GlobalLogic provides experience design, digital product engineering services and Agile software development to global brands in all vertical industries.

Brewing Innovation One Cup at a Time

January 16, 2015

As a global software engineering firm with offices all around the world — and therefore 24×7 operations — we have a serious love affair with coffee. In fact, we estimate that our Kyiv office alone consumes more than seven tons of coffee per year! Not only does it help our engineers concentrate, but the coffee machine often becomes the focal point for social interaction and exchanging ideas. Of course, as in any office, no one wants to refill the water reservoir. Even though it only takes a minute, it’s a minute that could be spent more productively. Thankfully, our offices are filled with innovative people who are motivated to solve inefficiencies in any form — especially those that affect their coffee consumption.

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Andrii Zakharov, a software engineer in Kyiv, took it upon himself to create a solution that automatically refills the coffee machine’s water reservoir. Standard coffee machines track water levels by using a magnetized float in the water reservoir. Once the float sinks to the bottom and touches a magnetic reed relay, the machine stops making coffee until the reservoir is refilled. To bypass this system, Andrii inserted another detector between the float and the bottom relay. When the float touches the new detector, an Arduino microcontroller transmits a signal to an electric pump, which then fills the reservoir directly from a 20-liter tank via a flexible pipe. Andrii also used a 3D printer to create a plastic cover that fully fits over the coffee machine’s water reservoir. He even included LED indicators to display information about the device’s status and current operational mode!

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This impressive solution is already installed in one of our Kyiv office blocks, serving over 100 people.  If we decide to add similar systems throughout our 1,400-person office in Kyiv, we could potentially save more than 1,000 hours per year that were previously dedicated just to refilling water reservoirs! It’s this sort of attention to detail that makes our engineers so special. Andrii took a seemingly minor problem and created a solution that makes a major impact on GlobalLogic’s productivity. I tip my hat to Andrii and look forward to seeing what he comes up with next!