Greetings, brewery friends! It’s the Ska Fabricating team again – and we are writing today because we heard you have BIG plans – but you’re feeling a little stuck because your brewery footprint is, well, small. Like the poet Emily Dickinson, we here at Ska Fab “dwell in possibility;” and where others might see an impasse, we see potential! We know that for the brewer limited by space, those feelings of being restricted by footprint are very real ones – reinforced by actual, physical walls. There are a number of ways to approach such a scenario, ones that our expert engineers here at Ska Fabricating have seen countless numbers of times.
Need to have a space that is multi-use and efficient for a variety of needs? Portability might be the ticket for your team. In being portable, machinery has also got to be adaptable to the space available. As an example, Ska Fab’s Nimbus and Microbus depalletizers are portable with a pallet jack and store-able when you are done with your canning so that your floor can be cleared for the other purposes it serves, and can be reconfigured easily if you need to change your footprint.
Youmight not immediately consider a retrofit in a conversation about space efficiency, but we think it can be one of the most immediate examples of instant gratification in this regard that a brewery can take on. For example, the owner of a Ska Fab Can-I-Bus might need to increase production but is limited in line space. They might consider adding an S-Grip lowerator with a conveyor to the front of their machine in order to maximize both efficiency and minimize further additions to the existing floor plan. This addition can significantly reduce a brewery’s changeover time. Other retrofits are possible in a line, such as installing an orbital discharge table to provide additional accumulation prior to filling, or attaching a Vertical Height Sensor (VHS) to making the changeover process run even more smoothly, which can also add to overall line efficiency.
For any brewery, adaptability is essential. Working with a skilled team of engineers for the full planning process of your project and maintaining that flexible and adaptable mindset throughout the process is another facet of this which we think is important to add. You might have a set picture in mind of how you want the flow of your space to work, but the collaborative process is a really energizing and exciting time for your team. Thinking about your goals for your company and vocalizing your dreams is both challenging and invigorating – finding a team that has your back and echoes your hopes, builds off of your best-laid-plans and can find new and exciting ways to maximize your return on investment (ROI) is everything.
Flexibility is also important to have within the brewery plans themselves. If the demand for taproom pours slows down, having a canning line to bring out of storage to get your product packaged and distributed is key to keeping income steady and making sure your beer doesn’t go bad waiting to be served. Beyond expanding your distribution placement opportunities, having the capacity to handle multiple can sizes is another way to keep yourself flexible. Offering special sizes for limited releases is a big competitive advantage, and having the ability to shuffle between sizes makes it much easier to adapt to fluctuating can supplies.
Space limits are real considerations for brewers, but they don’t mean that your efficiency needs to be limited. Need a good sounding board? Our team is all about it – drop us a line and let us hear what you are up to!