Few would know just how important a contributor Scotch whisky is to our national prosperity, contributing some £5.5bn to our economy every year. More than 10,000 people are directly employed in the Scotch whisky industry in Scotland and it supports over 40,000 jobs across the UK. The AFRC, with partners including Siemens, Kigtek and Diageo, is bringing digital innovation to an industry steeped in tradition, with a project that could save it millions of pounds each year in inventory costs.
To be called Scotch whisky, the spirit must mature in oak casks in Scotland for at least three years. Current processes used to fill the casks mean that whisky producers face millions of pounds in inventory waste each year. The Innovate UK-funded project tackled this problem by designing a precision filling system, complete with live data shown in a digital twin of the environment. Using this system, operators can achieve extreme accuracy, filling a 200-litre cask in under a minute and minimising waste.