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Large Microbrewery in Colorado operational on this system for over a year now

  • I designed and commissioned a SCADA/PLC control/HOST system for a microbrewery here in Colorado over a year ago now. It utilizes a very low cost series of PLC's to read fermenting tank temperatures and control associated valves that regulate coolant in the tanks to maintain operator set points throughout the fermenting process. There are approximately 22 fermenting tanks and 6 or 7 brite tanks that are controlled with this system via web browers and smart phones. Some other plant features have since been added to the system. The PLC system is comprised of 1 master PLC and 6 slave PLC's. The PLC's are all connected via RS485 and communicate via modbus protocol. The master PLC communicates with the SCADA server via modbus TCP/IP. The system has been functional for over a year now. Issuing texting or callouts based upon critical process monitoring. A 24 hour report is automatically emailed each day showing 24 hour temperature and valve status charts and other desired tracking info. The temperatures are logged every 5 minutes and the valve and other discrete status' are logged on a status change. This system was commissioned last spring and early into last summer, the system issued its first callout along with some new control scheme that was incorporated in the PLC logic. As a result of the call out, the operator responded in the middle of the night to a chiller failure, the product was saved, the canning/bottling scheduled for the next day continued as planned without a hitch. Traditionally, the failed chiller would not have been discovered till the next morning, the beer in the brite tanks would be too warm to package and the process would have been delayed by another day. A lot of cost associate with that one event. As a result, one of the co-owners of this brewery said that that one event paid for the system. Infinite automation has an incredible product. I have several hundred tags built on the SCADA server. I am pulling 40 temperatures, controlling 40 valves, passing several operator setpoints and and other parameters back and forth between the master PLC and the SCADA server. Many parts of the software package are easily learned. Several individuals at the brewery modified their personal webpages to their own preferences.

  • Nice story James. Thanks for sharing!

  • I am also working with a micro brewery. Similar in size to the one you described. We use a PLC and a couple touch screens to control temperatures and monitor the process. Just attached a Mango server to the process and want to use the Brewers Dashboard to give them more convenient access to the data as well as utilize the notification features, etc. Just started looking into the product. My initial plan is to use MANGO to monitor the temps, valves, etc and report/notify. Were is the best place to get more information on setting up the dashboard ie getting the tanks & valves listed, etc. thx