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Engineers solve tricky kettle problems for brewery

Home Engineering Automation & Control Engineers solve tricky kettle problems for brewery

SAB’s Rosslyn plant found itself in a tricky situation recently when relay controllers for the valves at the brew house kettle section needed replacing. The brew kettles operate 24-hours, and the relay controllers were intermittently breaking down.

Not only that, the brewery discovered the manufacturer of its relay controllers no longer offered support or spares for the range, and no documentation or drawings for the controllers for the application existed.

SICK Automation Southern Africa installed the CE-certified SICK Flexi Soft safety-rated controllers as the relay solution. It offers fail-safe conditions, incorporates additional design modularity, and allows for straightforward expansion and reduction.

The new relay increased control intuitively compared to the previous one, and its programmable flexibility allows for customisation into any application. Flexi Soft resolved the control and monitoring function of the brew kettle valves and helped to decreased wastage by optimising production processes and runtime.

“Without electrical drawings and standard operation procedures this was a unique achievement,” said Chris McDaniel an engineer for SICK Southern Africa. Our engineers also included an innovative button-controlling functionality, which prevents the need to update the controller via PLC,” said McDaniel.

“We worked in short windows of opportunity during maintenance intervals,” McDaniel explained, “and managed to complete the project in two months. Product training for SAB’s engineers and operators forms part of our solution. We’re a local supplier and retain stock of all our controllers. Aftersales support accompanies all our solutions and is available round the clock,” said McDaniel.

The Flexi Soft safety controller can be programmed using software. The hardware platform offers a tailored and efficient solution for numerous safety applications, and a variety of modules are available.

The software is license-free and enables intuitive programming, rapid commissioning, and continuous diagnostics down to the automation level. Functions to enable safe controller networking, safe series connection or safe drive monitoring reduce costs and improve productivity.

Flexi Soft safety controller at a glance:

  • Safety controller with modular hardware platform
  • Configuration saved in the system plug
  • Safe controller networking with Flexi Line
  • Safe series connection with Flexi Loop
  • Safe drive monitoring
  • Safe analogue value monitoring
  • Flexi Soft Designer license-free configuration software

Hat’s off. Fixing brewing kettles at SAB’s Rosslyn plant was a huge achievement for SICK and SAB engineers.

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