Prost! ABB keeps Oktoberfest beer flowing

2014-11-06 - When Munich's latest Oktoberfest ended last month, 6 million visitors had downed 7 million liters of beer, about 2 million gallons. They devoured mountains of bratwursts, piles of pretzels and a half a million roasted chickens. Dishwashers, made for the giant beer party and outfitted with ABB components, helped clean it all up.

With 6 million visitors, 7 million liters of beer and mountains of plates, ABB low-voltage components help make sure Oktoberfest's dishwashers can keep up with the pace of revelers.
Those working the famed beer tents and concessions during the 16-day, 204-year-old folk festival in southern Germany face a challenge beyond serving hungry and thirsty guests. They must wash and sanitize an avalanche of beer steins, cutlery and plates quickly and efficiently, to be deployed again for the next table of eager revelers.

ABB's components play a critical behind-the-scenes role in keeping the event running smoothly by ensuring that commercial dishwashers from German manufacturer Winterhalter AG can keep pace with the demand.

For decades, innkeepers the world over have relied on dishwashing systems by Winterhalter, with locations in 27 countries.

Cool glasses for refreshing beer

Winterhalter developed the STF Bavaria to handle a large number of beer mugs, as quickly as possible. A single STF Bavaria can handle up to 2,800 mugs an hour and includes a special feature allowing glasses to be rinsed cold.

Why is that important? They're immediately available, to be re-filled.

This ensures the deluge of lederhosen-clad men (female visitors and servers often wear "dirndles," the traditional Bavarian dress) are treated to a cold beer whose frothy foam crown remains remarkably stable. That's prized by guests who fork over around 10 euros, about $13, for each stein of beer brewed just for this occasion.

Why Oktoberfest needs reliable products

Here's a little-known Oktoberfest fact: Many of its food and beverage service operators including inside the massive tents that feature the beer of Munich's centuries-old breweries use Winterhalter's STF Bavaria, developed specifically to meet the rigorous demands of this Bavarian beer fest.

Winterhalter's cleaning system owes much of its reliability and efficiency to ABB products such as miniature circuit breakers inside, including the System pro M compact S200, the B7 mini-contactor and the AF16 contactor.

With ABB's low voltage components, the commercial dishwashing machines are protected from malfunctions and serious damage that could put them - and the mug supply - out of commission.

Winterhalter's STF Bavaria, built to handle the rigors of the world's biggest beerfest
Reliability is key at Oktoberfest, which got its start as a celebration of a royal Bavarian wedding in 1810 and which Munich's residents concluded was such a great idea they've kept it going nearly every year since.

Today, the larger tents now deploy up to six devices to keep dishes and beer steins moving along a conveyer belt, going from dirty to clean in seconds.

No bottlenecks

Winterhalter's machines must operate reliably to deliver sanitary, clean dishes without creating a bottleneck that could interrupt the flow of lager and food. That’s why the company, based on the northeastern shore of southern Germany's Lake Constance, has relied on ABB Low Voltage components for its dish washing systems for more than 40 years.

“The ABB components are a great fit for our complete package of dish washing systems. If you want to produce high quality, you have to, of course, use high quality products,” says Stephan Wild, manager of the development and production department at Winterhalter.

ABB miniature circuit breakers help protect Winterhalter's dishwashers
ABB’s miniature circuit breaker, System pro M compact S200, protects the equipment from overloads and short-circuits. This ensures the reliable and continuous operation of equipment at big events like Oktoberfest.

Meanwhile, dimensions and specifications of the B7 mini contactor inside the system offer Winterhalter maximum flexibility in the design of its dishwashing systems. This ABB device is suitable for applications that demand reliability. And with an operating power rating of AC-3 7.5 kW at 400 volts, the B7 combines performance with compact design and enables space-saving installations.

80 percent lower energy use

The AF16 contactor also features a compact design with an operating power range that ensures reliable operation of equipment - even in unstable networks or where voltage spikes are a threat. Just how reliable are they? These devices have also been deployed in big industrial operations like in shipboard cranes, to keep them functioning when conventional contactors aren't up to the job.

Winterhalter’s own unique needs include switching electrical heating elements on during the drying process.

Amid the Bacchanalian atmosphere that predominates at Oktoberfest, ABB's contactors help trim some excess: The electronically controlled coil of the AF contactor range uses 80 percent less energy than conventional coils.

Thanks to ABB components, servers don't have to wait too long for clean steins destined for thirsty Oktoberfest fans.

This makes ABB components ideal for Winterhalter’s aim of helping its customers cut their energy consumption.

24-hour service

Amid the frenetic bustle of Oktoberfest, Winterhalter offers its customers first-class service. Two service technicians are available 24-hours a day, ready to react within a half-hour of getting a call.

Winterhalter expects the same kind of treatment from its suppliers and says ABB has met this requirement for decades, helping cement their business relationship.

"ABB will respond to all our questions quickly and competently," Wild said.

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