Maschinenfabrik Kurt Neubauer has been furnishing specialist kitchen solutions for its customers since 1946. World Cruise Industry Review talks to Stephan Kammel, regional vice-president for international sales, about how the company can help operators reduce their carbon footprint while enhancing the utility and aesthetic quality of their kitchen areas.
Stephan Kammel: A combination of outstanding products, technical innovation and a fantastic international team has helped shape the MKN success story over the past 70 years. As a result, the company has a deep understanding of today's market, employing a global workforce of local people who understand local issues.
Our international sales team - especially specialists working in the marine sector - are close to our customers: they ask about their concerns and ideas, and we take those on board when new products are developed or when features are reprocessed. They are privy to customers' particular needs and requirements, and talk to them on an equal footing.
Our success in this area is down to the commitment and expertise of our in-house engineering division, an important part of which is our cohort of in-house MKN chefs. They are recruited after years of having worked in the high-pressure environment of a restaurant kitchen space and, as such, they make sure high levels of practicability, ergonomics and efficiency are retained throughout our kitchen product range.
Another aspect they bear in mind is the trend of cooking in front of guests, which is becoming more common not only in professional restaurant kitchens, but also on the high seas. Chefs want to create an experience with their guests while showing them how to produce the dishes. Kitchen equipment that is easy to use and clean but also attractive in design is essential in this respect.
MKN has had its own line of combi steamers since 2003. Our latest product in this segment is the FlexiCombi Team, which is a single appliance equipped with two cooking chambers. This allows the user to work in an extremely flexible way by running two cooking modes simultaneously. Bread rolls can bake in the lower cooking chamber while, at the same time, vegetables steam in the upper one.
The appliance is operated using the intuitive MagicPilot touch control, with touchscreens for both cooking chambers situated at eye level in the upper part of the appliance. A comfortable height ensures the particularly ergonomic operation of the new MKN combi steamer, while the lower door handle can be turned 180° for the user's convenience. Cleaning is also simple: the seamless control panel and side walls provide quality standards for uncompromising hygiene.
Our FlexiCombi combi steamer is equipped with GreenInside, which provides transparency in the management of energy and water consumption. The user can trust the FlexiCombi's outstanding sustainability, as consumption figures are displayed directly on the touch display following each cooking process.
We have also worked hard to enhance numerous technical features within our range, over and above previous product iterations. For example, the triple-glazed cooking chamber door retains a potential energy saving of up to 28% compared with our previous generation of double-glazed combi steamers. Meanwhile, the FlexiCombi 10.1 has seen our customers save approximately 1kWh each operating hour compared with our previous HansDampf technology, through the use of our new heat exchanger.