Efficient and flexible drive technology
for the Doemens Academy

For more than 100 years, the renowned Doemens Academy has been training the next generation in the brewing, beverage and food industries. Much has happened since the early days of the Brewery Academy. The state of the art is demonstrated by the pilot plant, which will be opened in 2021. In this new training and test brewery, 30 frequency converters and gearmotors from Danfoss each ensure efficient, precise, and safe processes. They are not only used for applications in the actual brewing process. Efficient and flexible drive technology also plays a central role in conveyor technology in the bottle cellar.


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This is how things work at the Doemens training and pilot brewery

From the malt house via the brewhouse to the fermentation and storage cellar and then on to the bottle cellar with, among other things, filler, labeler, and packaging via the corresponding conveyor technology: The new technical center of the Doemens Academy reproduces the complete brewing process – driven by numerous geared motors and frequency converters from Danfoss. Where efficient and flexible drive technology is used in the brewery and what role it plays for more energy and cost efficiency is explained by Dr. Gerrit Blümelhuber from the Doemens Academy in the video tour of the new training and pilot brewery.

Take a virtual tour of the brewery

Energy guzzler brewery? Does not have to be! On this virtual tour (currently only available in German) through the brewery, Dr. Gerrit Blümelhuber from the Doemens Academy explains the different stations in the brewing process. You will learn how you can use efficient drive technology to reduce your energy consumption and thus your energy costs. Discover how Danfoss frequency converters drive pumps, fans, and other motors in the new Doemens Academy technical center. The heart of the virtual tour is the bottle cellar, where Danfoss frequency converters and gearmotors are used to convey the bottles and crates between the individual machines and units. You can also find out what is currently moving the brewing industry in Drehmoment – Der Antriebspodcast. There, Dr. Gerrit Blümelhuber and René Grywnow from Concentric AB discuss new markets, new requirements, new technology and more energy efficiency in breweries in the episode "How does a brewery quench its thirst for energy?".

Keeping things running smoothly: A flexible drive concept for the Doemens bottle cellar

Cans, bottles, kegs, crates: In the bottle cellar of breweries, heavy containers are moved on conveyor belts. At the same time, the containers – especially glass bottles – are particularly sensitive goods to transport. They must be transported efficiently, jerk-free and safely. The particularly high requirements for maximum hygiene standards in the beverage and food industry must also be considered and implemented in the transport technology. In addition, of course, it is always a question of transporting containers in and between the individual units in an energy- and thus cost-efficient manner.

In the bottle cellar of the Doemens Technikum, highly efficient frequency converters combined with extremely reliable permanent magnet motors of the ultra-premium IE5 efficiency class ensure efficient and smooth processes. They are part of Danfoss ‘ VLT® FlexConcept®, developed specifically for the beverage industry, which offers numerous advantages.

Discover the advantages of the VLT® FlexConcept®.

In the bottle cellar of Doemens Lehr- und Versuchsbrauerei, the VLT® FlexConcept® is used for good reasons. It offers, among other things:

  • Maximum flexibility in plant design: Danfoss VLT® frequency converters can be mounted either centrally in the control cabinet or decentrally in the plant close to the motor.
  • Reduced spare parts inventory: The VLT® FlexConcept® uses only a few gearbox variants in conjunction with the same permanent magnet motor. This reduces the need for spare parts to be kept in stock. The highly flexible drive concept comprises the PM motor VLT® OneGearDrive® and the two converter types VLT® Decentral Drive FCD 302 and VLT® AutomationDrive FC 302.
  • Compliance with the strictest hygiene regulations: To meet the special cleaning requirements and hygiene conditions in beverage plants, the PM motors of type VLT® OneGearDrive® have a smooth surface that offers no room for germs and other contaminants. At the same time, the durable coating that both VLT® OneGearDrive® and VLT® Decentral Drive FCD 302 are equipped with is designed to withstand typical cleaning agents and processes, enabling effective cleaning without compromising equipment availability.

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The VLT® FlexConcept® in the Doemens practice

In this video, Christian Prakesch from Danfoss Drives and Dr. Gerrit Blümelhuber from the Doemens Academy talk about the demands that the transport technology in the new bottle cellar of the Doemens Academy places on the drive technology. From the desire for the highest possible energy efficiency to the possibility of high-pressure cleaning of the conveyor belts and predictive maintenance with frequency converters: the two experts explain in detail which modern drive solutions are being implemented in the training and pilot brewery. The VLT® FlexConcept® plays a central role in this.

Efficiency through flexibility and intelligence in the inverter

Advantageously, the VLT® FlexConcept® has been developed for dry as well as wet, aseptic and hygiene-critical areas. The decentralized components are characterized, among other things, by the high IP66/IP69K protection class. The hermetically sealed housings and special plug connections protect against the ingress of dust and water. This enables high-pressure or steam jet cleaning of the conveyor belts in the Doemens technical center. In addition to trouble-free cleaning, the frequency converters can also be used for diagnostics and predictive maintenance. The inverters know the motors well because of the motor data and the signals they exchange with the motors. Current, torque or frequency – based on these values, the inverters can draw conclusions about the overall system. This makes them an essential part of the maintenance concept and provides early warning of failures or other problems. For more information on the benefits of condition-based monitoring in the beverage industry, click here. The experts at the Doemens Academy also draw inspiration from others. For example, from user Jakov Perisic of Molson Coors, a multinational brewing group that has many prominent beer and beverage brands in its portfolio. For some time now, Jakov and his team have been using condition-based monitoring with frequency converters. His goal is not only to make repairs more efficient, but to keep the plants running longer overall. In episode 11 of Drehmoment – Der Antriebspodcast, "Condition-based Monitoring: Daten nutzen, Anlagenperformance steigern" (Condition-based Monitoring: Using Data, Increasing Plant Performance), he explains how he manages to do this and the challenges he encounters in the process.

New perspective: the journey through the box washer

How well do you know your bottle cellar? For example, have you ever driven through a box washer? No? Neither do we, but we dared to take the trip through the crate washer at the Doemens Academy’s Teaching and Experimental Brewery with the camera. Now we invite you to see the bottle cellar with different eyes. The ride of empty beer crates is a bit like a roller coaster ride – including acceleration, quick stops and cornering. All under controlled conditions, of course. This is made possible by the Danfoss drive technology used, which flexibly implements the requirements of the Doemens Academy.

The conveyors are driven by a VLT® FlexConcept® solution from Danfoss. In this way, the beer crates are conveyed efficiently, precisely and safely through the crate washer. And as the name suggests, this drive concept, which was specially developed for conveyor systems in the food and beverage industry, is characterized by maximum flexibility: Depending on the system design, you can mount the Danfoss VLT® frequency inverters centrally in the control room or decentrally in the system close to the motor. In the new pilot plant of the Doemens Academy, a combination of 30 VLT® OneGearDrive® permanent magnet synchronous motors, 26 decentralized VLT® Decentral Drive FCD 302 frequency inverters, and 4 VLT® AutomationDrive FC302 centrally installed in control cabinets ensures efficient conveying of the beverage crates through the crate washer and the bottle cellar.

In the end, it’s the end result that counts: Freshly washed and spruced up, the crates are ready to receive the precious commodity "beer bottle" and set off on their journey to the consumer.

This is what a ride through the box washer looks like
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Would you like to learn even more about efficient and flexible drive solutions for the beverage industry? Read, for example, how you can increase sustainability in your plant with frequency converters from Danfoss and what enormous benefits condition monitoring with intelligent frequency converter can bring to your operation. When intelligent frequency inverters are used in beverage production, completely new approaches can be taken to maintenance: Risks are identified early on, maintenance intervals are planned, and production stops are avoided.

You can find even more tips and in-depth knowledge about the operation of separators with frequency converters in this Tech Insight [Link if created].

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