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Timothy Taylor’s: REVISITED

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Back in August 2014, Byworth Boilers installed a 10,000kg/hr Yorkshireman 2 boiler to complete Timothy Taylor’s £12 million investment.  Commenting at the time, Andrew Leman, Timothy Taylor’s Head Brewer said:

“Our existing boiler is now 16 years old and in today’s terms is no longer cost efficient to run. It is also only just keeping up with peak demand and with call for our beers continuing to grow at a pace, the need for a larger more efficient boiler became pressing.”

He added

“Not only will we be able to make considerable savings on fuel but less carbon dioxide will be released into the environment. The existing boiler will be kept on standby to cover during servicing and maintenance.”

Now we return to Timothy Taylor’s to get the low-down from Andrew Leman on the savings they’ve made so far:

What’s the boiler’s role in the production process?

“It supplies all the steam for the brewery and steam provides all our needs for heating up anything in the brewery.

“The entire brewing process involves heat a lot of the time with the big use being boiling the full volume of beer with the hops (to flavour the beer). We heat up the water and caustic tanks to the correct temperatures for the process and we also  heat up the water to clean the barrels out when they come back from the pubs – That is all done by steam. Finally, live steam is used to sterilise the barrels at the last point.”

So if you didn’t have a steam boiler, how difficult would it be to deliver the same outcome?

“These days, there are various new systems for heating things up, oil systems, for example, are used for heating water up or even for the big boil for the hops, which are useful for people who don’t already have a steam system, like smaller breweries. But for us, having got the steam system, we use it as much as we can.

“We have 50 or more uses of steam around the brewery because there’s lots of little tanks and equipment that need heating up for cleaning  etc. and to put a little system in for each of those would be extraordinarily expensive. When you get a multifaceted system of steam that heats various needs, then steam is definitely the best way forward.”

How does the boiler’s performance impact on the final product?

“It’s vital. If we lose steam altogether at the wrong time of the brewing process, the beer would have to go down the drain. It’s absolutely critical.”

Have you seen any cost and energy savings?

“We’ve seen significant energy savings since the new boiler and we think it’s about 13% less gas to brew the same amount of beer (which subsequently reduces the company’s carbon footprint.) The issue is, as a business you can invest in capital expenditure and get tax breaks but your running costs are something that you do need to keep control of all the time, so to have them reduced by 13% – that’s a big saving.”

Did you have problems with the old boiler?

“We were having intermittent problems with the old boiler and parts for it were quite difficult to get. It’s the same with any old equipment – as things get older more things go wrong more often.

“If we hadn’t had got the new boiler, we’d have been in trouble in recent weeks as we couldn’t get any water into the old boiler, so we would have had to stop production. We’ve kept it as a backup which is good because when we had the annual service on the new boiler, in the past we would have to shut down for 2 or 3 days, well we didn’t have to do that this time because we just fired up the old boiler.”

Andrew Leman on-site with Timothy Taylor's new boiler
Andrew Leman on-site with Timothy Taylor’s new boiler

Unity – the ‘all-encompassing’ boiler-house control

Taylor’s have joined a growing number of companies opting for Byworth’s unique Unity system; an intelligent, feed-forward control system for their boiler. The staff at Taylor’s now have the same level of visibility of Key Performance Indicators, trend data, and of control within the boiler house that they have enjoyed for a number  of years in the rest of the process plant.

The Unity system developed by Byworth replaces the limited functionality of traditional, discrete controls found in most boiler houses with a familiar, user-friendly experience and an unprecedented depth of information.

How do  you monitor the boiler’s performance?

“Unity is connected directly to our company network. So if I go on to my computer upstairs to log on and get the boiler information up on the screen, it comes up instantly.”

Do you think Unity has made your process any more efficient?

“It’s made it more efficient for the gas usage.

“The Unity system gives us much more information about how the boiler’s running.

“The ability to look at it remotely means we don’t have to travel down to the boiler-house, so that saves me time in the morning because if I’m busy  first thing in the morning, rather than having to actually go down to the boiler-house I can go on my laptop and make sure everything is OK. Overall, it has improved management, time saving and management information.”

How can you see Unity benefiting Timothy Taylor’s in the future?

“I can see possibilities where it may prevent unplanned boiler downtime in the future but nothing’s happened yet. I can definitely see that being a benefit

“Because Unity gives you all the information, for example, how much gas and pressure is going into the boiler- if that drops  you could come to the conclusion that something’s not right with the system, perhaps the gas booster   pushing gas into the boilers isn’t working correctly. I can see how that would help.”

Is there anything beyond your expectations that Unity and the boiler have accomplished?

“The difference between Unity and the other systems is that it’s all-encompassing.

“There are control systems for the burner but not for your hotwell tank, your steam usage, your gas usage, etc.; and I think probably the thing that’s mostly been above expectations is how quickly you can get the information and how quickly you get used to the system. I’m a bit of a dinosaur as far as computers and control go, but even for me it’s well set out and easy to navigate from screen to screen to find out different information in the boiler house –  the trending and all the rest is straightforward.”

Are there any comparable differences to when you didn’t have a Unity system?

“Steam usage is part of the information Unity gives you, we are shown on the screen how much steam is being used at any one time which is great. It’s very useful because quite quickly you start to see which are your main steam usages including times of day and tasks, for example, boiling up the beer – that uses a massive amount of steam, boiling up well water – that’s the second-highest usage; we always expected this was the case but Unity has clarified it with actual figures.

“Then you can think, well if the idea is we want to run the boiler at optimum efficiency throughout the day, rather than having big peaks and troughs (which is what it usually tends to be), you can help control that with Unity so that is very useful.”

Jason Atkinson, developer of Unity, controlling the system on Taylor's boiler
Jason Atkinson, developer of Unity, controlling the system on Taylor’s boiler

Timothy Taylor has 150 years of brewing experience and 7 award-winning beers. Byworth are proud to be part of the process and we look forward to continuing our long established relationship with them.

Find out more about their championship beer here.