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    Optimizing performance on brewery systems

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    Reducing consumption and costs: Steinecker works together with breweries to analyze their key performance indicators and unlock valuable potential for optimization.

    Rising inflation has affected not only consumers but also businesses over the past several months. Prices for raw materials and energy keep climbing higher, and production itself is becoming increasingly expensive. This has a direct impact on revenue, as higher costs cannot always be passed entirely to consumers – and ballooning food grocery bills may curtail beer consumption. In times like these, it is all the more important for companies to know their plants’ key performance indicators (KPIs) and to be able to compare them with industry benchmarks. It’s the only way to ensure that production costs are still moving within an optimal range.

    Increasing price pressures make efficient production all the more important

    But surging energy and raw material prices are not the only reason to take a closer look at your production and process flows. There are many instances when such a review makes a lot of sense, for example, if mechanical or electrical issues become increasingly frequent, if there are changes to work flows or personnel, or if inconsistent quality of raw materials results in lower yields. There are myriad reasons why it is worthwhile to carefully analyze existing equipment, and there will always be places where some fine tuning can result in increased efficiency and performance. And, with their wealth of experience, the Steinecker service team can provide valuable support here.

    Regular process checks

    Breweries should therefore regularly evaluate their beer production in terms of energy, technology, and engineering. Every process and production step counts, from the brewhouse to the bright-beer tank. When changes are detected early on, measures can likewise be taken in good time. Performance optimization , a product within Steinecker’s Lifecycle Service portfolio, is the ideal solution to help breweries get the most out of their systems and technologies.

    Ideal time for performance optimization  of brewing systems

    What does a joint performance assessment look like?

    The first step is to collect data, to determine the current status of the system. Steinecker will begin by looking at all existing documentation, plans, analyses, and/or archives of measurement data. In a best-case scenario, this is enough information from which to identify the key performance indicators. However, there usually isn’t enough data or the data is out of date. Nevertheless, this step is the perfect place to start since it allows our engineers to determine what information is still needed. Then it’s time to look at the system itself, using measurements, analyses, and inspections to close any information gaps. 

    At this point, the KPIs have been defined and can be used as a basis for optimization modeling. The resulting models can in turn be used to derive next steps, whose implementation can be determined based on TCO (total cost of ownership) and ROI (return on investment) calculations.

    Preventive instead of corrective maintenance

    Regular upkeep is a simple first step toward ensuring that lines and systems consistently deliver high performance. That means maintenance work should be preventive rather than corrective. It only makes sense. It’s better to prevent downtimes than to have to remedy them . Scheduled maintenance can be an opportunity to do a detailed checkup that uses not only visual inspection to identify defects but also empirical data that system manufacturers like Steinecker have stored in their databases.

    Any recommended overhauls are then performed on identified items, even if there are not yet signs of actual damage. Close, transparent communication among everyone involved is essential, from the preparations all the way through to completion of actions. This tight collaboration, combined with the associated documentation, yields the desired results: significantly improved system uptime.

    Optimizing performance in every process step

    But mechanical modifications and new components are not the only factors influencing a system’s KPIs. In production, the quality of the raw materials used will also have a significant impact on plant performance and product quality. However, just as weather and growing conditions are always changing, the quality of input materials is also never constant. Fortunately, these factors can be offset through adjustments to variables within the process control system. To this end, Steinecker analyzes performance and quality data through remote diagnostics and uses the results to establish recommendations for action and improvement suggestions. To gain a clearer picture of what is happening within the system, samples are taken from the individual process steps and analyzed. Specific recipe parameters can then be adjusted accordingly. 

    Cleaning processes are another point offering great potential for optimization. Reducing consumption of water and cleaning agents and shortening the downtimes associated with cleaning cycles also ultimately result in lower operating costs.

    Energy consulting offers great potential for savings

    Energy consumption is yet another area that always holds enormous potential for savings. Energy consulting enables clients to zero in on weak points that have high energy and media consumption and address them. As a first step, Steinecker ascertains consumption data and compares it with the latest state of the art. If this isn’t possible with the existing measuring equipment, mobile devices can be installed for a specific timeframe. Real load profiles for the different areas of production as well as overall energy and media consumption can be determined.

    The engineering team then uses this information to develop an action plan for reducing consumption. Steinecker provides a side-by-side comparison of the necessary investment and the expected savings, thus calculating TCO and ROI as a basis for decision-making.

    For breweries wishing to set up a certified energy management system (EMS), energy consulting offers one more advantage: When data is captured from all energy consumers and current energy consumption is analyzed, all options for energy savings are revealed – and with that, the foundations laid for obtaining the certificate.

    Neutral, third-party perspective

    Performance optimization is always worthwhile when breweries want to improve their consumption or increase capacity. That’s because Steinecker starts by determining the current key performance indicators and then shows how they can be improved upon. In the end, brewery operators benefit in multiple ways,

    • achieving high levels of potential savings with better raw material yields and consumption values.
    • significantly reducing their consumption of primary energy and media.
    • attaining higher plant uptimes by keeping their systems in optimal condition. 

    You can easily send a request for a non-binding quotation in our 

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