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Endress+Hauser’s Profibus used in Coopers Brewery

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Coopers Brewery, a large brewer, and large family owned brewery, was founded by Thomas Cooper in South Australia in 1862. When the company relocated from Leabrook to Regency Park in 2001, it took the opportunity to expand its production capacity by commissioning an entirely new brewhouse. International brewhouse designers Briggs of Burton proposed that automation control and measurement be linked with a Profibus communications system, based on its outstanding success in other brewhouses worldwide. Recognising that Profibus technology would effectively future-proof the company’s new plant, MD agreed and Coopers thus installed Australia’s first Profibus PA-networked brewhouse.

Three years later the new Coopers brewhouse still remains Australia’s modern. Coopers brewhouse’s state-of-the-art Profibus technology includes both Profibus DP (utilised in the control room to link the PLCs, SCADA and drives), Profibus PA (utilised extensively throughout the plant for the measurement and control of level, temperature, flow, pressure and positioning valves) and ASi bus (for the digital I/O such as valves and level switches).

A wide range of state-of-the-art Endress Hauser instruments, including Cerabar H pressure transmitters, temperature transmitters, Deltapilot level measurement devices, and Promag electromagnetic and Promass Coriolis flow meters, are connected to the brewhouse’s Profibus PA network. This facilitates accurate, real-time monitoring and management of complex sets of interdependent parameters at each and every process stage. At the mash tun, for example, where water must be added at a precise temperature depending on the brew, there are temperature measurement devices controlled with Endress+Hauser temperature probes, a valve positioner to control hot and cold flows, and level measurement devices with remote mounted electronics transmitters. The efficiency of the new, high-volume mash filter, which was delivered to the new brewhouse from Belgium with legacy 4…20 mA instrumentation, has been significantly enhanced by the addition of a Profibus-enabled Endress+Hauser Promass flow meter. According to Coopers Brewery, because of the Profibus PA technology, from this flowmeter we get volumetric flow, mass, and density to show us how effectively the filter is running, and Plato and temperature measurements are also on the cards.

Having experienced the benefits of using Profibus PA and seen the resultant increase in the control of the quality of its products, Coopers is continuing to introduce Profibus PA throughout the remainder of the plant as it upgrades and expands to meet growing market demand for its products. Over 70 Endress+Hauser devices are already installed in the brewhouse, and in the grain/malt/wheat silos Endress+Hauser plans to install an additional 11 Levelflex level devices with Dustex approval. In the near future the lager cellar will also be upgraded from analogue 4…20mA technology to Profibus PA. A Promass Coriolis flow meter has been added to the yeast seeding plant, to fine-tune the quantity of yeast added for the secondary, in-package fermentation process that gives Coopers ale its distinctive cloudiness and flavour.

According to Coopers Brewery, Profibus PA has several major advantages for it. Firstly, the flexibility of being able to connect straight on to the network at any position in the plant. Secondly, it’s a big advantage to be able to cut down on cabling. Thirdly, the Profibus-linked instruments give a much higher degree of accuracy and control than the old legacy systems.

Brewhouses are typically harsh environments, whose high temperatures, aggressive processes and caustic cleaning materials can be damaging to cabling as well as hazardous for workers and machinery. By radically reducing the amount of cabling needed within the Coopers brewhouse and enabling process instruments to be added quickly and easily into the network, the Profibus technology has radically reduced the potential for cable damage and the time, costs and dangers associated with maintenance. Less additional cabling is required when extra measuring points are installed, providing exceptional flexibility. Furthermore, Profibus enables plug and play commissioning. The programmer simply obtains the relevant GSD file (equivalent to a printer driver), adds the new instrument onto the circuit and it’s ready to go.

Medlyn is particularly impressed by the robust performance of Profibus PA, and the simplicity and convenience of its troubleshooting capabilities. When an instrument is damaged, the Profibus network does not fail and the source of the problem is instantly identifiable from the control room. Process managers can also proactively prevent instrument failure by remotely detecting incipient problems and pinpointing where attention is required. This reduces process down time and batch wastage, and minimises the resources spent on maintenance.

The decision to implement Profibus PA in the new brewhouse has been thoroughly vindicated. The company has seen improvements in product quality and consistency as well as time and cost efficiencies. The quality control is much tighter since they have refined everything up in the new brewhouse. Sales of pale ale have increased by at least 15% per annum for each year since the move, at a time when beer sales in Australia have been flat. Coopers Brewery is expanding at a huge rate. It started at Regency Park with eight fermenters, and only three years later they now have 14. They are adding to the brewhouse and upgrading it all the time, and will be investing at least $7 million in capital in 2004/2005.

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