Atlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, recently partnered with Widmer Brothers Brewery, part of the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), to improve their bottling process and eliminate excess water consumption with the first- known waterless vacuum pump in the craft beer industry. Originally, the brewery used a liquid ring vacuum pump to bottle their beers but quickly realized the technology was consuming roughly 5,000 gallons of water per year. After consulting Atlas Copco, Widmer Brothers Brewery decided to upgrade their liquid ring pump to the GHS VSD+ rotary screw vacuum pump.
“Unlike the liquid ring pump, the GHS VSD+ uses a foam dampening water trap to capture water and foam during the bottling process,” said Greg Marciniak, business development manager for the Industrial Vacuum Division at Atlas Copco. “Without the risk of liquid and foam entering the system, Widmer Brothers Brewery has peace of mind that their system will stay up and running without excess liquid potentially flooding the production floor. It not only keeps the area safe, it also drives down product waste.”
With the GHS VSD+, Widmer Brothers Brewery saves ample time and energy in the bottling process. By replacing the liquid ring pump, they have now reduced their water consumption by 5,000 gallons each year, which saves $35,000 annually.
Although the equipment upgrade was originally driven by the desire to save water, Widmer Brothers Brewery has avoided wastewater and sewer impact and also saved on energy consumption. In switching to a variable speed drive rotary screw vacuum pump, the system now produces a deeper vacuum with half the horsepower, saving the brewery close to $4,000 in energy costs.
“Widmer Brothers Brewery has a long history of supporting clean water and investing in innovative ways to protect beer’s number one ingredient,” said Julia Person, sustainability manager with Widmer Brothers Brewery. “We’re excited to partner with Atlas Copco to pioneer the first waterless vacuum pump in the craft beer industry, and it’s been great seeing how this innovation will lead to new energy and water saving technologies to be shared with our peers.”