Sierra Nevada Brewery saves one million gallons of water with System Plast Dry Running Conveyor System
By Canadian Packaging staffAutomation Conveying Regal-Beloit Corporation Sierra Nevada Brewing Company System Plast NG Evo U.S. Zero Waste Business Council United States Food & Drug Administration USFDA
Brewery meets productivity and sustainability goals thanks to Regal Beloit Corporation’s NG Evo technology.
BELOIT, Wis.—Regal Beloit Corporation, a leading manufacturer of electric motors, electrical motion controls, power generation and power transmission components, says the installation of a dry running conveyor system made with the company’s System Plast NG Evo technology will help Sierra Nevada Brewing Company save 750,000 gallons of water annually on its keg line.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, located in Chico, Calif., retrofitted their keg line 16 months ago and has already saved approximately one million gallons of water through the use of the System Plast NG Evo dry-running technology, which runs without lubrication or water.
“We already picked a lot of the low-hanging fruit when it comes to sustainability. But, we were able to achieve both productivity requirements and support California’s need to reduce water usage on the keg line with the System Plast dry running conveyor technology,” says Sierra Nevada project manager Pat Young. “It was something no one had done before.”
Sierra Nevada Brewery plant manager Stephen Russell adds: “The line runs without the use of water, soap or dry lubricants, which has also helped to reduce component maintenance. We quickly completed the retrofit and started saving with the help of the System Plast team.”
The Sierra Nevada Brewery has been recognized on local, state and national levels for its commitment to reducing its environmental impact, and the Chico, California brewery was certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council as a zero-waste facility in 2013.
“Our technology allows our customers to meet sustainability and water conservation goals while also helping to reduce energy and water reclamation and treatment costs,” says Regal Beloit Corporation material handling director Tom Eure. “Considering Sierra Nevada’s commitment to sustainability in every aspect of their operations, this was the ideal solution to help them achieve their production and water savings goals.”
The System Plast NG Evo conveyor chain is an advanced, low-friction, USFDA (United States Food & Drug Administration)-approved material designed for running conveyors dry in food and beverage applications.
Its unique thermoplastic design can help eliminate or greatly reduce wasteful water-and-soap lubrication; slip hazards; and premature failure of bearings, gearboxes and other conveyor components typically seen in washdown conveyors.
The conveyor chain accomplishes this all while helping users meet their productivity goals.
“Water reduction is quickly becoming ubiquitous in the beverage and brewing industry, and we have been working over the past 30 years to steadily reduce our water consumption,” relates Russell. “In light of California’s water concerns, it became even more important that we evaluate any and all means of reducing water consumption.”
Regal’s team worked with Sierra Nevada from design through installation, and remained on-site during startup to ensure the keg line ran smoothly. A dry running keg line also helped reduce maintenance, because water and soap corrode components such as bearings and gearboxes.
“The team was also able to reduce the clean-in-place frequency, saving water as well as time,” says Young. “Considering all the different areas where we’ve reduced water usage, running a dry keg line translated into approximately 750,000 gallons of water saved annually. The System Plast solution helped turn my dream of a lube-less conveyor system to reduce water usage a reality.”
Despite the drought state of emergency being lifted in April, California Governor Jerry Brown is still encouraging residents and businesses to continue their efforts to conserve water. According to his office, the drought that spanned the years 2012 through 2016 included the driest four-year statewide precipitation on record.
A video highlighting this project can be viewed below:
About Regal Beloit Corporation
Regal Beloit Corporation is a leading manufacturer of electric motors, electrical motion controls, power generation and power transmission products serving markets throughout the world. The company is comprised of three business segments: Commercial and Industrial Systems, Climate Solutions and Power Transmission Solutions. Regal is headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, and has manufacturing, sales and service facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia. To learn more about System Plast NG Evo technology and Regal Beloit, visit www.regalbeloit.com.
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