Innovation at the service of people: Autogrill meets Electrolux

An innovation in equipment that has revolutionised the market: shorter waiting times, better product quality and lower energy consumption.



Compared to the previous one, these HGS grills take only 30 seconds to heat up a sandwich instead of two minutes. The result is perfect - crunchy outside and warm inside, and also consumes half the energy.

After all, one of the reasons we turned to Electrolux was to increase the satisfaction of our clients, offering them service in line with the times. Aldo Papa, the Group’s Chief Engineering & Procurement Officer gives us more details.


Why then and why Electrolux?

Characteristics of the High-Speed Panini Grills

The new grill manages to guarantee a high quality level, combining three different heating technologies (contact grill, infrared and microwaves).

  • the upper grill heats on contact to give the typical stripes of a perfectly toasted sandwich
  • the infrared surface makes the sandwich crunchy 
  • the microwaves guarantee the right temperature inside the product, for a sandwich that is hot both outside and in
  • individual sandwiches can now be heated four times faster than before
  • energy consumption has been halved

It was 2008. At the time, we were serving an average of 40 million sandwiches every year, 80% of them served warm. We decided that times and technologies were ready for the conception of decidedly better equipment. We had something very ambitious in mind, we wanted to bring about deep change on the market, change the paradigm. We in fact had multiple objectives that, at first glance, were irreconcilable.

How to reduce heating times and energy consumption, at the same time giving a sandwich that was crunchy outside but warmer inside?

We therefore contacted Electrolux, which even then was a worldwide leader in professional food service solutions. We also liked their commitment to the design and development of sustainable equipment.

The gauntlet was thrown. The challenge was to improve service and product, and achieve significant results in terms of energy savings.

Teamwork

A challenge accepted enthusiastically by the team, a mixed one, made up of both Electrolux and Autogrill people.
It took more than 18 months.
Busy months of work, meetings, expectations, tests and fine-tuning.  
Months during which we laid the foundations for a feeling that still continues today. The new grills were, at the time, the result of an ability to share the common player that was the innovative potential of Electrolux combined with the knowhow and experience of Autogrill. 

Today, Electrolux is an Autogrill preferred supplier on a European level. It is very satisfying to be able to say that, after so many projects completed together, the team spirit born so many years ago still survives.  

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