Efficient Plant July 2018 - 26
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NOVEMBER 12-15, 2018
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EMBRACING CHANGE, GROWTH
Brewing has been around for thousands of years, Roeper said. "At
the end of the day, the life for brewers is a little easier now with the
equipment and technology advancements."
When Roeper first opened Rivertown, there were no investors or
operating money. "Some other breweries in the area were financed
right out of the gate with endless amounts of cash," he said. "Getting
everything in place and learning to trust people was very challenging. We spent just shy of $8 million to get this brewery built and
running. I started it and slept on the couch and often stayed up all
night brewing beer, but now it's truly a team effort. In the beginning
I had no regular paycheck and had to eat what I killed. As I added
employees, I traded in worrying about myself to worrying about
more than 80 people. But the reward is making flavorful beer for the
beer connoisseur." EP
Michelle Segrest is president of Navigate Content Inc. and has been a
professional journalist for nearly three decades. She specializes in creating content for the processing industries and has toured manufacturing
facilities in 60 cities in six countries on three continents. If your facility
has an interesting efficiency, maintenance, and/or reliability story to
tell, please contact her at email@example.com.
Learn more. Call 844-301-4931
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18SPM31 JunEfficntPlntAd_3.625x9.56.indd 1
form. When we would add something in or move product from one
vessel to the next, we would have to manually turn on a pump and
manually open valves. There was a lot of potential for human error."
The system allows any error to be identified to prevent it from
"It's much more efficient to catch the errors as they are happening
versus finding out after the fact," he said. "This automation has really
changed things for Rivertown."
The brewery has also made technological advancements with its
clean-in-place (CIP) process. At its original location, to clean equipment between batches, workers would mix chemicals on demand,
pump them into a tank, then allow a pump to clean out the tank.
"We have a CIP system in place now that is all computer programmed and fully automated," Roeper said. "We do spot checks
and change filters. The lab will come out and run tests for us. We've
only been regulated by the FDA for two years. Prior to that, the FDA
did not get too involved with beer brewing because the alcohol will
generally kill pathogens."
When a batch is finished, cleaning takes place immediately. "We
don't let it sit," he said. "If you ever go into a brewery and see them
doing that, don't drink their beer. We don't sanitize. Cleaning and
sanitizing are two different things. We use paracetic acid, which is
very strong but only lasts about 24 hours."
6/6/18 1:19 PM