When David Shaw finished his Bachelor of Arts at York University, he had his sights set on a career that would keep him in touch with the best elements of the past, while exploring the exciting and unknown.
“I wanted to work in an environment that combined the complexity and traditions of brewing and the latest techniques of packaging,” he explains.
Today, David is a Supervisor of the Toronto Can Line with Molson Coors, in charge of making sure that beer is canned and packaged properly for distribution.
On the job with David
David says that working with Molson Coors lets him get his hands on the latest equipment to do highly efficient work.
“I have daily interaction with state of the art packaging machinery, controls and processes,” he says.
It’s thrilling work, as he’s using some of the most sophisticated equipment out there. “Our can filler/seamer uses programmable logic controls and variable frequency drives all the while collecting data to ensure quality and reliability of the product,” he explains.
This complex equipment makes production faster than the eye can follow, producing 1600 cans of beer a minute!
“The speed and complexity of the equipment is incredible,” David says. “You can barely focus on the cans as they exit the seamer, they are going so fast.”
Technology new and old
While he uses high-tech equipment on a daily basis, David has also learned more about older methods of getting the job done.
“Although we do have state of the art machines, we also use several older ‘tried-and-true’ methods and these machines occasionally require troubleshooting,” he explains. “This teaches you how to think critically about processes and find the root cause of problems affecting production and quality.”
This challenge provides some of the most valuable learning opportunities in David’s role. “I have taken many machine specific courses as well as hands-on learning from the mechanics, electricians and controls engineers on-site,” he says.
He’s also learned a lot about beer! “The science of brewing is fascinating,” explains David. “Learning about how beer is brewed and all of the ingredients and processes that it takes to brew a great beer is amazing.”
Brewing up advice
With a sense of the past, present and future of his technology role at Molson Coors, David advises students and recent grads interested in a role in technology to do their research.
“Many companies have the best intentions to be state of the art and strive for new and innovative ways of getting things done,” he says.
“Look for a company that backs up their technological mission statement with demonstrated innovative ideas and financial commitment to improving their product.”
It’s that balance between future exploration and current potential that has made a career at Molson Coors the right place for him.
“Molson has the motivation and the resources to stay on the cutting edge of the brewing business,” David explains. “As new and more technologically advanced methods become available, Molson Coors will endeavor to lead the way in introducing these methods into the processes.”