Opto 22 Case Study: New Belgium Brewery

Opto 22 Case Study: New Belgium Brewery


[Music]>>Alexi: Today, I’m fortunate enough to
be in Fort Collins, Colorado, home to the New
Belgium Brewing Company, one of the largest and most successful
microbreweries in the United States. New Belgium is unique not only because of
its high level of automation, but also because of its commitments to green practices and
environmental stewardship. Of course, New Belgium makes great beers,
like the popular “Fat Tire Amber Ale,” but it does so operating in the most eco-friendly
ways possible. Let’s take a closer look and see how New Belgium does it. To handle its extensive automation needs,
New Belgium relies on Opto 22 SNAP PAC Systems. The Opto hardware controls the facility’s
brewing processes, water treatment facilities, sustainability efforts, and a lot of the building
management. To find out more, I had the opportunity to
sit down and talk with Igor Valuyev, the Chief Electrical and Automation Engineer here at
New Belgium. So first things first, where did the names “New Belgium” and “Fat Tire” come from?>>Igor: As far as the name of our flagship
product, “Fat Tire”, our founder Jeff Lebesch, used to be an avid home brewer. When
Jeff traveled through Europe, he traveled through Belgium on a bicycle and fell in love
with Belgian beer culture. At that time mountain biking wasn’t very prevalent in Europe so
people were asking him where did he get this weird-looking bike. He came back home, brewed
a beer, and decided to commemorate his trip and called his beer “Fat Tire,” so that
was a part of our culture, Belgian beers, New Belgium Brewing Company.>>Alexi: New Belgium’s founders created
a company list of core values and beliefs. Producing world-class beer was one of them
of course, but high on the list was environmental stewardship and honoring nature at every turn
of the business. And we’re not talking just a few recycling bins here and there. We’re
talking about a company-wide dedication to reducing their impact on the environment.
Igor, can you tell us a little bit about the energy management practices that you have
here?>>Igor: Everything that we do, everything
that we engineer around here, we try to keep environment in mind. Just as an example, we’re
sitting at this table. This table is made out of recycled wood, recycled tires, and
old FED EX tubes as legs. That’s just one of the daily examples. But from the controls
and automation perspectives, we are proud to be the first wind-powered brewery in the
United States. Whatever it doesn’t come from the wind farm comes from our co-generation
unit. It’s also controlled by the Opto 22 system. Our brewing system is one of the most
efficient systems in the world. We are also right now involved in a joint partnership
with our local utilities to work on load shedding. That allowed the local utility to save a lot of resources on building substations
throughout the area.>>Alexi: Going green is of course good for
the environment, but it’s interesting to see that it doesn’t have to be bad for the
bottom line. For example, you save over $3,000.00 a month in your electricity bills. Where do
you find that savings?>>Igor: The process water treatment plant
is taking our waste stream, which is very biologically intense, and those little bacteria
multiply, they eat up the biological particles and produce methane, which in turn we collect
and with giant balloons on our property, and burn this gas with our co-generation unit,
thus producing electricity and shaving our peaks at the same time.>>Alexi: Making beer seems like it’s a very
water intensive process as well. How have you reduced your water consumption?>>Igor: By being able to first of all monitor
our water consumption. And currently we are at one barrel of beer to four barrels of water,
which is a very, very good number in our industry. And automaton helps because we can make our
processes very precise. By doing so we can make usage of our water more efficient.>>Alexi: I understand you have over ten thousand
points of I/O. What types of things are you controlling?>>Igor: Literally, with our ten thousand points
of I/O, we control everything throughout the brewery. From the brewing processes to CIP’s,
to filtration processes to building processes. And steam generation, our cold glycol generation,
our process water treatment facility and our utilities, some of our IT processes interacting
with our UPS systems. The goal of the system is to keep the temperatures, the
pressures, the flows, the times at a very precise rate, as well as being able to adjust
recipes on the fly. There are numerous PID loops throughout the facilities. There is
a lot of discreet control, a lot of pumps, valves, sophisticated metering devices. We
also have some interfaces to our lab and quality measurement system. So all of that together
comprises a successful brewery like we are.>>Alexi: Right, and these are complex PID
loops. You’re often doing cascading PID loops?>>Igor: Yes, there is certain devices that
require, they’re actually high-speed devices, for example our “Variomill,” which allows
us first of all to make the product better but also makes it safer, so as we’re milling, we’re adding water, which basically we’re eliminating dust, which makes our process much safer. Our SCADA system, our HMI, is Wonderware InTouch
and the system kind of has a dual purpose. One purpose is for the operators to interact
with it so we try to basically replicate whatever’s in the real world, and that system is also
used for education to people who go on the tours here. Currently, the Wonderware system is communicating
over Opto’s OPC Server, using Ethernet through the PAC system. Pretty much, everything that
the control system has, is brought into the, at least the Data Historian and stored in
something like a Microsoft SQL Server Database. From there, this data is being consumed by
our ERP, by our Track and Trace system, by our KPI modules, by the lab systems and all
those databases are integrated, so it’s very cohesive system all together.>>Alexi: I understand the bottling and packaging
system is controlled by a more traditional PLC system. Do you have any plans to have
that system talk to your other systems in the facility?>>Igor: As a matter of fact, we are currently
working on a project that will establish communications, seamless communications, over Ethernet between
Rockwell, Allen Bradley system and Opto 22 PAC system. So far, we’ve done factory acceptance
tests on it and the results were very favorable and we succeeded passing factory acceptance
tests for that particular project. Our packaging hall is 100% Ethernet based. It’s also,
we are using a lot of wireless technologies from Cisco that allows our maintenance personnel
to troubleshoot our systems without any wires. More and more control systems are integrated
with their IT systems. And in our case they are. They are truly integrated with our IT
systems all the way to the ERP system that we have.>>Alexi: You recently finished a conversion
process where you converted legacy Opto 22 equipment to the newer SNAP PAC systems. Why
did you do that and how did the process go?>>Igor: Opto hardware is very unique. First
of all we are using, you know pretty much looking at New Belgium, you can look at Opto’s
history. We are using from the very first generation of I/O that Opto 22 had offered,
the Optomux system, all the way to the most cutting edge I/O that Opto’s offering right
now, the PAC System. And you can imagine that everything in this brewery used to be controlled
by old legacy system, and doing that, doing the conversion while the brewery is running
live is a very difficult task that we were able to accomplish with very, very, minimal
disruptions to the process and production. We saved a lot of money. We saved literally
millions of dollars by keeping our existing legacy I/O and upgrading the brains if you
would, of the systems, the controllers of the systems to the new control architecture.>>Alexi: And that original Opto is still running?>>Igor: Yeah, that original Opto is still
there. It’s still making us money. It’s still making beer. I’d like to thank New Belgium for brewing
great beer so we can enjoy and feel good about drinking, and for providing refreshing examples
of corporate and environmental responsibility. And thank you for watching. Be sure to visit
Opto22.com for more information and to check out our other great Opto videos. Cheers!

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