AB InBev’s unit in Lesotho partners with technology giant Siemens to automate brewery

LESOTHO – Maluti Mountain Brewery, AB InBev’s subsidiary in Lesotho has partnered with Siemens South Africa, a technology powerhouse to automate brewing systems in a bid to improve flexibility and customization in reducing beer loss.

As part of the technological upgrade, Siemens has migrated the brewery from an old automation system to a central control and monitoring station which will combine the Brewhouse and Cellars.

Using Siemen’s Braumat system, the software has fostered virtualization capability, recipe control and management, trend and alarm management, batch reporting and controlled access.

This will enable the beer maker to cost efficiently meet current and future customer requirements, with consistent and high quality.

“Fast changing recipes required us to be skilled with the new process quickly, which proved challenging. While we are creating the ‘Brewery of the future’, it is important for us to deliver according to our customers’ demands whilst giving us full transparency of the production process,” Kamohelo Semuli, Brewery Specialist at Maluti Mountain Brewery (MMB) explains.

The Siemens Braumat system which was installed in partnership with Process Dynamics, manages the recipe and the process, minimizes human intervention in the process and reduces extract loss.

Graphical recipe management, route control possibility, batch reporting, replay modes, efficiency, mobile working etc. are essential for the brewery’s future goals, which will be guaranteed with the new system.

Recipe-control is important, especially based on the changing taste of the customers but also based on the changing raw materials in the process.

“Process Dynamics has been involved with the MMB and hence understands the requirements for such a system in the brewing area. We have provided a recipe driven system, which supports with brewing parameter control and monitoring.

“All user operations are logged so any deviations from the recipe can be easily traced.  By being able to analyse batch data, brewers can optimise recipes. We installed the latest Siemens PLC hardware S7-1500 but also utilized existing Siemens PLC with a centralized control room,” explains Process Dynamics, Managing Director Kobus Van Niekerk.

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In other related news, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) expanded its operations into Lesotho with the acquisition of Maluti Mountain Breweries’ interest in the soft drinks business and renamed it Coca-Cola Beverages Lesotho (CCBL).

The non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink business will now operate as a subsidiary of CCBA, with management control.

CCBA joins the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Ministry of Finance as a key shareholder in the venture.

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