Since its formation in 2004 AB InBev has become the world’s largest brewer and is ranked number one in over 20 key international beer markets. Their three UK sites at Preston Lancs, Wales and Glasgow brew Stella Artois, Castlemaine XXXX, LeBatts and Tennants, as well as other well-known brands which they distribute throughout the UK.
To remain competitive, AB InBev UK needed to constantly monitor and improve the efficiency of its working practices. Ensuring peak production while keeping costs low was of utmost importance. To help streamline the brewing process, ACUTEC was asked to upgrade AB InBev’s two main IT packages: they monitor efficiency and wastage:
- The Operational Reporting Package – this system monitors material waste from raw ingredients, such as malt to the amount of bottle tops being used. By comparing the original recipe with quantities of ingredients actually used in the factory floor, AB InBev can identify levels of waste.
- The Gross Line Yield Package – this application allows AB InBev to monitor and improve the efficiency of their high speed, high volume beer packaging lines where even a small percentage improvement can mean a substantial cost saving.
Both systems needed bringing up to date to remain in line with new worldwide efficiency and waste performance measurements. ACUTEC had to make sure the systems were compiling the correct data into reports allowing for subtle differences between the breweries while ensuring the end results comply with globally agreed key performance measures.
AB InBev needed to track what materials were being lost, specific quantities and at what stage of production. They also wanted to know where production time was being lost due to failures, bottlenecks, and logistical errors so these could be addressed and eliminated. ACUTEC had been able to identify specific problem areas in both brewing and packing of beers, alter its procedures and meet their goals of reducing wastage and improving efficiency, all in three months from client brief to roll-out.
ACUTEC are continually reviewing systems that support the applications and act as an expert advisor for further improvements. ‘There were costs to the company in wasted materials from damaged bottles to raw ingredients. As well as paying effluent expenses for any beer that gets flushed away and replacing damaged bottles, there were environmental costs to consider. Initiatives have now been put in place on the factory floor using ACUTEC’s monitoring programmes which have improved our overall waste management performance. We have seen significant improvements over the last twelve months that have helped us maintain our competitive edge and confirmed our status as a world class manufacturing site.’