Beer + Robots = Happy Humans

When it comes to beer, ABB robots are helping to keep the bottles and kegs flowing at breweries around the world.

In a great many of the world’s cultures, beer is a revered thing—and has been for thousands of years. Certainly it has its share of negative consequences if you drink too much, but it could be argued (and likely would be by many of us who partake in the occasional bout of social lubrication) that beer is one of the things that makes making friends easier. And if some studies are to be believed, it’s this ability to expand social support networks that helps people live longer, fuller and healthier lives.

First Act: The Greeks

Apparently, this ability to extend lives isn’t just restricted to humans. At the Athenian Brewery—not surprisingly located in Athens, Greece—six ABB robots that were given a chance at a second life have been installed to help with the packing and unpacking of beer bottles. Indeed, without the brewery, these old robots wouldn’t have been refurbished to see another day. After 10 years of working continuously on the line without any breaks or rests, the Athenian Brewery’s previous robots had had enough back-breaking labor and needed to be changed out.

“There were two possibilities,” says Mr Eleftherios Agrafiotis, Athenian Brewery’s Head of Maintenance. “The first option was to buy new robots, and the second was to go for refurbished ones. The cost was not comparable—and one-and-a-half years later, I can say that the refurbished ones were the best solution as they’ve been running without any problems.”

Given how tight the lines were, Agrafiotos had his doubts about whether the previous robots could be changed out for the refurbished robots in a short time so as not to disturb production.

“There is no access to the position of the robots,” says Agrafiotis, “Plus we had one more restriction: time. We had less than 10 days to replace the robots, and for me it was a miracle that we managed to change them in time. So I would like to thank ABB, because I didn’t believe it was possible, and I was wrong!”

To read the entirety of this happy beer story, click on over to the original article and watch the movie below.

Second Act: The Germans

Shifting gears to the the Black Forest of Germany, we find that longevity is also key to a happy beer story—but in this case it’s the robots that allow the 221-year-old Rothaus Brewery to continue pumping out its fine brews that have a cult following. In the heart of this brewery, four ABB robots take the hard work of lifting kegs and palletizing beer bottles.

Given that this hard, repetitive heavy lifting work used to be done by humans at Rothaus, perhaps you can think of the robots as extending the workers’ lives as well by taking them out of harm’s way.

You can read the full story on Rothaus and its robots here.

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About the author

Prabhu Ram

Worked as a technology journalist for 2 years before joining ABB Robotics in 2010 in the capacity of Marketing Communication Executive. My activities includes email marketing, website content maintenance, and executing various social media promotions/campaigns for generation of leads. Expert level skills in Google AdWords and Google Analytics.
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