If you’re reading this article, chances are, you run a brewery that needs to upgrade its existing automation system. Your current processes are probably not fully automated, and you think you would benefit from a more sophisticated system.
At the same time, you’re put off by the unnecessary expense and complexity of many large-scale distributed control systems. These systems can cost $100,000s to install, require specialized hardware, and often need to be supported by a dedicated in-house engineering team. That’s just too much overhead for the value you’re getting.
As a growing brewery, what you really need is an extensible, integrated automation system that is capable of scaling with your business. At aX Brew, we have developed a platform that addresses those exact needs. While we’ve explored the benefits of aX Brew in other posts, this article will explain the technical features that set it apart from other systems.
What is aX Brew?
aX Brew is a scalable, modular distributed control system (DCS) that allows you to automate, monitor and control your entire production process, from brewhouse to cellar.
A DCS is a control system that has controllers distributed throughout your facility, but allows for centralized control through a user-friendly and customizable interface. This human-machine interface (HMI) can be accessed through a computer, tablet or smart mobile device, allowing you to keep tabs on your operations no matter where you are.
In addition, aX Brew’s HMI comes with powerful visualization capabilities. You can view everything from specific batch variables to general trends, and set alarms to alert you to abnormal activity in any part of the system. Individual users can also easily change the interface through a simple drag-and-drop system that requires no formal programming knowledge. This allows each member of your team to customize their HMI according to their own specific needs.
How Does aX Brew Work?
aX Brew is set apart by a number of important features, that make it much easier to install, operate, and extend.
aX Brew’s installation process is much smoother than competing solutions, due to a unique combination of features. First, automationX runs on an open architecture that makes it compatible with a number of existing systems and protocols. This means that whatever your current infrastructure, automationX will be able to integrate seamlessly with it. As a result, deployment is much smoother compared to a proprietary, “closed” system that requires specialized hardware and software.
Second, automationX is easily scalable. While many other vendors have systems that require a minimum of 8-10 servers to function properly, automationX can operate with just two standard, off-the-shelf servers. This not only reduces the complexity of installation and configuration, but can also cut down maintenance time significantly.
Once installed, automationX allows you to automate operations to a high degree of precision and flexibility. Since automationX is a server-based platform, it is capable of being programmed with advanced process logic, including real-time optimization, regressive modelling and predictive control. In addition, the software is fully object-oriented, allowing for easy customization of functionality through existing class libraries.
Spend Less Time Engineering, More Time Brewing
aX Brew’s unique feature set allows you to make the most of your in-house technical resources. The simplicity, scalability and modularity of the platform make it easy to train technical personnel, and allow them to maintain, update and modify the system with a minimum of trouble.
Ultimately, the aX Brew system has been engineered to stay out of your way, so you can focus on what you do best: brewing excellent beer.