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Custom solutions - Siemens offers on-budget automation solutions for craft breweries
Charlottetown, Canada. In cooperation with Siemens, Canada’s Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) Group has developed customized automation solutions specifically for craft beer breweries. Using a range of scaled automation packages, the brewers are able to improve their productivity and flexibility and ensure consistent product quality even for small batch sizes. The offered solutions are also designed to support breweries on their way towards digitalization and Industrie 4.0. DME produces production equipment for a number of different sectors such as biotechnology, bioenergy and marine applications, but the majority of its business is focused on craft brewers. In this field it is among the world’s leading suppliers.
One of the greatest challenges for DME and Siemens was that most craft beer breweries are small, independent businesses that are not able to command the same financial resources as larger industrial concerns for implementing the automation they need. This meant that the best approach was to develop a flexible, scalable solution that would be affordable for a range of different budgets. One of the benefits of the Siemens-DME alliance – right from the start - was that Siemens offers a wealth of experience in brewery automation, and is also able to provide vital pre-sales and after-sales services, even to small businesses no matter where they are located. At the heart of every solution is a Simatic S7 control system including a Simatic universal controller and a process management system such as Braumat.
Custom solutions to suit any budget
“When we go to visit a new client, we sit down with them and ask: ‘What is your budget, what do you need to accomplish?’ Then we’ll recommend a Siemens package to them, and explain how the system will operate, what data it will control, and just how sophisticated it is,” explains Peter Toombs, President and CEO of DME. Even where the budget is really tight, as he explains, it’s possible to put in place a suitable solution that can grow over time. For instance, adding a new beer tank is a matter of just a few clicks. The pre-programmed solution enables customers to optimally control and improve their brewing processes. A particular benefit is the user-friendly graphic interface. Production data such as temperature and flow can also be exported to Excel and further analyzed to provide the basis for informed production-related decisions. “This technology is the single largest investment, the biggest business decision they (the craft breweries, Ed.) will ever make, and it makes their dreams come true. We spend a lot of time with them and we love it. In a lot of ways, we become like family to each other,” says a delighted Toombs. Using the jointly developed solution from DME and Siemens, brewers can be assured of adherence to quality standards and achieving a trouble-free production process. This means they can concentrate on what they do best: Developing new and improved recipes and marketing their products.
Most craft breweries are small, independent businesses, so the automation solutions developed by the Diversified Metal Engineering (DME) Group from Canada in association with Siemens are tailored to different budgets.
At the heart of every solution is a Simatic S7 control system complete with controller and process control system such as Braumat.
The automation solutions are designed to allow them to be expanded as required: adding a new beer tank for instance takes just a few clicks.
For a perfect brewing result, small breweries are turning to modern process automation to perfect the quality of their handcrafted beers.