Manufacturing and Production of Beer

Raw material Receipt

Recommended to modify the grain intake system as illustrated in Fig. 1

Mashing process

Modify the brewing vessels by equipping it with inline analyzers See Fig 5. To enhance the monitoring, connect analytical results from inline monitors to mobile solutions (tablet or smart phone etc.) for real-time monitoring of process parameters (illustrated in Fig 3 &4).

Wort Treatment

Wort treatment plant illustrated in Fig 6 with display on mobile solutions shown in Fig 7 is advised.

Fermentation & Maturation

Modify the fermenter as shown in Fig 11.

Connect process values to a monitoring system such as a PC, Tablet or Smart phone for real-time monitoring purposes.

Beer Filtration

Install a multivariant analytical monitor that measures the following parameters (Specific gravity, Alcohol content, turbidity, pH, CO2, DO, temperature). When the specification of any of these parameters during beer filtration are not met, the multivariant meter should stop the beer infeed pump triggering the closure of the inlet valve and putting the beer filter on circulation mode.

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Anomaly signals in the form of alarms are sent to the respective process owners requesting a corrective action.

CO2 recovery system

Install an inline monitor (sensor) on the fermenter to measures the CO2 purity. The impure CO2 vent valve must be regulated by the CO2 monitor to prevent inefficiencies by maximizing CO2 collection hence reducing the environmental foot print (CO2 pollution)

Water Treatment

Install inline monitors in the water treatment plant to ensure that all critical parameters such as pH, turbidity, chlorine are checked in real time as the water is being purified.

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See below a suggested installation to support such measurement.

Fig.x: Chemical purification of raw water.

Waste Water Treatment

Since aeration of the sludge in the aerobic digester is the most energy intensive phase accounting for over half of the waste water treatment plant energy cost, installing an inline DO monitor that regulates the sludge aeration process will optimize the energy utilization of the waste water treatment plant.

Vessel and Piping CIP

For effective vessel CIP, the following in-line devices are suggested be installed:

  • Low level probe- this probe must be installed at the outlet of the tank to ensure effective sequencing of the CIP pump and to prevent filling of the tank with product on top of detergent chemicals.
  • The flow rates specified for the spray devices must be checked to conform with standards to ensure cleaning efficiency. This can be done with in-line flow meters.
  • The pressure of the applied CIP solution must be checked with in-line pressure monitor
  • The temperature of the CIP solution before and after application must also be checked with in-line temperature sensors.
  • To conserve water and energy and enhance cleaning efficiency, it is strongly encouraged to install an in-line turbidity meter to measure the turbidity of the return solution to prevent fouling of the CIP storage tank.

Looking back on the experience of the causes of failure, it is strongly recommended to adopt the following simple steps while embarking on the digitalization journey.

Step Activity Order of importance

  1. Develop a clear vision of the business transformation which must be driven top-down High
  2. Appoint cross functional teams to lead the transformation process. These teams must be filled with employees across all levels High
  3. Planning must incorporate all factors that will influence or has the potential to influence the transformation. High
  4. Establish clear employee engagement strategies which must cover:
  • Communication of the vision and aims of the digital transformation.
  • Training of employees on new skills required to ensure success of the transformation process
  • Incorporate deliverables in the Brewery KPI
  • Regular feedback by top management on the progress and bottle necks achieved High
  1. Appoint Change Champions to lead and drive the digital transformation process High
  2. Identify the process steps that has the highest impacts on quality and productivity that could deliver the highest potential gains with the substitution of Laboratory measurement with inline analytical process equipment High
  3. Acquire and install the most suitable inline process analytical equipment with the appropriate data acquisition system High


With increasing economic development leading to higher disposable incomes, sales growth will continue to put pressure on production operations especially in the brewing industry. With greater access to information technology, consumer knowledge on food products will also increase. This will shape dietary preferences leading to an ever-changing consumer taste. IT will continue to revolutionize marketing with a projected growth in online platforms. Increased globalization will merge economics and societies exposing consumers to a wider array of available beverage products hence presenting them with unlimited choices to meet their ever-changing taste. Internal rivalry in the brewing industry will continue to grow resulting in the need to adapt their processes to meet these ever-changing dynamics in trends and tastes.

Government regulations on the Brewing industry to conform with regulatory requirements like ISO 9001 (Quality Management Standards), Food Safety requirements (ISO 22000), supply chain transparency and product information will continue to grow. There will also be an increase in pressure on all industries (brewing included) from all stockholders especially governments and shareholders to reduce environmental pollution and to be more sustainable as it is with energy giant Royal Dutch shell that is proposing to tie senior executives pay to carbon reduction (BBC News, 2018). Shareholders will continue to demand reduction in production cost in the face of an increasing input (raw material) costs. Demands to increase productivity, product quality, profitability and plant efficiency to increase capacity while new investments are delayed is projected to increase. The brewing industry is affected by seasonality in demand, this demand seasonality requires the brewing industry to pivot quickly to respond to these changes.

The need to obtain accurate operational data that could be converted into useful business information on which improvement decisions could be based will also continue to rise. Problem solving based on ad hoc activities, causing poor communication between the various functions in the brewing industry will gradually phase out as demand for process efficiency increases to address the ever-changing business landscape increases.

These projected trends will result in Brewing industry investing massively in automation and digitalization technologies in a bid to make their processes smarter, more productive to remain competitive. The IIoT platform which connects smart devices throughout the brewing operation enabling automation will result in better asset management through condition monitoring of equipment. Real-time data analyses from inline analytical process equipment enabling smart business decisions by utilizing various problem-solving techniques such as cause-effect and Pareto diagrams, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA). This will result in cost reduction

and increasing profitability. Digitalization through IIoT, big data analytics are projected to be the next wave of technology that will enable breweries to achieve these goals. Breakthrough technologies making Inline analytical process equipment smarter and more accurate will gain widespread adoption in the Brewing industry with increasing applications. An example is radar technology which utilizes level measurement for inventory monitoring from raw material silo to CIP. The quantity of raw materials like malted barley in storage silos currently estimated with deep sticks or graduated ropes will be remotely and more accurately monitored using radar beams with 79-80GHz (see Fig. 31 below). Radar technology has also found useful application in other inventory monitoring systems such as in bulk chemical tanks containing hazardous chemicals like caustic soda and acids used in vessel CIP to ensure that continuous processes are uninterrupted due to material shortages.

The entire beer production process from milling to packaging will be monitored and accurately controlled to ensure consistency in product quality. Inline analytical process equipment like the mass flow meter capable of doing multivariant analyses (mass flow, volumetric flow, temperature & density) will gain widespread adoption in the brewing industry. Analytical results from these smart inline process analytical devices will be transmitted through different available industrial networks to data acquisition systems and cloud-based servers for data storage and analytics. However, care must be taken to ensure that the data collected from inline analytical devices meet the needs of the brewery and should impact one or two key areas of the business e.g. quality as part of the HACCP or FSMA plan of the brewery, or improve efficiency such as flow rates, process time as stated in Little's law which can then be fed into the digital twin.

Big data analytics, machine learning, Artificial intelligence and analytics is projected to allow for better forecasting, increased productivity, greater insights into plant and process performance and enabling better customer service delivery. It will also improve supply chain performance and profit margins by tracking shelf life and freshness of beverage products, predicting and avoiding spoilage by monitoring of critical quality parameters like temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions of beverages as the go from one point to another until the reach the consumer. In other words, it will improve overall business performance and drive down costs. Date from these integrated technologies will support Brewery KPI dash boards by enabling the visualization of relevant performance metrics and identify critical process problems in real-time by remote monitoring on mobile applications like tablets and smart phones; preventing product quality issues and asset utilization problems arising from unplanned breakdowns and production downtimes due to off-spec products.

Substituting Laboratory measurement with inline process monitors will improve energy consumption in the brewery. An example of this effect is seen in the waste water treatment plant which utilizes aeration (oxidation) of the organic matter in the secondary stage of sewage treatment to enable the organic microbes (bacteria) to convert the harmful organic substances in the waste water into CO2, water and energy hence making the water safe for discharge to the environment. Being that aeration accounts for over half of the waste water treatment plant energy costs (Penn, 2015, pp. 14-15), an accurate control of dissolved oxygen levels is key to minimizing energy cost especially so when the online dissolved oxygen meter is coupled with the automatic blower.

The adoption of Inline analytical process equipment will eliminate manual data collection which will improve OEE, inventory management and scheduling.

The use of digital twin technology can significantly improve brewery product innovation. These digital models can help in cost reduction of manufacturing and commissioning of new products by eliminating the need to create a physical prototype of new products. This technology will increase time to market which will be good for responding to frequent demand changes due to seasonality, changes of consumer taste and competitive moves.

To enable end-to-end quality monitoring involves the integration of the brewery network infrastructure with suppliers, transporters and retailers. However, increased data convergence enabled by interconnected devices across the IIoT platform for end-to-end monitoring of beverage for quality and spoilage, exposes the Brewery's network beyond their existing brewery network firewall protection which opens it up to external attacks and data security threats such as cyber-attacks (malware, ransomware etc.). Standard firewall and security software might no longer be enough to counter the treat since they lack the necessary characteristics to be effective in harsh industrial environments with high temperatures, dusts and sometimes humidity. Hence, this will require superior data security protection; firewalls should have specific industrial protocols such as Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) which ensures the allocation of unique IP addresses to field devices (Bartsch, 2016, p.10) and incorporates availability and safety. Blockchain technology with it advanced data encryption and digital ledger saved on distributed servers might play a significant role in industrial data security.

With the adoption of new technologies like wireless data transmission on 5G, blockchain, breweries will have the opportunity to demonstrate how they ensure product safety in compliance with regulatory requirements such as ISO 9001 that will offer more transparency in the supply chain and production process giving more confidence to consumers. RFID tags and blockchain will also find useful applications in product tracking from goods in to goods out (end-to-end process) which will significantly help in risk management. Blockchain technology has the potential to shorten time to market by removing middlemen enabling breweries to effectively respond to competition.

The adoption of IIoT, bigdata analytics and deep learning (machine learning and artificial intelligence) will improve:

  • Inventory management by improving demand forecast through predictive and prescriptive analytics.
  • Improve product quality and prevent reputational damages through remote tracking and tracing of shipments and implementing appropriate measures for product recalls. It will also reduce asset loss such as beer keys going missing in the supply chain.
  • Improve brewery cash flow through improved equipment availability, accurate demand forecast (through prescriptive analytics leading to lean production management), enhanced sales and marketing services, new digital business models through outsourcing equipment ownership (utilization will be on rental or pay per use basis), equipment outsourcing etc.
  • Improved quality management through remote monitoring and real-time quality monitoring using mobile applications enhanced by 5G connectivity leading to reduction in defect rates.

Aside from the technologies, data collection and analysis will also require new set of skills and changes to the way of work for the employees in the brewing industry. The large mass of data collected from process samples and processes must be mined, queried, filtered, analyzed and reported to show trends and performance against KPIs to obtain useful actionable insights for specific applications. Analytics will be expected to highlight inefficiencies such as losses and their root causes geared towards productivity improvements. These will require transformations and responsiveness that will involve a holistic approach to the entire brewery organizational structure to support the digitalization process which are:

  • Planning- incorporated in the brewery corporate strategy. Digitalization should be viewed as a business strategy not just a technology implementation.
  • Employee engagement - changing mindset through education (training) and prompt performance evaluation.

Substituting laboratory analysis with inline analytical process equipment and digitalization will enable real-time access to analytical results and data from multiple sites over the internet or intranet. It is projected that there will be a widespread adoption of mobile applications like smart phones and tablets for quality monitoring. This will allow operational personnel to quickly identify and make better informed decisions.

Cite this page

Manufacturing and Production of Beer. (2019, Dec 17). Retrieved from

Manufacturing and Production of Beer
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