The secret behind every genuine drop

China Resources Snow Breweries launched the biggest digitalized brewery in Central China with Siemens technology.

Digital transformation in brewery industry

Among the world’s fastest-growing beer markets, China has topped the list for years in terms of beer production and consumption. As the leader of China's brewery industry, China Resources Snow Breweries (CR Snow) has an annual production capacity of about 210 million hectoliters in 2018, with a total sales volume of 112.85 million hectoliters, accounting for about 29.6% of the market share in China. Managing more than 78 breweries and more than 30 beer brands in China, CR Snow grow sustainably, and continues to make innovations with cutting-edge technology.


“Digital and intelligent transformation is crucial for the brewery industry to boost competitiveness, especially in an era when the demands of consumers are becoming more and more diversified and individualized.” said Ding Xiaobing, Assistant General Manager of CR Snow. CR Snow Wuhan factory, launched in May, 2018, is the biggest brewery in Central China. “Siemens’ digital solutions for the brewery industry have enabled the factory to fully realize the benefits of digitalization. The technology plays a key role in developing new products and ensuring a stable supply of high-end beer in Central China,” Ding said.

A mysterious recipe

How to maintain taste consistency across different breweries? The answer lies in stable process control.


Genuine beer is made of a mixture of malt, yeast, water and hops, which goes through a process involving milling, mashing, fermentation, filtration and packaging. On the production line in the CR Snow Wuhan Factory, a bottle of beer has to pass through nearly 300 processes, especially in the processes of mashing and fermentation. Numerous parameters such as time, temperature, pressure need to be controlled accurately and stably to ensure taste consistency.


Braumat control system, created by Siemens in 1977, is now coordinating brewing processes in more than 500 breweries around the world. At the CR Snow Wuhan Factory, Braumat enables efficient batch and recipe management and helps ensure maximum production flexibility and quality consistency.


The state-of-the-art recipe system complies with the international ISA-88 standard. It simplifies the creation and modification of recipes with intuitive graphic display. Process parameters and steps can be easily adjusted in line with changes in orders and production status. The highly flexible production line accelerates the R&D of new products and enables faster time-to-market.


One of the biggest advantages of Braumat is that it can record, archive and manage data by batches. By reviewing all the data of the related recipes and processes for each order, factory operators can trace the entire production process of any bottle of beer.

The new ingredients for beer brewing

Data plays a key role in digital and intelligent breweries. How to realize the interconnection between machines has become one of the issues concerning factory operators. The interconnection will collect data in a holistic approach. Then the operators could improve factory’s production efficiency and lower costs by further analyzing the data.


By using Siemens’ Profinet industrial communications network, CR Snow Wuhan Factory has already achieved an efficient central monitoring system for the brewing area. Big data is generated every day in the mashing and fermentation processes. Siemens Simatic S7 controllers receive, archive and analyze data and send it to Braumat for central monitoring and management. Siemens Simatic S7 1200/1500 controllers are also used in the packaging line and auxiliary processes. “In the future, we will connect dozens of isolated machines in the packaging line with TIA Portal. The ultimate goal is to realize overall plant monitoring by further promoting OMAC standard,” said Lu Zhikang, Director of Quality Department of Hubei Regional Company, CR Snow.


“Digital brewing is a global trend and the core is the integration of IT and OT. We are now developing a digitalization framework and roadmap together with CR Snow, covering MES (manufacturing execution system), WMS (warehouse management system), LIMS (laboratory information management system), Braumat and packaging line automation. The implementation of digitalization will empower CR Snow’s upgrade across the entire value chain,” said Ding Ning, General Manager of Food and Beverage Verticals, Digital Industries, Siemens Ltd., China.


As the cornerstone of digitalization in the factory, Siemens TIA solutions enable stable and reliable control for brewing and packaging processes. The integrated Siemens solutions, including WinCC, Simatic PLC, V90 Servo system and Sitop power supply, ensure constant and reliable production and significantly enhance the overall efficiency of the factory.

September, 2019