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Profibus pays dividends to brewer

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COOPERS Brewery, Australia’s third largest brewer, and largest family owned brewery, was founded by Thomas Cooper in South Australia in 1862. When Coopers relocated from Leabrook to Regency Park in 2001, the company expanded its capacity by commissioning a new brewhouse.

International brewhouse designers Briggs of Burton proposed linking all measuring points with a Profibus communications system. Coopers thus gained Australia’s first Profibus PA-networked brewhouse.

Profibus DP is utilised in the control room to link the PLCs and SCADA.

Meanwhile, 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.”

Recently, an Endress+Hauser Promass Coriolis flow meter was commissioned on the mash filter, which greatly improved efficiency. This single Profibus PA connection provides data on volumetric flow, mass, density and temperature. Degrees Plato (sugar content) will soon be added.

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.

Medlyn is particularly impressed by Profibus PA’s 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,” he said. “Process managers can also prevent instrument failure by remotely detecting incipient problems and pinpointing where attention is required. This reduces process downtime and batch wastage, and minimises the resources spent on maintenance.”

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