Automation Solutions for the Beverage Industry

Production plants in the beverage industry are often characterised by traditional plant structures and outdated control system technology. Existing stand-alone solutions prevent continuous communication between individual areas of the plant. This is further complicated if SCADA or control systems from various manufacturers, which are unable to communicate with each other at all or only to a limited extent, are used for individual process areas or manufacturing cells. This inevitably leads to reduced performance, as the required level of transparency in conjunction with uniform and centralised automated data acquisition cannot be guaranteed. A measurement of standardised key productivity figures is thus time-consuming and prone to errors due to numerous manual transfers.

Our process control systems, on the other hand, offer the necessary integration – from goods receipt automation, through production to actual product filling – while ensuring compliance to EU Directive 178/2002. We recognised the specific demands of the beverage industry 30 years ago when we started developing our process control systems, and our control systems Plant iT and brewmaxx are, therefore, equipped with the appropriate functions.

Besides the implementation of our control systems (expansion, migration or new plant), we also have many years of experience in concept development and the realisation of integrated and intelligent MES and automation solutions. Numerous companies, such as Danone, Emig, Carlsberg, Heineken, Juhayna, Müller Milch, SAB Miller, Sachsenmilch and Wimm-Bill-Dann, have relied on our solution skills and expertise for many years.

Contact & information

Your contact person:

Martin Lutz
Managing Director, ProLeiT Inc., USA
Phone: +1 224 880 6536

Dr. Thomas Wunderlich
Director Business Segment Beverages, ProLeiT GmbH, Germany
Phone: +49 9132 6430057

Stefan Ruff
Sales Manager Beverages, ProLeiT GmbH, Germany
Phone: +49 162 2598359

Request the industry information pack:

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Application areas in the beverage industry

Our process control systems Plant iT and brewmaxx cannot be compared to simple SCADA systems. Plant iT and brewmaxx are object-oriented and PLC-based process control systems with pre-configured automation classes and integrated MES functionalities, which run on control platforms (PLCs) from various manufacturers. This level of independency is a major advantage compared to traditional DCS systems. However, the specific characteristic of our control systems is the communication with the respective programmable logic controls (PLCs). This enables us to perform re-engineering, expansion or migration tasks in the production plant without having to stop production. When compared to other automation solutions, it is an obvious competitive advantage and one of the key factors for every production plant in the beverage industry.

Both Plant iT and brewmaxx have advanced and industry-specific features and combine extensive technical and technological skills in just one control system. Actually, Plant iT and brewmaxx offer the same basic functions, but while Plant iT can be universally applied, brewmaxx is only used in breweries.

The following beverage industry products are produced with the help of our process control systems:

  • Beer (find more information on the brewing industry here),
    e.g. lager, pale ale, pilsner, German Kellerbier, dark ale, wheat beer, shandy, alcohol-free beer
  • Wine, sparkling wine and spirits,
    e.g. bourbon, brandy, mixed drinks, scotch, vodka, whiskey
  • Alcohol-free drinks,
    e.g. mineral water, table water, spa water, fruit juices, soft drinks, energy drinks
  • Milk (find more information on the dairy industry here),
    e.g. milk (UHT, ESL, low lactose), whey drinks, milk mix drinks

Service portfolio for the beverage industry

Our process control systems meet both the general and the special requirements of the beverage industry. Our automation solutions are predominantly used in the following production areas:

  • Raw material delivery
  • Production
  • Fermenting and maturing cellars
  • Filling plants
  • Cleaning and auxiliary plants

Beverage technology with Plant iT and brewmaxx:

Our control systems Plant iT and brewmaxx already boast the automation classes and specific functions demanded by the beverage industry. Depending on the actual sector, the applied basic version of our control system can be provided with additional modules (e.g. integrated materials management or connection to ERP systems). The following list displays the industry-specific nature of our process control systems for the beverage industry:

  • Automated material delivery for trucks, containers, BigBags and individual units
  • Silo management for raw material management
  • Automation of sugar and dissolving plants for the production of fruit juices, soft drinks and energy drinks
  • Control and inspection of production plants for batch mixer, HD mixer, inline mixer (conti-mixer), pasteurisation units (also for carbonated beverages) and fruit syrup rooms
  • Control of blending plants for the production of fruit juices
  • Waterhouse automation for springs
  • Brewhouse automation for breweries
  • Route control for integrated tank and route management
  • Integrated monitoring functions for tanks and conveying routes
  • Energy data management for saving water, energy, CO2 and gas
  • Intelligent load management for optimising the plant capacity
  • Line management system, according to the Weihenstephan Standards
  • Production and operating data acquisition for filling and packaging plants
  • Production and efficiency reports (DIN, OEE)
  • Order dispatching with integration of LIMS and ERP systems
  • Order lists for production, cleaning and filling
  • Recipe-controlled program sequences for liquid and batch processes
  • Process-oriented materials management
  • Batch traceability (pre and post-tracking) to EU Regulation 178/2002
  • Automation of CIP plants
  • Connection of various ERP systems (e.g. SAP/R3, FOSS)
  • Interfaces for connection to laboratory management systems (LIMS), e.g. Unilab
  • Batch systems to ISA S88 for batch and continuous processes
  • Workflow via WLAN handheld scanners and integrated scanning function
  • Company-wide management reporting
  • Statistical process control
  • MES functionalities for planning, guidance, analysis and evaluation of production processes
  • Production-based documents and logs for company-wide analyses
  • Visu Recorder for training staff and optimising process sequences
  • Control and route matrix (OCM) for simple parameterisation

Our process control systems are characterised by a high level of standardisation, integration and the elimination of unnecessary interfaces. They enable company-wide operating data acquisition, recipe-controlled processes, continuous materials management with material traceability and integrated interfaces to ERP systems.

All Plant iT basic systems and modules have a centralised engineering infrastructure with a common database and logical user interface for intuitive parameterisation. Even complete sequences within the process can, as a rule, be parameterised to ensure that programming is predominantly replaced by parameterisation. Find more information on the individual basic systems and modules here.