Better brewing with automation from Siemens

Siemens Ltd
Thursday, 23 August, 2007

Thanks to a control system from Siemens, breweries can oversee the entire brewing process from a single monitor, allowing them to produce beer faster and more cost efficiently while ensuring quality of taste remains at a consistently high level. Known as Braumat, the system encompasses both hardware and software. The system's special control technology enables it to access all facilities and use graphics to display all information and control modules.

At the click of the mouse, the operator can add more hops to the beer in the brewery, for example, or introduce lemonade extracts to the beer when it is filled into bottles. In addition, the system makes production more transparent by pooling process information. This increases the speed at which faults in the facility can be detected and eliminated, thus saving costs. The automation specialists at Siemens have adapted the system to differently sized breweries and the results were recently presented at the Brau Beviale brewery fair in Nuremberg. For small facilities, Siemens has created the Braumat package Compact while the package Plus is designed for large breweries and features a number of additional batch functions.

Whereas most breweries offered only a limited selection of beers a few years ago, the product ranges have recently been expanded to meet the demand for new types of beer. However, the production of alcohol-free beer, lager and special beer mixtures that increasingly come in exotic flavours also poses manufacturers with a number of technical challenges, as all of these types of beer have to be produced at one and the same facility. Until recently, employees often had to change the ingredients for particular recipes directly at the facility. This was a time-consuming process in which consistent quality could not be ensured.

The Braumat packages, on the other hand, provide breweries with an unprecedented level of production flexibility. The integrated software enables brewers to create new recipes on-screen by using a drag and drop procedure such as that found in drawing programs. In addition, the brewers can immediately integrate the changes into the brewing process or offset natural fluctuations in raw materials by using more malt or hops. No matter what changes an employee makes, Braumat saves each step in its recipe archives. As a result, each recipe and each change in ingredients no matter how minor is fully documented and reproducible.

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