The robot-powered microbrewery of the future

Working smarter – not harder

10 November 2020 | Business

The DIY approach of the microbrewery industry can be complemented by the use of robotics, says Yaskawa Southern Africa’s System Solutions Engineer, Riccardo Ferrari.
“We’ve seen a rise in the popularity of craft beer, as many individuals create microbreweries in their spare time,” he says. “As the demand for their malt, sweet or spicy concoctions grows, so too does the manual production.”
Much like with any business, when production increases, there’s a need to work smarter and more efficiently. This is where automation – specifically, robotic technology – can make a significant difference. “If the volumes increase, it’s only natural a microbrewery might struggle to cope with the manual production,” says Ferrari.
“From shuffling bottles to moving them around for filling, then laying them out to be packaged and palletised for shipping – it’s tedious and strenuous labour that takes both time and repetitive effort. However, by introducing a robot with an end-of-arm gripper, there’s a lot of multi-purposing that can be achieved. Whether you’re moving around full or empty bottles, or even six-packs, the robot can handle the tasks you would’ve normally done by hand before.”
He says that it’s a smart solution, but what happens when production inevitably increases once again, and you reach the threshold of the robot’s capabilities?
According to Ferrari, you simply add another robot to the mix. “You split the tasks between robots,” he says. “For example, one robot would handle the shuffling of the empty bottles while the other focuses on moving the full ones. As your production grows, so too can your robotic fleet as you add more components over time.”
With many microbreweries being self-funded or small businesses, pricing is often a concern – and there’s a belief that robots might prove to be too costly for the size of the operation. Ferrari says that it’s important to put it into context, though.
“When we consider robots versus other purpose-built machinery, robots end up being cheaper alternatives,” he explains. “This is because robots offer a flexibility that dedicated machinery doesn’t. If you want a robot to perform a different function or task, it’s often just software programming that’s required. The worst-case scenario is that you’ll need to change the gripper, which is far more affordable than buying a new machine altogether.”
For the brewer who’s now turning a profit but not enough to buy a robot just yet, there’s also the option to lease a robot and experience the power of robotics first-hand.
Ferrari believes there’s a huge opportunity for microbreweries or any other business that specialises in bottling to make use of robots. “There’s certainly a gap in the market,” he says. “Most of these tasks, such as packaging and palletising, have been automated and are already being done in isolation across various other industries, so it only makes sense that the bottling sector would embrace robotics as well. It would be beneficial to their overall productivity and output.”
Before a microbrewery encounters a bottleneck in its manufacturing process, the answer to its biggest challenges could literally lie in the neck of the bottle. Instead of spending time on the arduous and repetitive task of moving bottles around, work smarter (not harder). Make use of robotic automation in your production process while you focus on growing your business and doing what you do best: brewing new recipes and tasty flavours.

Similar News

 

Pink: the newest flour

1 month - 11 December 2020 | Business

Windhoek • [email protected] recently launched its newest self-raising wheat flour in pink flair.“Yes, this year was taxing but we continued with our projects and we...

Spice for life

1 month - 11 December 2020 | Business

Windhoek • [email protected] a passion for spice, this entrepreneur is setting the scene as the only Namibian company that can manufacture and distribute spices in...

Support for fledgling entrepreneurs

1 month - 08 December 2020 | Business

Thirty-twee fledgling and aspiring entrepreneurs received N$2.5 million worth of grant funding on Tuesday.The funding comes from the recently launched Sustainable Development Goals Impact Facility...

Mentorship programme celebrates successes

1 month - 02 December 2020 | Business

The Katuka Mentorship Programme recently acknowledged 31 mentors and mentees who completed this year’s intake while introducing 48 participants as candidates for 2021.According to Bank...

Pitching for Recovery

1 month - 02 December 2020 | Business

The Pitch for Business Recovery Scheme which lends support to mitigate the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the Namibian economy in cooperation with the ministries...

Centenary for Old Mutual in Namibia

1 month - 30 November 2020 | Business

Old Mutual commemorated a full centenary of doing business in the Land of the Brave in November.The celebration was hosted as a virtual event on...

Plaaslik, op jou vingerpunte

1 month - 23 November 2020 | Business

Windhoek • [email protected] The Local is alles presies net dit – plaaslik. En as jy ’n ondersteuner is van plaaslike produkte engoedere, gaan hierdie aanlynwinkel...

Academy for women entrepreneurs launched

1 month - 20 November 2020 | Business

US Ambassador Lisa Johnson officially launched the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program in Namibia on Thursday.The program was established in 2019 and provides women...

Selling proudly Namibian cosmetics around the globe

2 months ago - 16 November 2020 | Business

The Namibia Network of the Cosmetics industry (NANCi), with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) Promotion of Business Advisory and...

Keeping busy hands clean

2 months ago - 12 November 2020 | Business

BEE Energy Efficient took hands with Namibian Tourism Expo (NTE) last week, having sponsored hand sanitiser stations at the event and being sourced to supply...

Latest News

Now is the time to...

8 hours ago | Agriculture

The previous and current rainy seasons in Namibia has given a sigh of relief to many farmers and is an indication that the country is...

Proverbs 31 Woman in Business

8 hours ago | Opinion

Windhoek • Ilke PlattUsually, one would read new years’ resolution thought articles this time of the year; however, has the pandemic changed the dialogue and...

Brush and broom factory planned...

11 hours ago | Infrastructure

Windhoek • [email protected] Namibia’s industrial production capacity being constrained and not being as competitive asother countries, one company decided to change the status quo.Nambrush, a...

Lunch is served

23 hours ago | Local News

Windhoek [email protected] part of some students’ practical training, Women at Work is now offering lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays.With only six students in the class,...

Flooding worries continue

2 days ago - 16 January 2021 | Disasters

The Windhoek municipality on Friday evening gave a brief update on the flooding experienced in the capital.According to the City, the average rainfall from 30...

Residents relocated to avoid flooding

3 days ago - 15 January 2021 | Disasters

More than 200 residents of informal settlement in Windhoek were relocated to avoid their shacks being flooded.Speaking to Nampa, some residents said the decision was...

How Covid has changed the...

3 days ago - 15 January 2021 | Life Style

From wearing face masks in public to socialising from two meters apart, society is adapting to the rather unusual circumstances that have been brought about...

Fighting cervical cancer together

3 days ago - 15 January 2021 | Health

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common viral infection of the reproductive tract. Most sexually active women and men will be infected at some point...

Nambob joins the fight to...

4 days ago - 14 January 2021 | Society

With the Cancer Association of Namibia’s (CAN) National Outreach Programme kicking off today, Nambob (previously Avbob Namibia) extended their support to the organisations efforts to...

Load More