Automation and Electrification Help South American Barley Malt House Boost Production

Jan. 6, 2022
ABB is now responsible for automation and electrification as the plant increases process production from 140,000 to 220,000 tons of barley malt per year.

ABB has been announced as the main automation and electrification contractor for South American barley malting company Maltería Oriental SA (MOSA) as it extends operations and looks to significantly reduce raw water consumption.

From its plant located to the north of Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, MOSA plans to expand its production capacity by using fully automated operations and high technological standards overall. The malt producer and trader supplies to Brazil’s renowned breweries, which can use up the plant’s entire stock when demand is high, but also across the continent and occasionally to Europe.

To support MOSA’s production target of 220,000 tons of barley malt per year, ABB will expand the process control system and update to ABB Ability System 800xA version 6.1. This will shorten project execution time, enable greater scalability, and enhance flexibility and efficient engineering. ABB’s engineers will also work closely with the customer on communication network improvements and electrical integration of the medium voltage (MV) network.

Aligning with the requirement for automated functionality, ABB will include production data recording and analysis and a centralized control room for several production units. This will help to minimize human intervention on the plant floor. Increased cyber security assurances come from improved network switches with better network management capabilities.

MOSA, which was established more than 85 years ago, was Uruguay’s first malting house and from its strategically important location within striking distance of farms and the port, has become the largest. A process water recycling facility was added to reduce raw water consumption by up to 70 percent.

“Our requirements to expand production operations while balancing resources usage, including water, and create a more efficient and safer working environment is a challenging mission,” said Martin Uhlig, Plant Manager, Maltería Oriental SA. “We have selected ABB as they are not only a long-term and trusted partner, but also for the company’s capabilities, through automation and electrification technology advancements, to integrate all parts of our plant and help deliver results for increased production. We look forward to continuing our journey together.”

“Many food and beverage customers are operating with tight margins and at maximum capacity, but as ABB we have an opportunity through our technologies to enable better, more informed decision making,” said Javier Román, Project Operations Manager, ABB. “We’re confident that by working with Maltería Oriental SA we can use our process control system and associated improvements to empower their business growth, as well as achieve their quality and environment goals.”