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Storage tanks (f)lying down

Munich’s historic Augustiner-Bräu brewery is upsizing its storage capacities at its inner-city location. In October and November 2014, Krones supplied a total of 17 horizontal storage tanks as an all-inclusive order, which were installed in a steel frame. This has enabled Augustiner to increase its beer-maturation capacities by 46,000 hectolitres.

In the course of its history, Augustiner-Bräu has weathered a lot of expansions without ever forgetting its corporate philosophy, let alone jeopardising its beers’ quality. Both of them have turned Augustiner-Bräu into a quintessential exemplar of Munich’s culture, and its local taverns and beer gardens into cosy venues for convivial Munich-style togetherness. Nor must Augustiner-Bräu’s venerable building in the Landsberger Strasse right in the city centre be forgotten, which with its listed long burnt-brick façade likewise constitutes an exemplar of Munich’s culture.

Therefore, quite a bit of sensitivity was needed for the storage-cellar expansion, so as to match it to the style of the existing buildings. And that was not all: the tradition-steeped brewery also wanted to retain its field-proven cellarage technology, which is why Augustiner-Bräu fittingly installed in the storage area not vertical cylindro-conical tanks but horizontal ones. An all-inclusive order was placed with Krones, covering the manufacture, transport, ingress and installation of the tanks, plus the delivery and erection of the steel construction into which the tanks were individually inserted in a three-level configuration. Handling this complete tank-manufacture-and-erection order was a first for Krones in Germany. Once finished, the steel construction will then be clad in a façade matching the rest of Augustiner’s buildings, a job that the brewery will be carrying out itself.

All of it made in Germany

Work on the expansion project began in October 2014, with the brewery taking delivery of the first of 17 horizontal storage tanks, all of them manufactured by Krones, each with an outer diameter of 4.20 metres including insulation and – depending on the tank’s usable capacity – with a length of up to 26 metres. The order comprised a total of three different tank sizes: three large ones with a frame length of 26 metres, each holding 3,400 hectolitres, six medium-capacity ones with a frame length of 23.75 metres, each holding 3,119 hectolitres and eight smaller ones with a frame length of 16 metres, each holding 2,145 hectolitres.

Transporting the horizontal tanks from the production facility to the site is likewise simpler, due to their smaller diameter, when you remember that vertical cylindro-conical tanks may have a diameter of more than five metres. In Germany, for example, motorway transit is relatively unproblematic up to a transport height of 4.30 metres. The 17 tanks were ingressed in three steps, as part of a meticulously planned job. First of all, in the south, centre and north buildings, Krones had in each case created the steel constructions (designed as self-contained units) on existing ones. In the south building, the steel construction also serves to support the outside façade (to be applied later on), and in all buildings to support the roof, so that there was here no need to erect a complete new building. A total of 250 tons of steel were processed for this. In the run-up to the job, repeated meetings took place with the brewery and the structural engineer, so as to fine-tune this type of construction.

Securely suspended on steel straps

What was a substantially more elaborate task than with cylindro-conical tanks, though, was setting up the horizontal tanks. It is relatively simple to install the former with feet or support frames. For the horizontal tanks, by contrast, steel straps, each six millimetres thick and 350 millimetres wide, were hung between the steel masts, onto which the tanks were placed one by one under less-than-easy erection conditions by a 500-ton truck-mounted crane. All contact surfaces between the steel straps and the tanks were insulated with rigid-foam sheets, so as to prevent any weight-induced indentations. The tanks’ shell consists of aluminium stucco sheeting with a wart-like surface structure.

Krones possesses its own tank manufacturing operation

All of the tanks were manufactured in Germany – that was one of the stipulations specified in Augustiner-Bräu’s tender. Krones produces stainless steel tanks of all sizes, for a variety of pressures, and acceptance-tested to globally recognised standards, such as PED 97/23/EC-AD 2000, ASME, RTN, ML and others. For this purpose, Krones uses production equipment to the latest state of the art, like plasma-welding systems. To suit the client’s individual wishes, Krones can manufacture tanks in either pressureless or pressurised design, water and storage tanks, and also sterile tanks. The production facility, located at a German inland port, has an annual manufacturing capacity of 100 to 130 tanks, with diameters ranging from 3.5 to 7.5 metres, and is earmarked for further expansion due to the good capacity utilisation level. As material for the tank insulation, clients can choose between polyisocyanurate (PIR), polyurethane (PUR) and mineral wool. The options available for the sheathing include flat or trapezoidal stainless-steel or aluminium sheeting, which can be either riveted or bolted. The shell for relatively small tanks can be made of fully welded stainless steel flat sheeting, which can also be fitted on site, depending on the tank’s diameter and transport options. The tanks for Augustiner were manufactured standing upright but were, of course, acceptance-tested in a horizontal position at the specified test pressure of 1.43 bar.

One weekend in October 2014 saw the ingress operation for the first five tanks, while at two more weekends in November 2014 six tanks each followed suit. In the spring of 2015, Augustiner will then be able to commission its new storage cellar, right on time for the start of the summer season.

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