Automation helps keep the beer flowing

Posted on 18 Oct 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Erdinger Weißbräu has announced its new lubrication is helping to keep its 1.81 million hectolitres of beer flowing.

Beer - The brewery exports its world-class products to more than 90 countries - image courtesy of SKF
The brewery exports its world-class products to more than 90 countries – image courtesy of SKF

The largest family-owned wheat brewery in Germany, Erdinger Weißbräu, is a specialist in top-fermented beer – exporting to more than 90 countries.

To meet increased demand, management decided to modernise the production process.

Bearing and seal manufacturer SKF has provided a modern lubrication system to Erdinger Weißbräu.

The automated system helps the company improve the flexibility of internal processes and meet growing demand.

In redesigning the filling plant, Erdinger and the machinery supplier realised that manual lubrication would not be not possible, with more than 3,000 lubrication points across the site, from brewhouse to shipping.

On consultation with SKF, it was decided that a sectional lubrication system would increase system availability, reduce the use of lubricant and minimise wear and tear on the equipment.

SKF’s system was installed at Erdinger Weißbräu, and it consists of 90 sections and three-barrel pumps that supply the main lines across the thousands of lubrication points in two halls and a connecting tunnel.

The systems’ electrically driven pressure-booster pumps can generate high outlet pressure from low inlet pressure, enabling even the furthest points in the shipping bay to be reached with ease.

And its integrated status monitoring feature also enables the availability of real-time operational data and remote maintenance, increasing the reliability of the zoned system.

The new investment can be a very cost-effective solution as existing lines, connecting materials and supply pumps can be reused. In addition, no compressed air is needed and power consumption and maintenance are kept to a minimum.

SKF’s Marian Herold explained: “The system offers access to every location in the filling system and we have also set up monitoring and centralised control, so that adjustments of lubricant quantities and timings can be made instantaneously and any faults localised quickly.

“This has all led to higher than expected system availability in the brewery and significantly lower lubricant consumption.”