Wonderware Historian plays a central role in utilities management at Namibia Breweries

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Goals

  • Record critical production information from the solar, NH3 cooling, boilers, and CO2 plants as well as from the water and power meters
  • Transfer production information to the existing DCS
  • Develop a dashboard system for management to view consumption-related information linked to production volumes and KPIs

Challenges

  • Getting the buy-in from all stakeholders
  • Time synchronization between the old Historian and the OPC server

Results

  • CO2 sales targets met
  • Compliance with municipal regulations
  • Electricity savings
  • Improved solar plant effectiveness
  • Improved fault-finding
  • Improved decision making regarding plant requirements
  • Better loss control
  • Verification of the KPIs of new plant and equipment
  • More accurate calculation and reconciliation of project KPIs and ROIs

Solutions & Products

“It is an amazing feeling to see the end result and the satisfaction on the faces of the end users. It is also amazing to see the value that the business has derived from this.”

André Engelbrecht, Manager: Industrial Control Systems, NBL

Windhoek, Namibia

Optimal utilities management contributes to a greener environment and a healthier bottom line at Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) where Wonderware Historian helps to generate daily, weekly and monthly consumption reports for water, electricity, chemicals, thermal energy, solar generation, carbon dioxide and air and to compare results with KPI targets.

Linking Historian tags to the company’s production system has also led to faster and more accurate problem detection.

Background

With regard to renewable energy, NBL has put into practice what others only talk about. The company has a 1MW roof-mounted solar plant with more than 4000 panels, 66 inverters and 4 cluster controllers. The whole system is connected to three of the company’s generator sections. When it was installed in 2013, it was the largest hybrid system in the world and it also made NBL completely self-sufficient regarding electrical power.

But this was only the start. Electricity, though a major component, is only one factor in the complex world of utilities which, today, are highly significant contributors to product costs, competitiveness and profitability.  And there’s more to effective utilities management than simply watching the meter.

A Manufacturing Operations Management Survey conducted by LNS Research showed that the top two operational challenges for meeting Strategic Manufacturing Objectives were that companies had to deal with disparate systems and the lack of cooperation across their different departments.

“In our case, we have the brewing, packaging and distribution departments,” says André Engelbrecht, Manager: Industrial Control Systems, NBL “Each of them focuses on doing their job to the best of their ability but without necessarily much concern for the common denominator that makes it all possible; utilities.”

And so NBL decided to unify their various departments into a cohesive entity that could make real-time business decisions with regard to utility usage based on a single version of the facts.

The scope of the implementation would include access to the CO2 plant, NH3 Ammonia cooling, boiler house, water treatment plant, sterile air plant and power meters.

Implementation

The project was started in February 2015 and changeover to the new system was done after a two-week parallel operation during January and February 2016. But according to Engelbrecht, this is not the end as it is a “living” system designed to grow and supply the company’s information needs well into the future.

NBL has a central DCS which controls the beer-making process from beginning to end but achieving NBL’s goals of accurate decision support based on reality and real-time production information, more data collection and collation resources would be needed.

“It was vitally important that we got the buy-in from all stakeholders regarding the value of doing this, after which we decided to use the power of Wonderware Historian and the scripting capabilities of Historian Client,” says Engelbrecht.

“We also installed Software Toolbox’s TOP Server to retrieve data from our utility plants and systems and used the DCS to build a SCADA system. We then developed a web-reporting system for production personnel and a dashboard system for management. Most of our physical servers are now hosted in a virtual environment and this has made things a lot easier, such as time synchronization between the old Historian and the OPC server.”

NBL configured a virtual enterprise consisting of two TOP Servers (to balance the load of more than 100 PLCs and systems), one DataHub Server, Wonderware Historian, the main historian data warehouse and a web server. A secure https dashboard server enables management to view daily and monthly sales and operational KPIs from anywhere and weekly real-time stock volumes are sent to NBL’s advanced planning system using Historian Client queries. SAP files are imported daily regarding sales, production, logistics and depot information.

The system lets qualified personnel view various utility consumption and production information at the same time wherever they may be. They’re also able to view daily, weekly and monthly consumption information on the same platform. In future NBL will be able to switch off non-critical plant equipment to ensure that their maximum demand remains below target.

“It is great to see what can be done with technology and data when you use the right tools such as the Wonderware products we implemented in this project. It was also a great learning experience to combine the products we chose to enable us to make our end-results and user-experience better and more effective,” says Annemarie Kruger, MES/MIS Specialist, NBL.

“In my opinion, some of the most outstanding features of the system include its open standards, the wide range of drivers available, its scalability (as big as we want to go) as well as its ease of use, customisation and integration facilities with other initiatives,” adds Engelbrecht. “This implementation was all about 80% planning and 20% implementation. Wonderware’s Customer FIRST support programme is a must and the support from Wonderware Southern Africa and Software Toolbox was outstanding.”

About Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL)

As part of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, the company is proud to uphold the tradition established in 1516 and brew their beer according to the Reinheitsgebot Purity Law resulting in products renown for their incomparable quality and purity.

The exceptional brands in their portfolio continues to garner international recognition, winning a series of gold medals during the prestigious Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft (DLG) Awards.

And it’s quite a portfolio, comprising 11 brands including Windhoek, Tafel, Hansa, Heineken and Amstel to name a few.

In 2019, NBL will celebrate its 100th birthday.