Integrator ensures cost-effective hygienic solutions using Alfa Laval equipment

As subsidiary of the one of the largest breweries in the world, Carlsberg Sverige AB teams up with integrator Falkenbergs Rör to optimize the performance of its plant using Alfa Laval equipment.

DATE 2023-11-28

Sweden’s largest brewery Carlsberg Sverige AB is redefining mutually beneficial business relationships. Falkenbergs Rör (Falkenberg Pipes Ltd) has been providing Carlsberg with Alfa Laval equipment for the past decade, first as a pipe and component installer and now as an integrator.

About 80% of all equipment installed in the Carlsberg plant is Alfa Laval equipment due to 30 years of collaboration with the equipment and solutions provider. With excellent support from both partners, Carlsberg is able to focus on its core business, boosting productivity and profitability while relying on Falkenbergs Rör to ensure high operating efficiency.

Easy to do business with

What started out as tightly knit threesome with Carlsberg as a common client of Alfa Laval as equipment provider and Falkenbergs Rör as system installer has evolved over the years, with Falkenbergs Rör gradually taking on the role of integrator.

 Falkenberg Rör’s Jesper Johansson, Carlsberg’s technical manager Thomas Hedman and Alfa Laval’s Gustav Ocsko in front of an Alfa Laval Unique mixproof valve matrix equipped with ThinkTop units. 

“From the basics of pipe and component installation and emergency services, we took over increasingly more responsibility as Carlsberg’s operations expanded,” says Jesper Johansson, department manager for industry, at Falkenbergs Rör. “Now we are responsible for the cost-effective supply and maintenance of Carlsberg’s process installations.”

“Ours is a very unique business relationship. It is easy to do business with a partner who knows the plant so well,” says Thomas Hedman, technical manager at Carlsberg. “With the pressures on uptime and profitability, it is a relief to know that we can count on fast turnaround for Alfa Laval equipment and same day installation, if required.”

 It is a relief to know that we can count on fast turnaround for Alfa Laval equipment and same day installation, if required.”

Safe and hygienic uptime

The plant runs three eight-hour continuous batch shifts, producing 170 million litres of beer and 110 million litres of water, soft drinks and cider each year. Because Alfa Laval is a preferred supplier, Alfa Laval LKH pumps, Alfa Laval unique mixproof valves, Alfa Laval ThinkTop valve sensing and control units and tank cleaning machines are mainstays throughout Carlsberg production lines and contribute by getting the most out of the raw materials.

“Hygiene, reliability and low maintenance are ‘musts’,” says Hedman emphatically. “We trust Alfa Laval equipment for all three and know from experience that we can increase equipment service intervals beyond the recommended intervals but still maintain high equipment availability and keep costs low.”

Integrator Falkenbergs Rör also contributes to increasing uptime by ensuring stable plant operations. While Carlsberg keeps a small onsite inventory of essential spare parts, the plant also has easy access to a broad selection of genuine spare parts.

“If it’s not on our shelves or at Falkenbergs Rör, whatever we need is never far away at Alfa Laval Kolding, Denmark.”

In addition, Falkenbergs Rör employees contribute to uptime in an unusual way. “Sometimes when staff calls in sick, the guys at Falkenbergs Rör step in to help out,” admits Hedman with a chuckle. “They know the production lines just as well if not better than our own guys.”

Greater energy savings

Over the years, Carlsberg has worked closely with Falkenbergs Rör and Alfa Laval to reduce energy expenditures and streamline productivity. Long before the EU Energy Efficiency Directive was endorsed, Carlsberg had its eye on increasing plant-wide energy efficiency, reducing waste and emissions.  

“As a 2008 U.N. Global Compact signatory, the Carlsberg Group launched a company-wide energy efficiency programme, which among other things called for the use of low-energy motors in all new installations,” confides Hedman. “With energy consumption representing 95% of the total life-cycle costs for a pump, it was in our best interests to reduce pump energy consumption.”

A broad selection of Alfa Laval LKH centrifugal pumps, from LKH-5 to LKH-90, are installed at the Falkenberg plant and handle the various flow rates required depending on where they are located. These offer about 30% in energy savings compared to similar mid-range pumps. “Plus when the valve matrices are properly designed and installed, which they are, we don’t use more energy for the pumps than necessary,” adds Hedman.

Reduced environmental impact with Alfa Laval equipment

Beyond the production lines, Carlsberg is taking additional steps to reduce its overall environmental impact and energy consumption. For instance, if the need for increased production capacity arises, Hedman plans to introduce Alfa Laval Rotary Jet Mixers to the plant. These are currently in use at the Carlsberg Northampton plant in the U.K. and have boosted production capacity by 44% while minimizing energy consumption.

“When that time comes, we look forward to working out the details with Falkenbergs Rör to bring these Alfa Laval subsystems online at the plant and ensure a smooth transition to greater productivity,” says Hedman.