Automating and optimizing a microbrewery - Montanuniversität Leoben
The idea for the project
How did the project come to be?
Up until now, the Linko Brewery (established in 2005) only had an automated mashing system. Every other processing step had to be done manually. The brewing process therefore took a fair amount of time to be completed. This led to the idea of developing a fully automated brewing process.
Going further into detail, the brewery was working with a stainless steel 3-vessel brewhouse and an automated mashing system to control the duration and temperature of the mashing process. Additionally, they had one main fermenting vat along with six storage and fermentation tanks, each holding six hectoliters of beer. The double-drop fermentation process had an output rate of approximately five hectoliters per batch.
What is special about your project? What makes it challenging or difficult?
The challenges are to fully automate the brewing process, to develop the process flow diagram and to select the right sensors and actuators for process control. Control and HMI will be handled by a Power Panel mounted on the control cabinet, and operation will also be possible via a remote HMI terminal. The project also included layout and construction of the control cabinet and power supply.
In the food industry, every part that comes into contact with the product must be meet food-grade design requirements. The sensors therefore had to be selected carefully in order to meet these standards in a cost-effective way.
What is your proposed solution and how do you plan to implement it?
The solution aims to achieve faster and more efficient production, better ergonomics, full automation of the brewing process and a redesigned power supply to take advantage of renewable energy sources. By increasing efficiency and decreasing working time, the brewery should see a rise in its annual production volume with a simultaneous drop in raw material consumption.