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Success Story: New Belgium Brewing Co.

New Belgium Brewing Improves Performance with the help
of Apex Manufacturing Solutions and Wonderware MES

“With Wonderware MES Performance Software coupled with New Belgium’s continuous
improvement strategy, we have extended our packaging area capacity to about 1.3
million barrels each year. At this point, our approach to higher volumes is ‘bring it on.”

Joe Herrick | Packaging Systems Manager/New Belgium Brewing Co. 

Goals

  • To increase the company’s ability to fully take advantage of manufacturing capabilities
  • Achieve Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to produce a quality product; manage production efficiency and unsure production line availability through scheduled downtimes, package changes and scheduled maintenance activities
  • To operate the brewery at full production capacity and double case production

Results

  • OEE increased from 45% to 65% in just over 2 years
  • Decreased downtime by more than 50%
  • Efficiency of scheduled run time increased by 25% – 30%
  • Achieved record production weeks producing 190,000
    to 200,000 cases consistently, successfully meeting
    customer demands
  • Extended packaging area capacity to about 1.3 million
    barrels each year
  • The brewery was able to delay capital investments,
    enabling
Challenges

  • The brewery lacked real-time information on unscheduled downtime at various equipment areas which caused production slowdowns
  • Production staff were continually reacting to unscheduled downtime at equipment areas
  • Management needed to address gaps in methods and processes to drive improvements
  • The bottling operation lacked the ability to predict capabilities
    to effectively commit brewery staff to specific production goals

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