Quick and flexible replacement at Belle Vue

Belle-Vue brewery is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns more than 200 beer brands and is active in 25 countries. Philemon Vandenstock laid the foundation for the current Belle-Vue brewery in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw in 1913, but the history of Gueuze beer goes back to the Middle Ages. 

ABB and the Belle-Vue brewery have been collaborating successfully since the mid-Seventies, which was when the brewery in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw in Belgium was founded with support from ABB. AB InBev strives to always keep its installations up-to-date with the latest technology.

Anheuser-Busch InBev invests in new technology worldwide to ensure the continuity of its breweries, which requires a well-considered approach. "At the time it was decided to use Alfa Laval valves with an ABB operating system," said Olivier Declercq, Brewery Manager at Belle-Vue.

"Safety is a priority, especially when it comes to our employees. The ABB DCS operating system lies at the heart of the brewery where the blend for various beers is produced. For this reason we decided last year to replace the existing SattTops - which falls under SattControl - in order to optimize our production. We decided to also replace the electric steering heads on the mechanical valves, along with the wiring and the operational panel in the electric power supply box. We also adapted the DCS system so that the new assembly could be integrated in the installation." 

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Companies all over the world are improving automation efficiency and replacing obsolete materials. "ABB still supports the active DCS SattLine system, but the latest ABB developments are based on the 800xA-platform," said Jozef Vanparijs, Process Automation Account Manager at ABB. "The application of old controllers can be converted to the System 800xA DCS platform. This is a huge advantage for our customers, because it makes the changeover process that much easier. This way we can provide a complete life cycle for all the materials in the SattControl range, including SattTop and SattLine."

Streamlining automation

It is no coincidence that AB InBev is an important client for ABB. After all, ABB offers a wide range of products, solutions and services to companies in the food and beverages industry worldwide. "We support them with their current challenges: safe production and delivering premium quality in a consistent, repeatable and cost-efficient manner," said Steven Rogier, Process Automation Control Technologies General Manager at ABB in the Belux. 

"We do that by streamlining our automation to better assist companies worldwide. In the food and beverages sector one of our areas of focus is breweries. We help operators manage their production processes accurately and safely with our computerization and automation solutions, which allows them to monitor the consistent flavor and quality of their beers. The continuous evolution of these automation systems is an important aspect of this process, which ABB supports through a step-by-step approach. Such projects are often implemented under considerable time constraints."

Tight deadline

This was also the case with Belle-Vue. It was decided in December 2015 to replace the SattTops. Olivier: "Production stops between Christmas and New Year, which was the only suitable period for us to execute this project. We prepared a tight schedule in cooperation with ABB. We were not sure initially whether we would be able to make such a tight deadline. Various parts had to be ordered, which required extra logistical and planning efforts from everyone involved. Sometimes you hear people say that large companies such as ABB are not flexible, but we found quite the opposite in this case. We are now guaranteed to have a safe, high-performance system in place until 2020, so we have every reason to be satisfied." 

Jozef Vanparijs is also happy with this achievement by ABB. "This project was the result of preventive maintenance performed by Erik de Wit, who is a Service Engineer at ABB. Our project manager Marcel Schoonen oversaw the entire process very well. Project management and services are our core business. The Belle-Vue case illustrates that we are able to complete a complex project within a short period. Cooperation with was very smooth with the various on-site contractors, so this was an excellent team effort." 

About Belle-Vue

Today the brewery produces Belle-Vue Kriek, Belle-Vue Kriek Extra, Belle-Vue Raspberry and Belle-Vue Gueuze, among other beers. Craft and skill are not just hollow words, but are rather concepts that lie at the core of the production process. Gueuze beers are brewed through spontaneous fermentation of yeast cells, fueled by the air of the Senne Valley. This is what gives Gueuze beers their typical, slightly sour taste. Lambic beer is the basis for the Gueuze beers, which are left to mature in oak barrels.
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