Oz micro-breweries mushroom under cloud-based app

Siemens is stirring up a buzz the market among Australian craft brewers with MindSphere, its cloud-based, open IoT operating system.

Deacam, an Australian original equipment manufacturer (OEM), which provides automated brewing equipment and solutions to microbreweries, was looking to differentiate itself. Leonie Wong, responsible for Vertical Sales for Food & Beverage for Siemens Australia, and Solution Architect Rex Chen met with Deacam and their customers, the microbreweries themselves.

“The beer must go through a temperature behaviour over several weeks. For a brewery, it is critical to ensure that they can replicate that temperature behaviour time and time again, because that is what creates a consistent flavour,” said Wong. 

Variations could lead to an entire brew of several thousand litres to go to waste — a crime to craft beer brewers. But in the previous systems of temperature capture that the brewers were using, the drift in the temperature range was too large.

With MindSphere, the temperature data is digitised at the point of capture and added to application. What the team found was that this allows the brewers to more precisely track and control the fermentation vessel temperature.

The solution also provides historical data, so brewers can identify a temperature profile across historical batches, allowing them to locate and replicate their perfect batch in the future. The application contextualises the data, to allow brewers to know exactly what is going on and make better decisions. This also means that when new equipment and tanks are added, it is pretty much a plug-and-play process, making it easier to expand operations.

With the feedback Deacam received from their customers such as Kaiju Beer, the team was able to make a complete MindSphere application for the fermentation process called Fermecraft. Deacam now standardised their full control cabinet design using Siemens. Meanwhile, the application is still evolving and expanding to include features beyond fermentation.

“Over the last nine or ten years, we have seen the Australian craft brewing sector grow from about 12 breweries to approximately 600, and there are a number of OEMs that supply this market,” said Wong. “We are seeing this kind of tailor-made approach to new business and innovation as a new opportunity.”