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Floki Whisky

Flóki Whisky – A perfect blend of craftsmanship and technology

Whisky distilleries are not only found in famous whisky countries such as Scotland and Ireland, but also in smaller whisky regions like Iceland, Here, the small distillery Eimverk has found a way to produce a unique single malt called Flóki, combining Icelandic ingredients and traditions with cutting-edge technology in a perfect blend (although it’s a single malt). An important ingredient in the hi-tech distillery is the remote management solution called eWON Netbiter.
Eimverk

Eimverk is Iceland’s first and only whisky distillery. Located just outside Reykjavík, the distillery produces the popular Flóki whisky which uses only Icelandic barley to give it a unique flavor.

Whisky-making is indeed a complicated process and it took four years and 163 trial distillations before the distillers at Eimverk were satisfied enough to start production in 2013.

Craftmanship and technology combined

But modern whisky-making is not only about good craftsmanship. You also need efficient processes and modern automation systems to make sure that quality is assured and that that resources are used effectively. To do this, Eimverk has trusted the Icelandic system integrator Samey to install a cutting-edge automation system that monitors, and to a certain extent, runs, the distillation process.

“Basically, we have designed a system that runs the distillation process according to a recipe, “ says Haraldur Thorkelsson, CEO at Eimverk Distillery.

“The recipe determines when temperatures should go up and down and when it is time to make so called ‘cuts’” (A cut is basically where you start and stop collecting your distillate). The employees at the distillery interact with the system when it calls for attention making the process very reliable.”

The problem

Distilling whisky is a process which runs 24/7 and for a small distillery like Eimverk, it can be challenging to have staff present around the clock. Therefore, Samey and Eimverk decided to implement the eWON Netbiter Remote Management Solution from HMS Industrial Networks.

How it works

A Netbiter gateway is connected to the automation system’s controller — a Unitronics Vision1210. Communication is handled using Modbus.

Data from the controller is sent from the Netbiter gateway to a cloud-based service — www.netbiter.net (Argos) where it is stored and accessed. (The Netbiter can send data either via Ethernet or the cellular network.)

The distillery can log in to the web page www.netbiter.net to see, for example, the levels of their water tanks, current temperatures and air pressure. But more importantly, they can get alarms via email if values reach certain levels. This drastically reduces the amount of human supervision needed in the distillery.

The results

“In a small distillery like Eimverk, there are times when there is only one person present, and that person may need to run an errand, or eat lunch or in other ways be away from the process at times. Then a remote management system is crucial as you can rest assured that you will get an alarm if something happens that needs attention. That makes Netbiter a real resource-saver,” says Haraldur Thorkelsson.

Furthermore, the possibility to produce reports via email and get online trend graphs measuring performance over time, makes Netbiter very useful for optimizing machinery and raw material handling.

Another very useful feature of the Netbiter remote management system is that you can switch to “Remote Access Mode.” This means that the system integrator Samey can use eWON Netbiter to access the system remotely to do support and troubleshooting if problems occur, giving the distillery faster technical support.

“Netbiter has made it possible for us as a small distillery to be in production 24/7 and assures that quality is maintained at all time,” finishes Haraldur Thorkelsson.