Craft beer is booming business in the United States, and even seasoned breweries are finding themselves looking for creative ways to keep up with thirsty consumers. Cleveland-based Great Lakes Brewing Company (GLBC), an independent craft brewery founded in 1988, recently tapped into manufacturing analytics technology that helps scale production without sacrificing product quality.
GLBC deployed the FactoryTalk Analytics for Devices from Rockwell Automation to bring the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics to its floor. The technology gives GLBC greater insight into the health of its beer-brewing machinery to help increase efficiency, improve quality and minimize downtime.
“From day one, Great Lakes Brewing Company has been committed to good beer, which means we are relentlessly focused on quality – from the ingredients we use to our production process and beyond,” said John Blystone, electrical and control supervisor, Great Lakes Brewing Company. “Adding advanced analytics and hardware diagnostics to our equipment allows us to continue fulfilling our quality commitment by giving us more meaningful insight into our production processes.”
The solution provides health and diagnostic analytics from devices at the brewery. Inside the FactoryTalk Analytics there is a bot called “Shelby” that can interact with production staff using natural language processing. This technology is based on the Microsoft Bot Framework and trained with Microsoft Cognitive Services to help enable brewery staff to easily identify and address equipment challenges in real time.
“Shelby has been instrumental in our move to a more connected plant-floor environment, allowing us to tap into a wealth of existing data to solve problems very quickly,” Blystone said.
The Analytics is one component of a joint technology collaboration between Rockwell Automation and Microsoft designed to help companies make the most of digital transformation.
Rockwell Automation Inc.
Filed Under: Design World articles, IoT • IIoT • internet of things • Industry 4.0
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