The local distillery boom: Leveraging automation technology for quality control


Much like current trends in the craft brewing space, Australian spirits manufacturing is experiencing an uptick grounded largely in boutique-scale operations. Since 2014, the industry’s footprint has grown from just 28 distilleries to now over 350, with more than 60 per cent of these based in rural and regional areas.

According to a recent insight from Deloitte, this can be attributed to increasing consumer interest in the traceability of alcoholic products, with locally sourced, high quality ingredients as a primary draw card. Focus has now shifted on future-proofing this domestic market, including the sustained abundance of small-batch offerings.

The driving force behind this will be the close monitoring of primary inputs, and uptake of innovative technologies throughout the distilling process. As an expert in advanced automation, Siemens is striving to provide world-class technology products to distilling operations of all sizes. For Australian businesses catering to specialised consumer palettes, this ensures the ability to upscale over time without compromising on signature flavours.

As part of their 150-year celebration in Australia, Siemens is showcasing their work across various industries, leading local showcases such as Archie Rose Distilling Co in Sydney, through the Beyond 150 Competition series. New prize packages are being announced every month, taking winners across the country to witness applications of ground-breaking technology in action. The July competition is now open for entries, featuring a collection of thrilling Sydney experiences including five-star accommodation in Circular Quay, a Harbour Bridge climb, Maserati transportation and a tour at the Archie Rose Distilling Co.

As one of Sydney’s first independent distilleries since 1853, Archie Rose Distilling Co. is striving to re-define Australia’s rich tradition of spirits production. They are the recipient of several local and global accolades, and have recently opened the doors to a new state-of-the-art site in Banksmeadow. This extension of their facilities has been designed as one of the most innovated distilleries in the world, with Siemens technology at the helm of their digitalised infrastructure.

Introducing automation to the distilling process has significant and tangible benefits, as it allows for timely, cost-efficient management of quality control. When it comes to small batch or craft distilleries, the utilisation of data to unlock the full potential of key equipment leans on scalable, tailored solutions.

With a comprehensive portfolio of automation and data analysis products, Siemens has a wealth of experience supporting the beverage manufacturing sector across beer, wine, and spirits. At Archie Rose, they are facilitating the automation for precise control of the distillation process and recipe management. Further, their instrumentation helps to control flow rates and visualisation of real-time processes, from the production floor through to batch tracking.

On a distillery site, there is a constant flood of information that can be captured and harnessed for an informed management approach. Consistency is king when it comes to beverage manufacturing, and total variable control becomes a reality with the installation of Siemens’ SIMATIC controllers, SINAMICS Modular Drives, and SCALANCE communications network.

While the artisanal sentiment of Australia’s spirits portfolio may seem synonymous with hand-crafting and manual labour, digitalisation has been proven to compliment the speciality approach through the mitigation of key risks. Investing in this scalable technology from the outset will benefit a small to medium-scale project as they expand, providing the capability to add modules and extensions of that system as required.

To enter this prize draw of the Beyond 150 Competition, visit the registration page before 31 July 2022.


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