A cutting-edge spirit processing & bottling facility that allows bottling & packaging from the smallest volumes in single casks to 30,000 litre tankers has been successfully installed by Edwards Engineering at The QAS Group in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland.

The QAS Group has long served the Scotch Whisky industry from two Scottish sites; Kirkcaldy, Fife and Linwood, Paisley, offering manufacturing support, warehousing, bottle sleeving, and co-packing Services.

Multi-disciplinary engineering firm Edwards Engineering, worked with The QAS Group to project manage and install the new Spirit Processing and Bottling capability, creating a market leading, fully integrated service.

As the Scotch Whisky industry continues to grow, QAS Group was keen to expand their offering, streamlining the receipt, bottling and packaging of premium drinks. Edwards Engineering successfully managed the phased implementation of increasing bottling capacity against fast-track timeframes as customer interest began to build.

David Harris, QAS Group Bottling Director, said: “Once QAS Group made the decision to invest, time was of the essence, and we needed to work with reliable experts that could fully understand the nuances of all aspects of the brief from design to installation.

“We chose to bring Edwards Engineering on board to deliver this transformative project because of their design expertise and long track record of delivering similar projects.”

Cask disgorging was implemented to receive casks of all sizes. A bespoke dump trough was fitted with multiple strainers and filters and an automated reduction capability for bringing product from cask strength to bottling strength. A Cockayne Systems IBC filler and weigh scale completed Phase 1 and enabled spirit to be fed to QAS’ first premium bottling line and to a high-speed 5cl and 10cl miniatures bottling-line, installed during the first quarter of 2021.

Phase 2 quickly followed with the installation of a tanker unloading capability to two 35,000litre external vats. QAS’s process facility is housed in a standalone building and incorporates chill and non-chill filtration, reduction and the ability to handle whisky, gin, rum and other premium spirits in dedicated vessels. Four 10,000 litre process vats and three 5,000 litre bottling vats feed product to the third bottling line, with a higher throughput and more automation, which was delivered from Italy and commissioned in August 2021.

Edwards Engineering Chief Executive, Ben Carter said: “We have extensive knowledge and experience of working with drinks industry and our team is flexible and focused on delivering every project down the last detail.

“We are thrilled to have delivered a fully functioning facility that represents a step change for QAS Group, on time and on budget. Premium spirits can be received, filtered, reduced, flavoured and bottled to order enabling QAS to serve a wider customer base with an enhanced service range.”

Brian Kemp, QAS Group MD, added: “Working with Edwards to install and commission this critical project for QAS Group has helped transform our capabilities in Kirkcaldy. Edwards work safely and flexibly. Their team delivered the project within all the parameters set, and most importantly, they focused on what we, the customer, need.”

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