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Brewery

Digitalization and automation of a German brewery together with a bottling plant manufacturer. The brewery wants to connect several non-digital brewery plants to a central IT infrastructure to analyze causes of malfunctions. We connected and retrofitted several plants to create the basis for an end-to-end stop basis and bottleneck analysis.

Company profile

Hormes is a family business that was founded in Dortmund in 1936 and later relocated to Essen/Oldenburg. Since its foundation, the company has expanded continuously and works with well-known clients such as Coca-Cola.

Hormes has established itself as a central contact for all aspects of mechanical engineering in the beverage industry: from the adaptation of individual components to changed production parameters to turnkey beverage filling lines, everything is included.

In order to be able to respond optimally to customer requirements and wishes in the future, Hormes is constantly developing its manufacturing and production areas. In doing so, the company trusts in the United Manufacturing Hub (UMH) as a reliable partner to offer digital services around their machines.

Industry:

Brewery

Employees:

~150

Project duration:

3 months

Connected machines:

8 machines

Machine type:

Entire filling line (filler, labeler, palletizer, etc.) 

Initial situation and implementation

Over the past 90 years, Hormes has built up broad know-how in the field of beverage machines and their automation as a specialist machine builder and maintenance expert. However, in order to implement modern Industry 4.0 concepts and fully exploit the potential of digitalization, sound IT expertise is also necessary. Building up such IT expertise ties up entrepreneurial resources, which is why Hormes cooperates with UMH Systems GmbH and can thus open up new business areas. 


At the beginning, an introductory program was carried out together with a lean consultancy to identify optimization potentials and to present our solution. For this purpose, the United Factorycube was installed within a few hours in combination with the tapping of the electrical signals from the control system and the pushbutton strips on the filler. In order to have a fast and cost-effective solution, the connection of the PLC interfaces was considered in a later step, when the customer decided to fully implement the solution. 

 

All machines were equipped with the Weihenstephan Standard, a protocol widely used in the German brewing industry. The individual machines were already connected in a machine network, which allowed easy installation with our self-developed plugin for this type of protocol and a central server.
 

Result

Together with lean consultant Marvin Bunjes and the brewery, we started a feasibility study on the bottle filler. During a one-day workshop, we retrofitted the machine with the help of sensors and trained the machine operators in the use of our system. During the study, we identified various savings potentials which were implemented in concrete optimization measures. On this basis, we defined a follow-up project in which an entire filling line is connected via the Weihenstephaner Standard interface.

Retrofit brewery

As part of the introduction of Lean-Management, a German brewery noticed that up to now hardly any data had been obtained in the filling process. This made the continuous improvement process more difficult, since reasons for malfunctions had to be manually recorded.

Connection new plant

​The Hormes company designs and produces new special machines. These new machines shall be integrated into existing IT and OT systems of the customer and at the same time offer ready-made analysis and evaluation functions, e.g. the simple display of machine states and production key figures (OEE etc.).

Result

During electrical installation, Hormes installs our edge computer "machineconnect" in the machine and connects the device to the PLC. This allows process data to be read out in real time and, together with other digital tools from the United Manufacturing Hub, it enables remote maintenance and diagnostics by the manufacturer. The firewall on the "machineconnect" provides an additional layer of security.

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