Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Belgium Brewing: Improved Visibility Brings Increased Production Capacity

Before the implementation of the MES solution at New Belgium Brewing, the existing system provided huge amounts of data, but with no context. New Belgium’s management team needed a way to effectively collect and analyze that data in order to turn it into actionable information.

“At one point our filler was experiencing a significant amount of micro stops (30 sec., 20 sec., etc.) due to some bottles coming down the line that were falling down, or getting hung up on rails”, Herrick said. “The Wonderware software was able to provide us specific information related to these downtimes, so we had our team complete a Kaizan evaluation to figure out what we needed to do to improve it. “After three weeks into the process and seeing the results, we decreased our downtime by more than 50%. That is very significant for our business.”

By identifying the sources and the quantity of scheduled downtime as well as unscheduled downtime events, New Belgium could accurately track, record and address bottling performance.

In addition, the operators can maintain accurate packaging production schedules, and effectively manage the supply chain of materials needed during the packaging process such as bottle and can sizes, labels coinciding with each type of brew, as well as specific order requirements.

The software also provided for smoother transitions between shift changes by enabling the new shift to easily view what went on during the previous shifts, which help them identify potential issues that need to be addressed by the staff.
“Wonderware MES Performance Software coupled with New Belgium’s continuous improvement strategy, has increased our packaging line efficiency by 30%, saving us more than $400,000 annually in previously planned labor expenditures,” Herrick said. “It also has extended our packaging area capacity to about 1.3 million barrels each year. At this point, our approach to higher volumes is ‘bring it on.’”

More information

Please visit the following links if you want to know more about the Wonderware solution at New Belgium Brewing:

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