The project is an excellent example of a good design and automation implementation, as noted in particular by the Profibus standard for control and automation communications down to the sensor level. System enhancement projects, especially in the hosting and interrogating of production data, further refine and improve process quality and efficiency. In terms of occupational health and safety, the installation of the new keg filling line has significantly lowered risk levels.
FOR 120 years (from 1881 till 2001), Coopers’ brewing operations were located in the inner metropolitan suburb of Leabrook. By 1997, it became apparent that the Leabrook site could no longer sustain further growth. As well, residential constraints were increasing. Coopers relocated its brewing operations to Regency Park in November 2001. The development of the $45 million brewery has enabled Coopers to expand its brewing operations.
CAMMS Process Control , which assisted in the two-year relocation, provided the electrical automation package for the evaporation plant and lager cellar.
This included process control system development, electrical design, panel manufacture and process commissioning. International brewhouse designers Briggs of Burton provided the engineering and process control package.
A Siemens PCS7 system provides an integrated automation system with a firm upgrade path for the future. Coopers was already a user of PCS3 (Unix) and high level languages, such as APT, and was aware of the inherent advantages of structured process automation systems.
The control system is based on a S7-400 processor, utilising SFC and CFC engineering tools.
Existing TI 555 I/O racks were supplemented with ET200M style I/O to reduce overall relocation costs.
All equipment was hard wired, and no bus systems were used apart from Profibus DP remote I/O. The single S7-400 controls both evaporation plants and the home brew canning line.
Throughout the electrical design and installation, as much existing equipment as possible was incorporated, including use of the APT software and PCS3 (Unix).
The plant expansion and automation enhancements required a completely new electrical design, and manufacture of suitable panels and MCC equipment.
Most of the bottling hall standalone control systems have been added to the PCS7 automation control communication network to provide data access capability.
A first in Profibus
ALL measuring points are linked with a Profibus communications system. Coopers thus operates Australia’s first Profibus PA-networked brewhouse.
Profibus DP is utilised in the control room to link the PLCs and SCADA. Profibus PA is used throughout the plant to measure and control density, flow, level, pressure, pH and temperature.
Successful commercial brewing depends on accurately managing these variables. Temperature, for example, needs to be precisely 57 degrees or 58 degrees C (depending on the brew) in the mash tun, at boiling point in the kettle, 96 degrees in the whirlpool, and between 12 to 22 degrees en route to the lager cellar.
ASi bus is used for digital I/Os.
According to David Medlyn, senior process control engineer at Coopers Brewery, Profibus enables his process managers to obtain and coordinate more accurate and immediate feedback than before on every measurement parameter and measuring point at each process stage.
“The more exact the data obtained and the better orchestrated the control, the more efficient the process,” said Medlyn. “At the same time, we are able to minimise the consumption of energy and raw materials, reduce process time, prevent batch wastage and optimise product quality.”
An Endress+Hauser Promass Coriolis flow meter has been commissioned on the mash filter, to improve efficiency. This single Profibus PA connection provides data on volumetric flow, mass, density and temperature.
Coopers has also increased the efficiency of sub-processes within its brewhouse - such as the collection of spent grain (a by-product sold as brewer’s grain) and CIP processes (by optimising plant cleaning, reducing the risk of batch contamination, and minimising chemical and energy usage).
No cabling is required when extra measuring points are installed.
Also, with “plug and play” commissioning, the programmer simply obtains the relevant GSD file (equivalent to a printer driver), adds the new instrument to the circuit and it’s ready to go.
Keg filling line
COOPERS Brewery has set what it believes is a world efficiency benchmark on its keg filling line, reducing the number of operators to less than a single worker.
Coopers has installed a new KHS Transomat 5/1 Duo keg filler with direct flow control, replacing a single lane KHS Transomatic 4/2 filler that Coopers had transferred to Regency Park.
The new KHS filler has a maximum capacity of 160 kegs an hour, more than double the capacity achieved by the old line of 60 kegs an hour. It is currently being run at 120 kegs an hour due to limitations of a pre-washer, but this has still enabled Coopers to reduce keg filling operations from two shifts per day to one.
An ABB robot, programmed to unload empty kegs and place them onto the conveyor leading to the cleaner and filler, has also been added. The robot lifts the filled 50-litre kegs from the line and stacks them nine to a pallet for easy movement around the warehouse.
A special capper designed within Coopers automatically places a plastic cap on each filled keg before it is removed from the line.
The changes enable the keg line to be operated remotely and overseen by Coopers lager cellar operators via the site-wide SCADA system as well as closed-circuit television. This has reduced staffing levels on the line from two full-time operators to less than one full-time position.