ABB launches new process automation solution for cold block stage of beer production

ABB has launched its technology solution for the cold block stage of the brewing process to further support breweries in their operational efficiency and in the adoption of digital solutions.

ABB’s brewmaster developed the solution with a broader team of domain experts. The cold block stage of the brewing process involves fermentation and maturation, yeast management, filtration, bright beer tanks (BBT) area, cleaning in place (CIP), and all secondary processes. These are the stages at which variations in recipe and flavour can be managed and introduced, which is particularly important to brewers. ABB uses modular automation, digital capabilities, simulation technology, and advanced process control (APC) to ensure the solution will support customers’ current challenges and future developments.

It will benefit customers who require a solution to improve and optimise their processes, reduce their energy and water consumption, and increase productivity. The solution is based on the ABB Ability System 800xA distributed control system (DCS).

With its primary focus on breweries, ABB Ability BeerMaker provides users with a technological package of ready-made and tested master recipes, processes, templates, and objects that can be easily adapted to their needs by using a variety of configuration/recipe parameters and control schemes. Brewmasters receive a powerful production tool that imposes no limits on their production schedules or creativity.

“We know that quality and consistency are among the most important factors for brewmasters,” said Gernut van Laak, Global Food and Beverage Solution Manager at ABB. “Given the growing scale of the beer industry in Europe and worldwide, driving efficiencies across the beermaking operation is a greater priority than ever. Therefore, finding innovative ways to do this while also operating more sustainably and reducing downtime is vital.

“Breweries will continue to require the support of technologists to improve their processes. We’re pleased that our automated solution with digital capabilities built-in for both digital twin (testing of recipes) and advanced process control (APC) will enable better beer production.”

The cold block functionality of BeerMaker is available from January 2024.