Technology Driven Beer Production

After two years of construction and an investment of more than 300 million euros, the new brewery of Heineken España S.A., in Sevilla, is nearly completed. The facility has earned the nickname “Jumbo” because of the magnitude of the project, its high degree of technical sophistication, and the remarkable speed at which the project has been completed. See photos; link to related tutorial.

09/17/2008


Heineken can upload data to a PDA for manual calibrations. Source: Beamex

Heineken technicians can upload data to a PDA for manual calibrations. Source: Beamex

After two years of construction and an investment of more than 300 million euros, the new brewery of Heineken España S.A., in Sevilla, is nearly completed. The facility has earned the nickname “Jumbo” because of the magnitude of the project, its high degree of technical sophistication, and the remarkable speed at which the project has been completed.

In keeping with Heineken’s long tradition of high quality beer made from time-proven recipes, the plant equipment configuration follows conventional processes, but with very high levels of automation and safety. This deliberate combination of traditional and modern is designed to create the most modern and productive brewery in Europe, allowing the company to remain the beer market leader in Spain.

But it’s not just about production. There are environmental concerns as well, including a desire to make optimum use of natural resources. For example, water and heat reclamation systems are integrated with building utilities and equipment cleaning systems in a way that reduce energy and water consumption by 20%. Supporting this degree of integration requires sophisticated instrumentation and networking. Jumbo is very advanced, in that everything communicates via fieldbus or Ethernet networks, including Profibus PA for instrumentation, Profibus DP for motors and drives, and AS-interface for valves and actuators.

Maintaining critical certifications

Quality for Heineken is a number one priority and the company uses all resources to ensure product uniformity. All breweries in Spain have received ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications, in addition to the BRC (British Retail Consortium) Certificate of Food Safety. Heineken’s plant operators must therefore ensure that all processes correspond to certified practices, including specific requirements for instrumentation calibration.

Heineken

Heineken's "jumbo" brewery is designed for high yields while cutting water and energy consumption by 20%. Source: Beamex.

Armando Rivero Rubalcaba has been head of instrumentation for the Sevilla brewery since 1996, first in its former location, in calle Greco, and now as they move to Jumbo. His department includes five instrumentation technicians who are responsible for all the maintenance, calibration, and adjustments of the devices, which include sensors to measure temperature, flow, CO 2 in beer, dissolved O 2 , level, pH, conductivity, pressure, weight, yeast consistency, density, turbidity, and color.

In the old Heineken facility, Rubalcaba and his technicians kept track of their efforts manually using a database. It was designed for printing the calibration certificates of the control loops collected among the critical equipment, in keeping with the ISO 9001 and 14001 norms and to establish the annual calibration plans of these loops. This database contained the specifications of the equipment, but did not store the calibration data, and thus they had to be kept on paper for checking during surveillance audits.

For the calibrations, Heineken used printed reports from the database to note the calibration results. These results then had to be entered into the database to obtain corresponding calibration reports. Consequently, the instrumentation technician did not know if the calibration was accepted before introducing the data and establishing the report.

Anticipating higher technical sophistication in the new plant, Rubalcaba wanted an improved tool that would make calibration work easier, store all calibration results, show the calibration history trend for every device, and provide quick access to calibration data during audits.

Finding a better tool

These factors led the company to choose Beamex CMX calibration software combined with the Beamex MC5 multifunction calibrator for use in the new brewery. All the instrumentation data, including individual devices and analog variables, are entered into the CMX. This procedure follows a codification and plant structure according to the ISA S88 standard. Each instrument that is calibrated regularly has its own calibration procedure, including the initial calibration date, due date, and all related calibration information.

The various preventive maintenance plans, which automatically generate work orders for each calibration plan, are entered into the SAP PM (plant maintenance) management system. Once the work order is created in SAP PM, the instrumentation technician uploads the list of equipment to calibrate from the CMX to the MC5, or to a personal digital assistant (PDA), if the calibration is done manually.

Once the calibrations are completed, the resulting data is stored in the CMX and approved electronically by the head of instrumentation. All the calibration labels are then printed and positioned on the calibrated equipment.

Combining the MC5 and PDA with the CMX software allows for a seamless electronic flow between the calibration software and the calibrators. This capability provides many important benefits:

  • Reduces errors typical of manual data entry;

  • Gives automatic documentation of all data;

  • Generates electronic approval of calibrations;

  • Manages calibration without needing paper records;

  • Provides quick access to equipment requiring calibration; and

  • Analyzes trends and history of calibrations.

All these combined result in more efficient, practical, and accurate procedures. Maintenance efforts can be optimized and integrated with larger production control strategies, saving costs and delivering a rapid ROI.



ONLINE extra
Related reading: Tutorial: Digital fieldbus device calibration , with photos.


Author Information

Villy Lindfelt is marketing director for Beamex. Reach him at villy.lindfelt@beamex.com .