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Purchase Article

Tech. Q. Master Brew. Assoc. Am., 1995, 32(2), 81-84.

Convert the brewhouse control system in four weeks: You're joking!

Clarke, F.R.

When Molson Breweries decided in 1993 to replace the brewhouse control system in the company's brewery at Barrie, Ontario, Canada, those responsible for implementing the decision were faced with an unusually tight time limit: the installation had to be carried out and the new system made operational between the beginning and the end of February 1994, i.e. within a period of four weeks. This was achieved by careful preparation during the period leading up to the installation. A project team (consisting of five brewery employees and an engineer from the Molson Breweries Technical Services Centre, each of whom was an expert in a different area of relevant knowledge) drew up a very detailed specification and evaluated potential contractors. Following contractor selection, all contractor company employees involved in the project were given a short course in brewing and two of them joined the project team. All instruments in the brewhouse were tested and recalibrated, pipework, valves, electric wiring, etc., were overhauled and defective items were repaired or replaced, starting at the beginning of the preparatory phase, allowing more time to be taken to carry out these tasks as thoroughly as possible (with less disruption of production) than if they had been left until a later stage. Brewery members of the project team were also required to inform and consult their colleagues in their respective departments, so that all brewhouse production and maintenance staff would be aware of the state of development of the project and able to contribute advice and information. A simulator was set up to test the electronics and software, enabling a large number of faults (including some potentially very serious ones) to be detected and corrected before the actual installation of the system. At the same time, brewhouse operators were trained on the simulator while maintenance technicians were given instruction on the characteristics of the new equipment. As a result of all this preparatory work, the actual installation of the new control equipment was relatively easy and the few unexpected problems which did arise were solved rapidly and effectively, enabling production to be resumed several days ahead of schedule.
Keywords : automatic brewhouse engineering equipment model simulation planning process control