In Le Roeulx, Brasserie St-Feuillien has been brewing beer for 150 years. Until recently, this was done in the historic brewery in the town centre. However, there was no room there to bottle on premise and ensure continued growth. So bottling and filtering was done elsewhere. To gain full control over the beer production and further scale up its capacity to 120,000 hectolitres a year, the brewery decided to move to a new site outside the city centre. Lybover METAL came up with a convincing proposal for the mechanical installation works of the cold block. That was the start of one of our biggest piping projects to date.
A sophisticated design, precise execution according to strict requirements and perfect communication between all parties involved ensured that we delivered this project on time and flawlessly. And that despite the very tight schedule, as the brewery was not allowed to fall behind on deliveries due to the move.
Strict quality requirements
Brasserie St-Feuillien started looking for contractors for its new brewery. And therefore also a company that would take care of the mechanical installation works in the cold block. Several parties came up with a proposal based on the specifications, the Piping & Instrumentation Diagram (PID) and the 3D designs by iQ PROCESS. There were strict requirements in terms of materials, insulation and execution. After all, nothing can be left to chance in the food industry. A correct price on the accurately prepared quotation convinced St-Feuillien to choose Lybover.
“We worked for the brewery here, but iQ PROCESS managed everything. We sat together almost daily at some crucial moments. Since we had worked with them before, we know each other and complete each other’s expertise perfectly,” says Wout Decoutere, Sales Engineer Projects at Lybover METAL.
From tunnel to ceiling
“Timing was essential in this project. After all, Brasserie St-Feuillien had to be able to keep supplying beer. There was a five-week buffer in capacity, but if the deadline was not met, production would grind to a halt and, in time, so would sales,” Wout says.
This meant that our colleagues from Lybover METAL and INSTALLATION started their activities already during the structural works. The first task was to install piping in a 40-metre-long underground tunnel between the cold block and the bottling plant. “It involved beer piping, but also piping for CO2 , steam, condensate, compressed air, CIP and process water, among others,” Wout clarifies.
“During the structural phase, we also made a 3D scan of the building. That way, we could already start producing the piperacks, which we would attach at 7-8 metres above floor level.”
Kilometres of pipes
After the floor was finished with Ucrete (and given a protective coating for during the works), the instruments, tanks and pumps arrived on site. These included equipment from the old brewery as well as the new machines. Wout: “It was up to our colleagues from INSTALLATION, in collaboration with other suppliers and the brewery, to position and anchor all those parts in the right place. Where necessary, we built and placed skids for the appliances. We then connected all tanks, pumps and instruments with the necessary piping and fittings. We also provided a CIP (Clean In Place) station for cleaning the entire installation. In total, we installed some 5,000 metres of piping here. So this is one of the largest piping projects we have already carried out.”
Working together smoothly on a busy site
The time pressure meant there was constantly a lot of activity on site. “Sometimes there were 25 of us on site. At the same time, other suppliers were working on electricity, civil works, automation, utilities … In short: everything ran at the same time, which did not always make it easy to organise the work. Welding piping and working on cabling at the same time is just not so obvious. But thanks to the regular site meetings and the good relationship between all parties present and the St-Feuillien brewery, the work went very smoothly,” Wout confirms.
“That good relationship meant that other parties on site also called upon Lybover METAL. Alfa Laval, for example, supplied a centrifuge used to filter the beer. The company came to us for the necessary piping. We also installed a lifting jack to lift the lid of that centrifuge for maintenance work. We also provided a lifting jack for a brine tank. And Transpak asked for our help in the bottling plant.”
“We also sat together weekly with the project managers from St-Feuillien, iQ PROCESS and Inpren. These were always useful and productive meetings in which we discussed the progress of the works and any changes in planning.”
At Brasserie St-Feuillien, they also look back on this major project with satisfaction. “Thanks to the good cooperation between all parties involved, there was hardly any delay in delivery. That is exceptional for a project of this scale, but crucial for the brewery. This way, the project milestones were respected,” testifies Manu Gouwy, Project Manager Masterplan at Brasserie St-Feuillien SA.
Lybover METAL’s welders are proud of all the work they deliver. An independent inspection of the piping proved that they have good reason to be proud. Wout: “We carried out all the welding work according to the rules of good workmanship and the specifications. Brasserie St-Feuillien called in inspection organisation SGS for an endoscopy of the piping. Using a camera, they checked whether all seams were properly welded. This is essential to prevent contamination and bacterial growth. The inspection revealed no problems: we therefore succeeded in our mission.”
In time, Brasserie St-Feuillien plans to further expand its brewery with additional tanks. The necessary connections have already been provided. And Lybover is ready to take care of the piping again.