As a Chemical Engineer, I love the aesthetic of a pressure gauge. It relays important information about the pumping pressure of the machine and can be used to diagnose many issues a user might have, for example, tamping too lightly.
The LED above the pressure gauge is connected to a float switch in the tank. It glows orange when the water falls too low. This notifies the user that the tank needs topping up and prevents someone from accidently running the boiler dry and possibly damaging the machine.
Jet Breaker Modification
This modification to the machine prevents channeling. Channeling is when the coffee puck fractures in the basket, allowing water to flow through the puck unevenly. The countersunk screw displayed here means that the shower screen is flat, which helps to prevent this from occuring.
Heat loss from the equipment is a concern of any coffee machine. A large amount of energy goes into heating the machine and you want to make sure you can use every last bit. The Silvia uses a solid brass boiler which is an excellent design choice because of how well it holds heat. To take this a step further, the boiler can be wrapped in Silicone Insulation to;
1. Prevent unnecessary heat loss and maintain temperature stability
2. Protect electrical components, such as a PID controller
One of the best additions a user can make to the Silvia is a PID controller. This one is available from Auber Instruments. A PID is like cruise control on a car. It holds the temperature to a set value. It does this by periodically switching on and off the heating element. The PID effectively eliminates the need to 'temperature surf' the machine.
The Rancilio Silvia is easily the best machine for the price on the market. It is a sturdy, well-built machine and is very easy to work on. There's a wealth of information available on the internet, but if you would like any more, please feel free to contact James at Williamstown Roasters.