Reduction of Energy Consumption in Brewing Hop Drying Using Smart Manufacturing​

Project Lead: Oregon State University​
Partners: Ectron Corporation

Member % Cost Share: 50%
CESMII % Cost Share: 50%
Duration: 6 Months

Problem Statement

Hop drying is a significant consumer of energy and a production bottleneck ins the ~$640 million/year hop growing industry. Dynamic drying protocols can increase product quality, save energy, and improve throughput, but require implementation of smart manufacturing principles 

Project Goal

Identify the energy saving potential of dynamic drying protocols driven by real time process parameter measurements, that also maintain product quality. 

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Technical Approach

  • Develop and use process models of typical kilns to identify drying protocols that can reduce energy consumption and increase productivity
  • Instrument manufacturing process and measure energy consumption for baseline and proposed kilning process at different grower sites
  • Quantify energy and economic savings for growers  and publish recommendations

Key Tasks & Milestones

  • Process Model Development and Validation
  • Process Instrumentation, Monitoring and Experiments
  • Data Analysis, Algorithm Development and Dissemination 

Potential Impact

  • Increase in Energy Efficiency
  • Increase in Production Efficiency
  • Broad Agricultural Sector Impact


  • SM profile of generic agricultural product drying
  • Ectron SmartEYE allow easy data transfer to SIMP
  • Baseline data will enable edge and cloud app for future SIMP and SM Marketplace deployment
  • Potential for new CESMII membership in agricultural, food and beverage vertical

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