Making beer is an art – but here’s where artists and brewers differ:
An artist who creates a masterpiece will move on to a new project in a different style.
A brewer who creates a winning beer makes that same recipe over and over again.
Making great beer is all about consistency. Advanced automation, including both hardware and software, designed with that in mind. It’s about giving beer makers the tools to master the art of repetition.
At the end of the 19th century, advanced automation was an electric motor. Today, it’s smart machines capable of taking over tedious monotonous processes. This gives brewers more bandwidth to pursue what they really enjoy – experimenting and creating new product lines.
But Siemens’ new partnership with Constellation Brands highlights a different reason to automate and modernize the brewing process: when demand for your products goes off the charts. The volume of beer that Constellation Brands’ Nava Brewery has to make, bottle or can, package and send to market is more than a factory run solely by humans could ever keep up with.
Constellation Brands has an amazing talent for identifying powerful consumer trends. It was recently reported that Constellation Brands has beaten Wall Street profit expectations in nine straight quarters.
This success was fueled by a decision Constellation Brands made in 2013 to purchase Mexican beer brands Corona and Modelo. Constellation Brands then deployed a successful marketing strategy that pushed these already popular beers even higher up the U.S. beer sales charts.
But to sell more beer, Constellation Brands also had to be able to make more beer. And at the time, Nava Brewery, which had they had yet to acquire, was capacity constrained at its level of output – roughly 8.5 million hectoliters of beer.
This is where Siemens came into the picture. To help Nava Brewery meet higher consumer demand, Siemens implemented a variety of new automation solutions – everything from new controls, to new assembly machines, to laser-guided vehicles that move the packaged beer out to the rail yard.
This was a challenging process. We standardized the hardware and software of more than 30 different equipment suppliers, enabling a true process for energy optimization and information transparency. Instead of operating like islands, automation systems were harmonized into a single plant-wide solution. We did this with speed and efficiency to meet deadlines and ensure a high return on investment.
Upon completion and expansion of the Nava Brewery, these improvements have enabled the factory to triple its annual output to 27.5 million hectoliters while maintaining product quality. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly 7 billion bottles of beer, or more than a case of beer for every drinking-age U.S. adult – from the Corona and Modelo families, to favorites such as Pacifico and Victoria.
Even at these significantly higher levels of output compared to 2013, the Nava Brewery still has the capacity it needs for the years ahead. Even after a number of strong years, Constellation Brands’ beer sales growth remains high at between 9 and 10 percent.
Constellation Brands has demonstrated how to beat an otherwise flat market. At the same time, Siemens has been proud to help them showcase the future of plant technology and innovation for the broader food and beverage industry.
On that note, Siemens provided customized solutions. Yet each one of these solutions adheres to global manufacturing standards. In other words, one of the world’s largest, most sophisticated breweries isn’t just a model; it’s replicable for companies throughout the world.
Published On: November 28, 2017