Feeds

Rockwell goes on the booze

Futurama robots run on beer. These robots make their own brew

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Bad brews and wasted beer could be a thing of the past, according to Rockwell Automation, which claims that its packaged Brewhouse Solution covers 80 per cent of a brewery's production management needs.

The Rockwell software talks to the brewery plant over Ethernet to track the beer production process in real-time, and connect that back to stock levels, recipes, order tracking, etc.

"Based on a virtual [virtu-ale?] brewery model, the Brewhouse Solution ensures that each step in the production process is executed and repeatable, leading to higher yield, consistent quality and greater production flexibility," the company said.

It also lets the brewery hop between beers faster - you simply tell the system what beer you're making today - and makes it easier to develop new recipes, said Charley Rastle, Rockwell's global beverage marketing leader.

"It's partly about consistency - people want things to taste the same," he said. "The other thing we're starting to see is the big brewers are adding more brands, so maybe it's 11 batches of light lager, and then the twelfth batch is something more interesting.

"All you need is for automation to gain you an extra batch a day, and it's like gaining an extra brewery."

There's other savings to be had as well. For example, Rockwell customer Harutsu Sake Brewing reckons automation has reduced its labour costs by 60 per cent.

It's not small beer though. Rastle said that this sort of complexity isn't practical until you're brewing 100,000 to 200,000 hectolitres (17.5 to 35 million UK pints) a year, but said there's hundreds of breweries of that size around the world.

Automating a brewery is hardly new - this writer recalls visiting Bass's Cape Hill brewery in Birmingham, 20-odd years ago, where everything was run by a couple of DEC VAXess - but Rockwell claims that a packaged solution will make it easier and cheaper to do, as well as tracking the process more closely.

"In the past, we supplied the automation hardware and software, and then our partners developed the automation, but always from scratch," said Rastle. "Now, only 20 per cent needs to be custom-configured for that specific facility - how many coppers it has and so on."

For anyone researching factory automation, this all provides an excellent excuse to visit the Brau Breviale beer trade show in Nuremberg next month, where Rockwell is launching the Brewhouse Solution. On the other hand, if you've ever wondered why all lagers taste the same, now you know...

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.