by Blake Sandnes

The Benefits and Process of Automating Your Roller Mill

Automation has become increasingly popular as breweries and distilleries search for ways to improve product quality while minimizing manual processes. Grain handling automation allows producers to refine their operations and create better consistency and control.

Ryan Stockinger, Founder and CEO of Craft Automation, talks with Riley from RMS to unpack the benefits of automation in the brewing and distilling industries and what the integration process looks like. Keep reading to learn more, or watch the full interview with Riley and Ryan!

What Options Do Breweries and Distilleries Have for Automation?

A machine as part of an automated grain handling system.

The brewing and distilling field has a wide breadth of options when it comes to automation, specifically on the grain handling side.

A fully automated process can deliver a one-touch, recipe-driven system that completes every step with little to no operator intervention. On the other hand, breweries and distilleries can also opt for a semi-automated process, which is what we would call a “brewer assist” control panel. Here, we’re operating things in a safe manner, but there’s still a lot of manual involvement from the brewer or distiller.

It really depends on your goals, budget, and preferences whether you want to implement a fully automated or semi-automated grain handling system.

What Benefits Do Breweries and Distilleries Typically See With Grain Handling Automation?

An automated control interface.

Whether breweries or distilleries invest in a fully automated or semi-automated system, there are numerous benefits.

The biggest benefit of grain handling automation is the savings in labor. That doesn’t necessarily mean eliminating jobs, either. When you have an automated grain handling system, you get back all the time that your brewery or distillery is wasting on manually progressing your processes. When the process is entirely or semi-automated, you can do more creative work. This includes things like developing recipes or working in the distillery or brewhouse to create a better product and grow your business.

Another significant benefit of automating roller mill controls is process improvement. An automated system is going to produce better results every time because it can instantly adapt to tiny changes, allowing for consistent fine-tuning of recipes. Not only do you have a more consistent product, but you now have the time and tools to develop better ones.

Is There an Opportunity to Automate Without Buying New Equipment?

There’s always an opportunity to integrate grain handling automation, especially as the industry progresses. Even if you already have an established system and don’t want new equipment, automation is possible. There are a lot of processes in the field that can be semi- or fully automated today, whether you’re working with a small or large manual system.

Different pieces of equipment can be integrated into automated systems. Breweries and distilleries often have a lot of money invested in their equipment. The goal with automation isn’t to have them get brand-new machinery and spend more money, but to integrate their existing setup into an automated solution for better control and consistency.

There’s also potential to integrate future equipment you purchase with your automated systems, and even embed in-process sensing into grain handling automation. Automation can offer the benefit of tracking data and remotely connecting to systems, which allows breweries and distilleries to leverage better quality control and insight.

What Role Does Safety Play in Brewery Automation?

Five glasses on a wooden bar filled with different types of beer.We don’t hear a lot about safety as being one of the benefits of brewery automation, but it’s becoming more of a topic in the brewery automation world.

Safety is paramount to breweries and distilleries, and that’s a major reason that automation has come into play in this industry. This is especially true in the grain handling field, where people working with large roller mills or chain disc systems have the potential to get seriously injured.

One of automation’s top priorities is having a shutdown safety procedure, so if there is an emergency, everything is immediately halted in a safe manner. If there’s maintenance that needs to be done or other planned downtime, the system is handled in a very safe and organized way, preventing injury or damage.

Additionally, a lot of the equipment breweries and distilleries use is very expensive, so with an automated system, we can shut that equipment down and reduce maintenance and downtime to protect your investment and increase safety.

Request a Quote With RMS Today

Are you interested in roller mill controls to help automate your grain handling processes? Find out more about how RMS can help. Whether you already have a system set up or are considering new equipment, we can help you harness the power of automation for better safety, efficiency, and product quality. Get a quote today!

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