Success Story: Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries

Wolverhampton-ImageAutomating the changes at the Brewery

Wolverhampton and Dudley’s Brewery in Wolverhampton was established in 1890.  The technology has changed but the beers and the brewers’ yeast remain the same. As plant and machinery have been upgraded or replaced, W&DB has replaced virtually all their manual control of production.  The extensive automation supervisory and control system fully utilises Wonderware’s InTouch SCADA and engineering expertise from Wonderware UK’s Support Group.

The brewery at Wolverhampton is in the city, bounded by the ring road.  Therefore all changes to the site have to be carefully squeezed into the available space. The market for ales has decreased and for keg lagers has increased significantly in the last decade, thus changing the production demands. The site handles brewing, conditioning, keg filling and cask filling.  In addition to on-site brewing of their own-brand ales, lagers and ciders are brought in by tanker from other locations. With little room for stock holding, production has to be flexible.

The automation and supervision scheme at the brewery has developed through two generations of control and computer technologies. At the start of a programme that commenced several years ago, several objectives were agreed upon, these included a complete rationalisation of the various networks that had proliferated, a standard PLC type, and the use of Wonderware’s SCADA product InTouch.

InTouch was to be used as the single user interface, encompassing operating, supervision and engineering fault-finding. All processes were also to be fully automatic. Having set their objectives high, due consideration had to be given to implementation, without stopping production, and designing the system with the Operators first in mind.

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