Fluid Routing and Digital Blending Solutions

At this year’s Brau Beviale Rockwell Automation will be showcasing its ability to deliver Fluid Routing and Digital Blending solutions to the beverage industry. With sustainable manufacturing becoming increasingly important to beverage producers, the need for solutions that help maximize asset utilisation while reducing waste and rework is high.

“All manufacturers are looking to grow their business, and the beverage segment is no different. In addition, they are constantly seeking to gain a competitive advantage, and sustainable manufacturing excellence is a way to achieve that,” says Mike Jamieson, global director, Consumer Packaged Goods Industry, Rockwell Automation. “Yet sustainability is more than just reducing a plant’s carbon footprint through a reduction in energy usage or more careful use of water. It covers the efficient use of production assets and raw materials as well as workplace safety and the safe manufacturing of products.

“Rockwell Automation has worked with the leading global beverage producers, and the industry and domain knowledge we’ve accumulated puts us in a strong position to develop and deliver solutions like Fluid Routing and Digital Blending that help our customers achieve their challenging sustainable production goals,” Jamieson adds.

In the current marketplace, beverage companies face many challenges, from consumers demanding more and varied products, to the increased cost of raw materials and the variability of those ingredients. To address these issues, producers need a flexible and agile production system that lets them utilise the latest automation and information solutions to optimise their manufacturing operations for achieving sustainable manufacturing excellence.

To help meet these challenges, Rockwell Automation will be showcasing the industry’s first repeatable, standard fluid routing solution on a process controller platform. Using pre-developed modules to define and control routing paths, the solution provides a flexible and efficient way to transfer fluids from one area to another, while helping to reduce system costs and minimise waste. Routing fluids can be a complex challenge for beverage companies. Often, they address the issue with time-consuming custom programming, which needs recoding every time new product, piping or procedures are added. The Rockwell Automation solution reduces this problem with a configurable solution based upon standard control technology and reusable engineering. It also helps customers meet sustainability targets by minimising waste from transfer loss and product contamination, leading to safer products, and reducing energy consumption through better asset utilisation. 

The Digital Blending solution from Rockwell Automation improves production flexibility, allowing beverage producers to quickly tailor product recipes and quantities to market demand. It measures, adds and mixes ingredients in a continuous stream, and controls these multiple variables to provide consistent finished product quality. Compared to a batch mixing solution – which collects and mixes ingredients in a blending tank, then tests, adjusts and forwards them for further processing – Digital Blending can help customers reduce the need for capital equipment and free-up valuable floor space, as the need for bulk storage and large mixing tanks is eliminated. Quality and throughput improvements help producers reach their sustainability goals by reducing energy consumption, reducing rework and minimising waste.

Rockwell Automation, through its Solution Delivery team, has engineers globally with the domain knowledge and project management skills, tools and processes to deliver the Fluid Routing and Digital Blending solutions.  They are able to assist customers in the identification of specific requirements and expected benefits through to project execution and startup.

In addition to Fluid Routing and Digital Blending, visitors to the Rockwell Automation stand will also be able to learn about Brewhouse and Production Scheduling, existing solutions it currently delivers.

Finally, with its deep industry knowledge and broad network of machine builders, Rockwell Automation will also be offering visitors its “Magic Match” service, bringing together beverage companies with the right partners to help meet their specific needs.

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