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Brewery automation: Flexible & scalable solutions

Automation doesn't have to be complex. As craft breweries grow, the need for operational efficiency grows as well. Selecting flexible automation solutions allows you to implement small steps as needed. When you outgrow manual processes, automation can provide innovative solutions to enhance batch consistency, operational efficiency, and better control over the brewing process. Breweries of any size can achieve more flexibility and agility with access to tighter process controls and data that provides actionable insight into their brewing processes. 

Benefits of brewery automation

Increase beer quality

Smart sensors for brewing

ifm process sensors provide high-precision measurements that provide tighter control over the brewing process and reduce errors due to drift. Smart sensors with embedded IO-Link technology provide more data throughout each step of production. Benefits of ifm sensors include:

  • Integrated displays for at-a-glance insights into your process
  • Discrete and analog outputs for machine automation
  • IO-Link technology to scale with your brewery as it grows

Designed to withstand high temperatures and washdown environments, ifm pressure, temperature, level, conductivity, and flow sensors provide high performance at an affordable price. This also allows you to increase points of measurement throughout production when you need additional data to identify inefficiencies for process optimization.

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Recipe and batch management systems

Transitioning from a smaller brewhouse to a commercial brewing operation requires scalability without compromising beer quality. Recipe and batch management systems, combined with the right equipment, allow brewers to digitally store, modify, and scale their recipes. This ensures that regardless of production volume, the taste remains consistent and high quality. Implementing smart flow and temperature sensors that connect to a touchscreen control panel provides better repeatability of recipes.


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Enhanced cleaning processes

The CIP process is essential to ensuring that tanks are cleaned effectively and efficiently between batches to avoid contamination. Connected sensors in automated systems enable a shift from a time-based CIP cycle to a feedback-driven process. This transition ensures effective tank cleaning while minimizing resource consumption. Brewers can embrace these tools to automate cleaning processes between brewing steps. As operations grow, breweries may need to reduce manual processes to increase efficiency.


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Increase efficiency

Craft brewery automation

Craft brewing, an art steeped in tradition, has been historically reliant on manual labor, passion, and precision. However,  automated brewing systems and advanced technology are more affordable, flexible, and scalable than ever. This allows automation to be adopted by microbreweries where it was once cost-prohibitive.


With more data available from their machinery, smaller brewhouses can now brew consistent batches every time to stay competitive in the market. This is possible with IO-Link technology as the foundation of the connected brewhouse. 

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Modular automated brewing systems

The introduction of modular automated brewing systems has changed the landscape of brewery operations. Today's brewery control systems can be implemented with just a few components.


Display controllers reduce the reliance on expensive proprietary software systems. They provide an intuitive touchscreen interface to run small batch production flawlessly and are a cost-effective alternative to a traditional programmable logic controller (PLC) that requires specialized knowledge. By using open-source software as a foundation, breweries have the flexibility to scale as needed.

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Automated fermentation monitoring

As your brewery grows, you can implement automated fermentation monitoring. This allows you to monitor each tank in real time from your laptop, and better plan steps of production. Benefits include:

  • Real-time insight into fermentation
  • Monitor multiple tanks at once
  • Reduce risk of manual error

Increase confidence in your measurements, and ensure that you can grow efficiently with solutions that help you scale.


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Increase sustainability

Resource consumption monitoring

Measuring resource consumption is important for understanding baseline usage rates. In the beer industry, smart flow meters can be used to monitor and reduce:

  • Water consumption
  • Energy consumption
  • Chemical consumption

Once current rates are benchmarked, it is easy to calculate the impact of water or energy saving initiatives. It also makes it easier to collect the necessary data in order to comply with environmental regulations.

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Reducing waste

With real-time monitoring of valve position, Veltins brewery was able to reduce water losses in their lines. The increased precision of the data alerted them immediately when valves were not fully closing, so maintenance could be planned and water losses eliminated.


It takes energy to heat water used in the brewing process, so reducing wasted water during production helps reduce environmental impact in multiple ways. Reducing water losses after heating also reduces energu consumption. Smart monitoring helps ease environmental strain by identifying inefficiencies that can be optimized. Improve sustainability without sacrificing beer quality.


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Key technologies driving automation

Modern breweries incorporate a range of sophisticated technologies to ensure precision and consistency.

IO-Link provides a flexible communication protocol for connecting smart sensors. As part of an open consortium, it is technology agnostic. The purely digital signal provides more accurate resolution compared to traditional analog technology.

Display controllers provide the flexibility and scalability of modular automated brewing systems. These touchscreen displays offer recipe batch management for enhanced process control. 

Conductivity sensors provide real-time measurements that allow you to monitor skid health in a variety of applications. The price performance ratio allows you to implement multiple data points on a machine for increased insight into processes.

Temperature sensors provide real-time monitoring of the media. Designed to withstand caustic cleaning solutions and washdown, they are rigorously tested to prevent moisture ingress and other common causes of sensor failures.

Flow sensors are critical for monitoring flow rate, totalizing functionality, and media temperature in real time. Receive all of these process values from one sensor over IO-Link for real-time monitoring of your batch during production. 

Pressure sensors or level sensors provide high degrees of accuracy and reliability for optimal machine design. Designed to withstand caustic cleaning solutions and washdown, they are rigorously tested to prevent moisture ingress and other common causes of sensor failures.

moneo|software seamlessly visualize machine health, trend and store process data, and implement alarms. Built for easy integration and setup, get started in hours, not weeks.

Smart valve position sensors provide precision control of valves and real-time monitoring of valve position. These smart sensors help improve wine quality and reduce risk of contamination by proactively alerting to build-up in pipes that might block valves from fully closing. 

Preparing for the future

Integrating automation might come with its challenges, but the benefits can be immediate. For breweries eager to grow, remain ahead of the curve, or refine their recipes, automation is an exciting next step.

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