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Students help Foster’s become even more environmentally efficient



Foster's brewery at Yatala has always had both environmental sustainability and efficiency within their sights. Foster’s recent selection of two CEED students to evaluate key areas of their manufacturing process aims to extend their work in these important areas.

Fosters Australia.Daniel Truong.2012 
 Daniel Truong (CEED student) on-site at Foster's
 brewery, Yatala

Daniel Truong, a UQ (the University of Queensland) student in his final year of Electrical Engineering, took on the challenging task of achieving better integration of a complex manufacturing monitoring system at Foster's Brewery. His final year thesis project aims to maximise the business impact of this advanced monitoring system, which is designed for the cleaning operations of the brewery. Daniel’s project objective is to minimise the energy, chemical and water consumption used in cleaning processes, while maintaining quality standards.

Meanwhile, Lakshitha “Lucky” Ariyasena, a final year Mechanical Engineering student at QUT (Queensland University of Technology), has noted the water intensive nature of the brewing industry and is making achievable recommendations for water-saving techniques.

Foster’s is a company which actively considers the environment a priority and so they recruited the two final year Engineering students via CEED with these projects in mind.

Daniel is finding the environmental sustainability dimensions to the work rewarding. In addition, he has been learning the time management, practical knowledge and communication required in workplaces, as well as using tools such as risk assessment, workflow management and problem resolution. The project topic also closely matches his interests in the broad field of engineering.

Daniel will investigate ways to fine-tune the work environment and cleaning processes so that workers in the brewery are able to work efficiently and autonomously.  Fosters’ are expecting the outcomes of Daniel’s project will provide them with a more detailed insight into the performance of their cleaning systems.

Daniel’s previous enthusiasm for circuit design and hardware competence coupled with his theoretical studies enabled him to correctly examine the current system and recommend necessary changes. The final result will be a system which increases the suitability of workflow, and reduces the cost and environmental impact. It also adds quality control by minimising any inefficiency related to detergent and water consumption.

A risk assessment was used to trial the likelihood of human error margins when adding a feedback loop that incorporated human workflow to the system. The advantages of adding a human feedback loop to the advanced Clean-in-Process (CIP) monitoring system was summarised by Daniel as ‘reducing working time, reducing waste and maintaining standards of quality’.

Lucky’s CEED project involves developing and applying a framework which will identify opportunities to reduce the Advanced Service Water (ASW) consumption at the Yatala Brewery, and formulate a list of recommended actions for the brewery to undertake.

In addition, Lucky will work to achieve these secondary objectives:


  • Develop detailed mass balance models for service water.
  • Validate the mass balance models using site data.
  • Design work for identified opportunities (high-level approximation)
  • Work with the site Engineering team to integrate the models into the site information systems.


 Foster's Australia.Lakshitha Ariyasena.2012
 CEED student, Lakshitha (Lucky) Ariyasena, on-site

The increasing cost of water consumption to both the company and the environment are becoming a concern in water intensive industries such as brewing. Lucky will provide the business with both a strategy and three year payback plan, applying frameworks learnt in his Mechanical Engineering studies.

As a final year Uni student, making implementable recommendations for a large brewery like Foster’s is no easy task. Foster’s represents brands such as Carlton, VB, and Crown Lager. Not only is cost efficiency and sustainability important, but so is the maintenance and control of a high quality product. Lucky’s future action plan will be implemented with this in mind. He will develop this framework based on existing literature, and will ensure that it supports the Brewery’s ASW requirements for quality control.

Lucky has found the biggest hurdles in his project have been his presentation and writing skills. With the help of his academic, company and CEED supervisors, he has worked hard to improve his writing skills – which he knows will be essential to his future employability. Lucky said that, “thermodynamics and fluid dynamics course work had been useful for the progression of this project”. It was putting these skills into practice that he found most challenging and rewarding in his experience: “I have learnt a lot of sustainable industry practices”, Lucky reflected.

Further, Lucky adds the project has laid a strong foundation for his professional career, and he would recommend the experience to future students.  “I’m learning skills which are transferable to any workplace, with companies in the global marketplace increasingly being concerned with environmental sustainability”, Lucky said.

Both Daniel and Lucky commenced their CEED projects at Foster’s Australia over summer vacation and are due to deliver their project results and reports at the end of 1st semester 2012 (June).


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