about 22 euros for shipment back to your address." I did tell him I didn't care if the new element was 220 or 110, but I imagine the cost would be the same. I didn't ask him about turn around time. How long do you think it'll take?
Bill
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redbone
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Postby redbone » Apr 13, 2017, 10:34 am

bill wrote:Robert,
I just asked Gabor the cost to replace a burned out 220 element like this and here's his response. "It then costs 50 euros to build new heaters on the original copper base. Plus you have to pay about 22 euros for shipment back to your address." I did tell him I didn't care if the new element was 220 or 110, but I imagine the cost would be the same. I didn't ask him about turn around time. How long do you think it'll take?


From my experience and others the times are much longer than estimated.
Why would you want either 220v vs 115v if you're in the U.S..
Even if you have a up converter your chances of future local resale would be greatly diminished from my experience.
Unless you care to possibly sell the machine in Europe.
That would be akin to selling ice cubes to the Inuit.
The cost factor would be the same. There are plenty of working LPE 220v elements available in North America from imported machines.
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Rob
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bill
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Postby bill » Apr 13, 2017, 11:59 am

redbone wrote:From my experience the times can be longer than estimated. Why would you want either 220v or 110v if you're in the U.S..
Even if you have a voltage up converter your changes of future local resale would be greatly diminished from my experience.
Unless you care to possibly sell the machine in Europe. That would be akin to selling ice cubes to the Inuit.
The cost factor would be the same. There are plenty of working LPE 220v elements available in North America from imported machines typically from Italy who are looking for an element conversion with same wattage output but able to do so at the native 110-120v.

You're correct in that unless there's a significant difference in cost I would opt for a 110 resistance, but only because of the resale value. Don't forget there are advantages to a 220 machine, namely the current draw is half. Not a problem with a small element like this, but I'll put this near my Commercial Gaggia and running both at the same time will be too much for the 110, 20A dedicated circuit. Changing that circuit to 220 is a piece of cake. Running another 110 circuit is not! Also, I've already got a spare 220 element for the Gaggia.
Bill
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bill
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Postby bill » Apr 13, 2017, 12:52 pm

redbone wrote:There are plenty of working LPE 220v elements available in North America from imported machines typically from Italy who are looking for an element conversion with same wattage output but able to do so at the native 110-120v.

Good point! I hadn't thought of that. Bet I could find a deal on a good 220 resistance.
Bill
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I wasn't born in Texas, but got here as fast as I could!

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redbone
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Postby redbone » Apr 20, 2017, 9:23 am

Sneak peek, here is a screen shot of the LP 1st gen element 3D rendering.

Coil shown for representative purposes only.
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Base without heating element.
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grog
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Postby grog » Apr 20, 2017, 9:49 am

Looks great! So you're moving forward with 10 of them at 110v?
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redbone
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Postby redbone » Apr 20, 2017, 10:04 am

grog wrote:Looks great! So you're moving forward with 10 of them at 110v?


Yes and no. In order to receive a production quote I needed to present an AutoCAD file. Flipped the coin and commissioned the rendering.
I'm slowly moving forward and assessing cost factors prior to production.
I should also being gauging interest here. So far I have about 4 spoken for if within cost range of retrofitting.

Some interesting feedback from manufacturers giving me insight to why the tight inside thread was abolished and the move to the retainer with bolt was implemented.

The inside thread involves expensive tooling and process time. Not requiring inside thread cuts pricing down as the flange with thread is easier and cheaper to manufacturer.

I was thinking of having the flange made and element bolt on base with dual elements. Sort of combining the old and newer SS element.
Issue is that I would have to have both a newer element and 1.25mm flange so it could be reversed engineered.

Similar to this but would have dual elements 200/800w instead of single 1000w.
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Adapter flange 1.25mm.
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Click on H-B link for more detailed information regarding adapter flange. Building the Ultimate La Pavoni Europiccola
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stefano65
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Postby stefano65 » Apr 20, 2017, 11:12 am

If it help for you to know
we have flanges for a while now and in stock made already to retrofit new to old
sincerely
Stefano
Stefano Cremonesi
Stefano's Espresso Care
Repair & sales from Oregon.

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redbone
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Postby redbone » Apr 21, 2017, 9:08 am

stefano65 wrote:If it help for you to know
we have flanges for a while now and in stock made already to retrofit new to old
sincerely
Stefano


Thanks Stefano. I'm shooting for $100usd $200 usd nominal shipping.
If one were to purchase the flange $65.00 & new 115v 4 prong element $145.75 it would cost $210.75.
Then one would still need the ring gasket, bolts and possible thermostat, T-cover and T-grease all prior to any taxes and shipping.
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Rob
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