Automation Accelerates Beer Production

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Automation and a focus on reliable processes are at the core of a craft-beer business that grew from a hobby to a full-time pursuit in less than 10 years.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Jason Roeper grew up watching and learning from his uncle, a hobbyist home brewer. The day he turned 21, Roeper went to his uncle’s house and brewed his first batch of beer. He honed his craft and, in 2007, submitted his unblended Elderberry Lambic, “Straight Up,” to the Sam Adams Longshot Competition. He was named a finalist, which inspired him to pursue his dream of becoming a craft-beer brewer. In 2009, after being laid off from a corporate job, Roeper translated his longtime vision into a business plan and began the Rivertown Brewing Company in Lockland, OH. In 2017, he expanded to a larger space in Monroe, OH, and rebranded the business Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House (rivertownbrewery.com), which now covers 31,000 sq. ft., including the manufacturing facility and a barbeque restaurant and pub. With a 417-barrel fleet, the company produces 28,000 barrels of beer in 28 flavor varieties annually, and distributes in 37 U.S. states. Follow this link to read the full story. 

Be Aware of Wear Before Failure

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A chemical-pump expert shows how preventive maintenance can ensure chemical pumping performance.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Understanding that flow components such as diaphragms and check valves will start to show wear before they fail can be strong motivation to incorporate an effective preventive-maintenance program for chemical-processing equipment, according to metering-pump expert Jim Holts, senior technical sales manager, dosing pump line, Grundfos Pumps Corp. (us.grundfos.com, Downers Grove, IL). “It is very common in this industry to say, ‘I’m going to wait until something fails, and then fix it,’” Holts explained. “Proactive maintenance is the key. When the components start to wear, you will start to lose the accuracy of your pump, which is one of the reasons you bought a metering pump to begin with—for it’s high, repeatable accuracy. And since we may classify metering pumps more on the instrumentation side, just remember that you are paying for something you are not getting if you are not doing proper maintenance.” To read the full story, please follow this link. 

Integrating Automation into Manufacturing

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Draper Inc. experiences a century-long evolution of product diversity and manufacturing transitions while holding firm to its family-owned foundation. 

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

A few things have changed in the 115 years since fifth-generation, family-owned Draper Inc. opened its doors for business in the small town of Spiceland, IN, in 1902. There were no phones, no cars, and no computers. Less than 20 years ago, operators still used bulky, 5-lb. scissors to hand cut fabric shades and projection screens, and a seamstress would sit at a table and operate a traditional sewing machine with a foot pedal. Today, following a focus on lean manufacturing that began in 2000, automated machines do the cutting and sewing and much of the other manufacturing for the company that is located just 40 miles east of Indianapolis. Read the full story. 

Training, Automation, Innovation Drive Reliability

German-based Aquatherm provides reliable, sustainable pipe production as a result of advanced technology, automation, and in-house design and innovation.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

As one of the first three companies in the European market to manufacture under-floor heating systems, Attendorn, Germany-based Aquatherm has come a long way since the company was founded 44 years ago. It now leverages state-of-the-art automation and innovative energy-saving systems to drive its reliability and sustainability programs. For the full article and more, please follow this link.