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Profibus brews improved efficiency and quality

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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.

When Coopers Brewery – Australia’s third largest brewer, and largest family owned brewery - relocated from Leabrook to Regency Park in 2001, it expanded production 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 success in other brewhouses worldwide.

Recognising that Profibus technology would effectively ‘future-proof’ the company’s new plant, MD Dr Tim Cooper agreed and Coopers thus installed Australia’s first Profibus PA-networked brewhouse.

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, Profibus technology has radically reduced the potential for cable damage and the time, costs and dangers associated with maintenance.

Three years later the new Coopers brewhouse still remains Australia’s most modern.

Its 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 Endress+Hauser instruments are connected to the brewhouse’s Profibus PA network.

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 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 Promass flow meter.

“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,” Coopers Brewery senior process control engineer David Medlyn said.

Coopers is continuing to introduce Profibus PA throughout the remainder of the plant.

*Andrew Dummet of The Adshop Pty Ltd is a public relations agent for Endress+Hauser.

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