NBL Scoops International Engineering Award

NBL international engineering award

The Engineering Department of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group – was honored the award for “Best Operations Implementation” at the 27th Wonderware X-Change conference hosted by IS³ – Industry Software Solutions & Support, held at Sun City, Johannesburg in March this year.

NBL Manager: Industrial Control Systems, André Engelbrecht, accompanied by NBL MES Specialist, Annemarie Kruger, and Renaldo du Pisani (NBL Team Leader: Electrical) attended the conference where the team was celebrated for their breakthrough initiative to saving electricity usage at NBL – beating several international companies in the same category.

Being one of the largest consumers of water and electricity (scarce commodities that has seen a significant increase in cost over the past few years) in Windhoek, NBL’s engineering team, inspired by the O&L purpose, “Creating a Future, Enhancing Life”, and vision to be “the most progressive and inspiring company” looked into new ways of conserving these resources. NBL started recording consumption values for water, electricity, air, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and chemicals, and the results were then linked to production values in order to make it relatable. Based on historical data, benchmarks were set and the team engaged with process owners to find ways of working more efficiently. Nearly 70 electrical energy meters were installed all over the site and the information obtained was stored using Wonderware Historian database. Areas which are greatly affected by this initiative include the water treatment plant (45% electrical efficiency improvement); Carbon Dioxide Recovery Plant (± 13% electrical efficiency improvement) as well as the Ammonia (NH3) Cooling Plant (±6% efficiency improvement).

Du Pisani who on behalf of NBL presented the project at the conference attributes the success of the project to teamwork. Du Pisani: “The crux of the project is that success was achieved due to the willingness of several parties within NBL to work together. We will continue to work with process owners to become more efficient regarding all consumptions.” This project would not only lead to tremendous financial savings for NBL, but is also directly in line with one of O&L’s 2019 vision metrics: achieving a 20% reduction in Carbon Footprint.

Head of Marketing: IS³ – Industry Software Solutions & Support, Clarise Rautenbach: “As part of their continuous improvement plan of saving energy and thus driving reduced production cost, what stood out was how NBL used our software to empower the next generation of their engineers to work more effectively and efficiently to add value to their people and the NBL operation.”

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