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Delivery of three capital projects for Heineken in 2021

The challenging year behind the whole world did not prevent Montelektro to complete three demanding projects for the Heineken company, one of its biggest clients and one of the world leaders in the brewing industry.

Over ten years of successful cooperation with Nigerian Breweries, owned by Heineken, has continued by completing the migration of the brewery automation system in Heineken’s largest Nigerian brewery in Ama, Enugu. The project scope included the migration from Foxboro to ProLeiT brewmaxx system, covering the complete beer production – from raw material handling, brewhouse, and cold block to filtration. About 15 engineers were engaged in the project, ranging from IT specialists (covering the design and commissioning of IT infrastructure and HMI), automation specialists (developing the software adapted to all particularities of the brewery), and, finally, project managers (coordinating technical and financial matters). Ama brewery is the most automated brewery within Nigerian Breweries, with annual production of 3 million hl of beer placed on Nigerian market. The switch between the two process control systems was very demanding as it had to be done with no downtime (vertical start-up), and considering the fact that market demand for beer did not decrease, as it was expected in the off-season.

Due to this fact, the brewery had to run at maximum capacity all the time. It took less than a week to complete the migration and ten days to ramp up the production to its total capacity. Upon the completion of the project, the two companies continue cooperation on expanding the existing production capacity to 6 million hl annually, planned to be put into operation next year. The collaboration will include the extension of a new brewhouse, filtration units, and cold block from three different vendors implemented in the existing brewmaxx system.

Another big project that Montelektro delivered to Heineken was for Heineken’s brewery in Sedibeng, South Africa. The project lasted for more than two years and it consisted of design and delivery of brewmaxx application software for the brewhouse, and cold block

and cider production, including the commissioning and staff training. It was one of the most extensive process control system migrations in Heineken’s history, encompassing 10,000 objects and more than 25,000 signals. Montelektro engineers worked on the project for more than 10,000 hours, off and on-site. The new modern automation software improved the production processes and added new functionalities. The annual output of the Sedibeng brewery is 2 million hl of cider and 7.5 million hl of beer. Their future collaboration with Montelektro shall include regular maintenance services, filtration project implementation, and SAP and LIMS interfaces.

Finally, Montelektro also completed the production automation at Thai Asia Pacific Brewery, located in Bangkok, Thailand. The project began in January 2020 but it was temporarily halted due to Covid-19 pandemic and it was resumed six months later. After the software solution had been developed by Montelektro experts, the commissioning at the Thai brewery lasted for three months. The cooperation with Thai Asia Pacific Brewery included the installation of the new process control system for beer production, and delivery of servers, workstations, and PLC CPUs.

The existing, obsolete process control system was replaced by the new, state-of-the-art brewmaxx V9.7 system based on Rockwell PLC.

This replacement will enable the brewery to gain better process control, faster diagnostics, eliminate downtime and bottlenecks in production, and allow more precise tracking and production improvement. Montelektro’s cooperation with Thai Asia Pacific Brewery, owned by Heineken since 1994, continues on the basis of the Service Level Agreement. 


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