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Brewing up a taste sensation
4th Quarter 2017, This Week's Editor's Pick, Electrical switching & drive systems & components
The micro-brewery Hardknott, based in Cumbria in the UK, produces craft beers with such names as Azimuth and Intergalactic Space Hopper. To ensure adherence to fermentation and brewery process parameters vital to the quality of the beer, company founder David Bailey relies on control and automation technology from Siemens.
Craft beer is soaring in popularity. Originally coined in the USA, the term craft beer is used to denote beer types produced by the growing movement of independent, small and highly localised brewery companies. The British micro-brewery Hardknott founded 12 years ago by David Bailey is one such independent producer with its own take on the amber brew. Like many other micro-breweries, Hardknott is keen to emphasise the craft and individuality that goes into its beers. So it comes as no surprise that the beer names such as Azimuth, Continuum, Dark Energy, Code Black or Intergalactic Space Hopper are chosen by Bailey to reflect the unique character of the product. To satisfy his own and his customers’ stringent quality expectations, when it comes to technical innovation and investment, Bailey relies on technology from Siemens.
Indispensable for quality assurance
“Control of the fermentation temperature helps to improve the quality and consistency of the beer considerably,” explains Bailey. “Fermentation takes place over several days and on a practical basis the process can’t be watched continuously.” This is why for cost reasons, some breweries dispense with complex and costly temperature control systems and instead use less accurate manual on/off controls. Unwilling to compromise on quality, this was not an option for Bailey. Instead, he opted in favour of using Logo! 8 from Siemens. The brewery was already using Logo! to control a keg washing application, so extending its use to the fermentation process seemed an obvious choice.
Simple, precise, rapid
As the fermentation temperature must not be allowed to deviate from target by more than a single degree, its precise control is paramount. Logo! 8 takes this easily in its stride. The control system also features a function which logs acquired data onto an SD card. This allows the control process to be further optimised, makes the brewing process stable and reproducible, and also provides a trend display. The clearly arranged graphic user interface enables the control system to be intuitively operated. Added to this are the large display, the diverse scope for communication over Ethernet or remote communication over the wireless cellular network and the integrated web server. This can be operated without any special programming knowledge in HTML, so accessing the controller is simple. “Using Logo! to control our brewing process has already proven to be beneficial because it offers flexibility, scalability and the potential to be seamlessly networked with other Siemens technology,” says Bailey. “We wanted to meet the functional demands of this new generation of breweries, yet remain affordable,” adds Sara Nichols from Siemens. “Working closely with these brewers, we have developed a solution to support all the requirements of the fermentation process, including remote access, data logging, and app support.”
For more information contact Jennifer Naidoo, Siemens Digital Factory and Process Industries and Drives, +27 (0)11 652 2795, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.siemens.co.za
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