System Integration & Control Systems Design

Craft breweries benefit from digitalisation with modular Siemens automation

December 2018 System Integration & Control Systems Design

Thanks to different ingredients, temperatures, fermentation times and process steps, there is an enormous range of beers. This is equally true for multi-national businesses with many brands and small craft beer breweries with many recipes. They have one thing in common though and that is to deliver the highest possible quality so that they can satisfy their customers – irrespective of how complex the brewing process may be.

Deutsche Beverage Technology (Deutsche Beverage) supplies turnkey engineering solutions for breweries, with its main customer base in the high-growth craft beer sector. To allow it to supply its customers with digital systems, remote accessing facilities and smart controls, the company has entered into a technology partnership with Siemens. When it came to providing its customers with scalable automation systems, Deutsche Beverage opted for the Siemens solution for a number of reasons: simple wiring, rapid installation and the availability of waterproof components designed specifically for reliable operation in breweries.

Craft beer manufacturers are particularly dependent on achieving high productivity and operational flexibility if they are to succeed in what is a hotly contested market. Their need to continuously refine and modify their recipes poses something of a challenge for the manufacturing process. This is why an ever increasing number of breweries are turning to automation solutions. “Automation excites us,” says Chris Williams of Cherry Street Brewing in Georgia. “The labour involved in what we do is intense and automation helps us get our creative beers to market faster.”

This means staying a jump ahead of the competition. The automation concepts the company uses come from technology partners Siemens and Deutsche Beverage.

Waterproof solution with remote access

The solutions supplied by Deutsche Beverage feature IP69K-rated buttons and switches from the Sirius Act portfolio. These waterproof commanding and signalling devices can be completely drenched during the brewing process without any worry of shorting. To ensure optimum communication capability for the systems, Deutsche Beverage opted to use the Profinet protocol including remote access. “We didn’t have any capability for remote access before the Siemens Profinet solutions,” recalls Deutsche Beverage electrical engineer Chris McAbee. If an error occurred, a costly site visit had to be made in order to gain an adequate picture before fixing the problem. The availability of remote access means that Deutsche Beverage employees can now provide faster, simpler customer support. The system is engineered in the TIA (Totally Integrated Automation) Portal, and the failsafe Simatic S7-1200F is used as a controller. The ergonomically designed touchscreen KTP400 HMI permits central access to all process and diagnostic data.

Leveraging maximum potential at all times

With digitalisation and the modular solution from partners Deutsche Beverage and Siemens, breweries can now select precisely the system functionality they need to carry out their work. The supplied systems can be upgraded at any time as required, for instance to include the WinCC Scada system. This not only eases the investment pressure but also helps breweries, some of which are extremely small-scale operations, to keep a careful eye on costs.

For more information contact Jennifer Naidoo, Siemens Digital Factory and Process Industries and Drives, +27 11 652 2795,,


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