Typica: Software for Coffee Roasting Operations

New in Typica 1.8

Typica 1.8 is available now with several changes including bug fixes, usability improvements, and new features. This new version is recommended for everybody using Typica. Note that many of the new features must be set up in the Configure Roasters window before use. The main highlights of this release follow.

Threshold Annotations

Configuring a threshold annotation.

Threshold annotations can be used to automatically mark when measurements on any measurement series pass through a given value in a specified direction. There are many potential uses for this feature.

If you're using a button to record an event that happens at a consistent temperature, consider replacing that with a threshold annotation.

If you wanted to record the turnaround point, this can be approximated with a threshold annotation on a rate of change series on the ascent through 0. Note that due to the way rate of change is calculated, this will often lag the true measured minimum by a couple seconds.

Related blog post.

Batch Tag Printing

Batch tag printing video.

One of the keys to production traceability is having good records that follow the coffee. Typica can now print human and machine readable batch tags using an inexpensive thermal receipt printer. By printing these and attaching them to the coffee buckets it is easy to uniquely identify which batch produced a given coffee and look up data associated with that batch. These tags are a good replacement for hand written batch tags.

There is an episode of 60 Second Coffee Tips with step by step instructions on modifying a food safe bucket so that batch tags can easily be attached. This simple modification can be applied to most containers that are commonly used to transport coffee from the cooling bin to a packing line.

The new batch window also presents additional information that is useful for improving production traceability if hand written batch tags are preferred.

Related blog post.

Merge Series

Configuring a difference series.

A merge series is one that takes measurements from two input data series, performs a calculation on these measurements, and produces a new output data series. Typica 1.8 adds two types of merge series.

Difference subtracts measurements on one series from measurements on another one and plots the result on the relative measurement axis. If you wanted to see the difference between air and seed temperatures throughout a roast, this provides an easier way to monitor that than watching both input channels.

Mean produces an average between two input data series. This can be used in cases where such an average produces more reliable data than either of the inputs separately.

Related blog post.

Manual Log Entry

Video walk through for manual log entry and import from IKAWA.

The manual log entry interface has been completely rewritten for Typica 1.8. This allows Typica to be used meaningfully even without any data acquisition hardware, but it is most useful with machines where it is not possible to collect reliable temperature data. There are many sample roasters that fit that description.

Both production and sample batch data can be entered through this interface and profile data entry is optional. All data entered here can accessed through the same interfaces as data collected through hardware interfaces.

Related blog post.

Import from IKAWA Sample Roaster

The manual log entry feature also provides an interface for data import filters that can be used to bring in data that was collected in other programs. The first use for this is importing data from CSV files exported from the app powering the IKAWA sample roaster. This import filter utilizes Typica's scripting environment which means it's easy to see how this works and create additional import filters to bring in data collected in other programs.

Related blog post.

Expanded Modbus RTU Support

New configuration controls for Modbus RTU devices allow the use of multiple devices on the same bus, monitoring an unlimited number of addresses on these devices, and adds support for additional numeric representations. This should allow the use of Typica with nearly any combination of Modbus RTU devices currently used in roasting machines.

On Linux, the bus can be a virtual serial port created by tty0tty. This allows Typica to connect to devices that are simulated in other programs.

Related blog post.

Additional Scale Support

Additional configuration options allow Typica to be used with a broader range of scales.

Related blog post.

Fast User Switching

Typica user setup and switching.

Switching the currently logged user no longer requires restarting Typica. Additional user management interfaces separate the concepts of Typica user and database user.

Related blog post.

Automatic Configuration Selection

If a Typica configuration exists in a standard location relative to the executable, Typica will load this without prompting unless a command line option overrides that selection. This makes it more difficult to accidentally use the example configuration from an older version of Typica with a newer version of the program.

Related blog post.

Usability Improvements to Profile Translation

A safety delay option has been added to Typica's profile translation feature. This is useful when translation is set to a temperature that the relevant series might be ascending through while coffee is being introduced to the roasting environment. When this option is set, an unwanted translation that would have been triggered in the first few seconds after starting the batch will instead be ignored. It is also possible to undo and redo profile translation and these operations are quickly accessible through keyboard shortcuts.

Related blog post.

New and Updated Reports

A new Green Coffees Used for Roasted Coffees report has been added. There are also changes to several other reports to include additional information, provide additional filtering options, or allow data to be presented in other ways.

Related blog post.

Additional Error Checking

Various changes reduce the possibilities for mistakes in data entry.

Assorted Bug Fixes

Several known issues have been corrected.

New Application Icon

The logo originally designed to be introduced starting in version 2.0 is instead used for the application icon starting with version 1.8.

Support Ongoing Development

While Typica is free to download, use, and modify, its development is not without cost. Several improvements have not been implemented due to lack of budget. There are also costs associated with ensuring the program continues to work with new operating system version releases and ensuring that it remains available.

If the companies using Typica were supporting the project financially, it would be possible to work on a broader range of improvements that I believe most would find useful. It would also be possible to release new versions more frequently. I'd like to encourage everybody using Typica to consider providing some support for this work.

The form below can be used to pay whatever you think Typica is worth with your credit card.