Rockwell Automation helps Colorado State University automate new hands-on brewing lab

  • April 11, 2018
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Rockwell Automation
  • Case Study
Rockwell Automation helps Colorado State University automate new hands-on brewing lab
Rockwell Automation helps Colorado State University automate new hands-on brewing lab

April 11, 2018 — Colorado State University (CSU) held a grand opening yesterday for a hands-on brewing lab and industry showcase that will give students practical experience for careers in the brewing and fermentation industries. The lab is part of CSU’s Fermentation Science and Technology (FST) program. Support from both the university and members of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork program was vital to getting the brewery operational.

Large multi-national and regional breweries have long depended on automated brewing processes and precise control technologies to maintain product consistency and quality, while satisfying the discerning palates of its consumer base. Today, smaller craft brewers are increasingly investing in these technologies for the same reason.

“Demonstrating repeatability to students is vital,” said Jeff Callaway, associate director for the FST program at CSU. “We are able to be agile with flexible procedural control, and we can confirm consistency with data collection and analysis”

Malisko Engineering, a Solution Partner in the PartnerNetwork program, led the automation specification and integration efforts of the new brewery. Dan Malyszko, director of operations and lead engineer at Malisko Engineering of Denver, has been active in the program for several years, serving as a regular guest speaker in the brewing classes and teaching students about automation technology and batch processing. He also serves on the program’s industry advisory board.

CSU will be home to two future breweries, one modeled after a craft-style brewery and the other modeled after a commercial brewery, albeit on a smaller scale. Both breweries will run on the PlantPAx distributed control system (DCS) from Rockwell Automation. This plantwide control system allows brewers to automatically control and visualize the brewing equipment as well as critical process control points such as temperature, flow, density and pressure. FactoryTalk Batch software from Rockwell Automation supports the reuse of modular phase code, provides intuitive recipe authoring and has built-in batch tracking and reporting.

CSU’s mission as a land-grant university includes industry outreach and extension encouraging the application of research-based knowledge in response to high-priority needs. The on-campus breweries provide industry with a unique resource to engage in recipe development, lab testing, operational technology research and process data analytics. 

“Brewers from industry can do anything from trying a new grain bill to a new kind of boiling scheme,” said Callaway. “For commercial brewers, having access to a miniature system allows small-batch experimentation with raw materials and process changes that may not be feasible on industrial-sized systems.”

More information about automation and technology for brewing applications can be found here.

About Rockwell Automation

Rockwell dedicated to industrial automation and information, making its customers more productive and the world more sustainable. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Rockwell Automation  employs approximately 22,000 people serving customers in more than 80 countries.

Learn More

Did you enjoy this great article?

Check out our free e-newsletters to read more great articles..