Rittal is helping to brew something special

Belgian brewery Alken-Maes, known for its Affligem brand, has invested in a new data centre at its Opwijk site, having opted for a Rittal IT solution with an integrated climate control solution. The advantages for this long-standing brewing company: the technology saves space and ensures energy efficiency.

Belgium is famous as the birthplace of “French” fries and many excellent beers. The Alken-Maes brewery, which has been part of the Heineken Group since 2008, brews such internationally respected brands as Affligem, Desperado and Grimbergen. They know that time does not stand still and have invested in a new data centre at their Opwijk location. Their biggest challenge was the limited space in their historic building. The location had not housed a data centre before, so it was possible to think independently of the space involved. The solution was developed together with Simac ICT Belgium and Rittal Belgium.

I’m delighted with the approach to this project. Our partners Simac ICT Belgium and Rittal Belgium took good care of us throughout the project, from planning to implementation.
Mark Hens, ICT Operations Manager at Alken-Maes

A space-saving solution

A VX IT rack with an integrated liquid cooling unit (LCU), and a cooling output of 3 kW is used. Supplied in 3-kW and 6.5-kW output classes, this refrigerant-based rack cooling system is ideal for small IT applications. The solution’s key feature: it cools directly wherever the heat is generated. Direct connection to the rack permits efficient and cost-effective cooling, helping reduce carbon footprint. Another benefit for Alken-Maes was the combination of rack and LCU. This means that little space was needed in the server room. Thanks to the enclosure’s small size, the system can be used just about anywhere; it is 1,800 mm in height, has a depth of 1,000 mm and is 800 mm wide.

Safety has also been thought through

The rack system also houses the DET-AC III fire alarm and extinguishing system. This compact system with its smoke extraction system only takes up 1 U in the rack. The environmentally NOVEC™ 1230 extinguisher medium is used in the event of a fire. Moreover, the CMC III monitoring system checks external access and the rack’s humidity and temperature.


Mecheln, Belgium

Need for IT infrastructure

Only limited space in historic building



Rittal VX IT rack with Liquid Cooling Unit (3 kW)

Cooling directly where cooling is needed

Direct connection to the rack permits efficient and cost-effective cooling

Small size of rack allows usage near