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TLV’s 'tribute to new bottling line'

26 August 2010

As well as providing initial system design and layout advice, Cheltenham-based steam specialist TLV Euro Engineering has supplied several other pieces of equipment

These include pressure reducing valves, steam traps and ancillaries for a new £750,000 automated bottling line for Cornwall’s biggest brewer, St Austell Brewery.

The new bottling line, which represents one of the most significant milestones in the brewery’s 158 year history, has a capacity of 100,000 bottles per week of award-winning ales such as Tribute, Admiral, Proper Job IPA, HSD and Clouded Yellow, as well as Marks and Spencer’s Cornish IPA.

When St Austell Brewery acquired an adjoining building and began work on the bottling line, the original steam system had to be extended into the new facility. While steam pressure for the brewing process had to remain at original levels, for the new bottling line to work efficiently the brewery needed to ensure that sufficient steam traps and pressure reducing valves were installed in the extended system.

This pressure-reduced steam is used to heat the CIP tanks containing hot caustic solutions and rinse water at approximately 80°C, which is pumped through the pipes, tanks and filling machine at the end of each bottle filling run.

Says St Austell’s chief engineer Clive Nichols: “I had no hesitation in contacting TLV early when we were designing the new bottling line, as their support is first class. They always look for the best solution for us, and will advise on third-party equipment it they don’t manufacture a suitable product themselves.” He adds that TLV has worked closely with St Austell Brewery for many years and its sales engineers, as well as being experienced technically, know the steam system very well.

St Austell Brewery is now producing 50,000 barrels a year, up from 15,000 in 1999, and is expecting to reach 75,000 barrels within the next five years. Of the brewery’s total annual output, approximately 10% is expected to be bottled in the new line.
The line also has significant environmental benefits for Cornwall as it has reduced the ‘carbon miles’ of St Austell’s bottled beers by bringing bottling in-house from third-party plants near Manchester, and it has the capacity to provide a bottling facility for other local drinks producers who currently have to send products out of the South West.

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