Fri, September 11, 2015


​Leading project management, process consultancy and control system integration specialist, FMA Process Engineering, of Lichfield, UK, has designed, then supplied, installed and commissioned a new trimming plant at Banks’s Park Brewery in Wolverhampton.

​Monitoring blending and carbonation, from conditioned beer tanks and bright beer vessels to the kegging inlet buffer tank, the plant is providing Banks’s with enhanced levels of accuracy and control over ABV and product flavour parameters, for even greater product consistency.

​​Meeting uncompromising brief

​FMA’s challenge was to develop a solution that would precisely and consistently meet the brewer’s uncompromising specifications for a wide range of quality lagers and ciders that are tanked at high gravity. This was achieved via the installation of a blending and carbonation process which – through the addition of small amounts of de-aerated water (DAW) and CO2 – ensures that each high% ABV beer is blended to sales gravity and carbonated correctly.

​​Ensuring correct brew specifications are achieved

The ABV blending control uses the high-strength beer-to-DAW ratio as the basis of the ABV adjustment, to ensure that correct product specification is achieved. To fine-tune the control process for both ABV and CO2, FMA also installed its own error correction algorithms, which have been developed over many projects.

​“We are delighted to have been asked to carry out this important upgrade at Park Brewery, home to so many famous ales,” comments FMA Project Manager, Paul Elson. “At FMA, we offer many years of experience in assisting brewers of all sizes to increase efficiency, all while maintaining the uncompromising levels of product quality that they have become renowned for.”

​Enhancing carbon footprint

​“FMA did a tremendous job, completing the project both on time and on budget – and managing all contractors highly effectively,” comments Banks’s Chief Engineer John Shepherd. “Moreover, FMA’s use of 3D design enabled us to see how the trimming plant would fit into a brewery processing area that was already tight for space. As a result of the plant being installed, we are achieving better tank utilisation and reducing the number of tanker deliveries to site. This, in turn, is reducing costs and further improving our carbon footprint.”

​​Simplified installation process

​The entire trimming plant was designed by FMA using the Solidworks 3D drawing package. This not only enabled FMA to show Banks’s precisely how the blender unit could be accommodated in the available floor space (including room for maintenance), but also provided the necessary details for FMA to have the unit pre-fabricated locally – something which both simplified the installation process and reduced installation time. Allen Bradley PLC was chosen for uniformity with site standards and all code was written to the ‘FMA Standard’ – a protocol for excellence that FMA has developed over several years.

​The upgrade project at Park Brewery was carefully planned to minimise loss to production throughout the installation and commissioning phases. This was achieved via several scheduled day-to-day pipework ‘break-ins’ and a dedicated weekend, where modifications were made to an existing flowplate and beer supply mains.

​​FMA: Process Engineering with Unconventional Wisdom

​Founded in 1981, FMA provides innovative consultancy, project management and project solutions across the global brewing & drink, dairy, food, healthcare and sustainability sectors. A leading provider of automation and control services, as well as mechanical and electrical installations, FMA offers unrivalled expertise in liquid processing, with a particular focus on the brewery and dairy industries. Totally independent, FMA takes pride in creating bespoke solutions and offers expertise across all stages of project life cycles, including: masterplan development, feasibility studies, capital justification, front-end engineering and detailed design, right through to full turnkey project completion. The insightful approach used by FMA in creating world-class solutions has resulted in it being recognised as providing ‘Unconventional Wisdom’.



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FMA Process Engineering,

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WS13 6HX, UK

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