The perfect measure for brewery

Coors Brewers is toasting telemetry specialist, BOX telematics, and Severn Trent Water, thanks to the installation of a £100,000 effluent waste management system, which has both benefited the environment and delivered cost savings of over £600,000 in the past two years.

Coors Brewers, formerly known as Bass Brewers, recently decided to action its environmental impacts and invested heavily in technology and systems to reduce and manage the disposal of by-products from brewing processes at its main brewery at Burton-on-Trent.

“With the potential to exceed our waste discharge consent limits, and therefore incur increased effluent charges and product loss, we saw the need to introduce real time data acquisition from all our waste outlets in order to identify areas for improvement across the brewery.”

Coors Brewers first determined the volume and strength of its effluent streams, and introduced devices to monitor chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total organic carbon (TOC). The next step was to centralise the monitoring from all outlets across the site to a single management point.

The wire-free ‘blackBOX’ telemetry technology, designed by BOX telematics, provided the data capture and transmission technology required to operate in real time monitoring. Severn Trent commission the blackBOX software and hardware to measure TOC, pH, temperature and flow rate at each outlet. This information is then sent via wire-free GSM technology to a central monitoring terminal.

“Because we designed the black BOX with flexibility in mind,” says Mike Langley, BOX telematics’ sales and marketing director, “the technology can be uniquely configured to almost any application. In essence the system is very simple – a blackBOX unit is located at each monitoring point across the site which is connected directly to a pH measuring device, flowmeter and TOC monitor.

“Using electronic pulses, the remote blackBOX units record the readings from the brewery and feed this information to other blackBOX units on the site via wire-free connection. This can then be automatically transferred or stored until accessed by a remote monitoring system, such as a PC.”

In addition to monitoring, the blackBOX system at Coors Brewers had been commissioned with pre-set strength and volume limits at each outlet which if exceeded generate alarms that alert site personnel to any problems.

Evans is particularly interested in processing the large amounts of data that will be collected. “We can analyse readings over time,” he says, “and spot trends that can be used across all areas for preventative maintenance and continuous process improvement.”

Coors Brewers is now able to provide information which will support its aim to meet the new IPPC standards being introduced by the government for the food and drink industry by 2004.

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