The QAS Group has long served the Scotch Whisky industry from its two Scottish sites – one in Kirkcaldy in Fife and the other in Linwood, Paisley. Offering Manufacturing Support, Warehousing, Bottle sleeving, and Co-packing Services, QAS has recently invested in establishing a new Spirit Processing and Bottling capability in Kirkcaldy to provide its customer base with a fully integrated service.

The challenge

As the Scotch Whisky industry has continued to grow, the benefits to QAS Group’s Customers of being able receive, bottle and package premium drinks products became increasingly clear. The Kirkcaldy site is large and well laid out, however establishing a logical and safe flow of both logistics and product through the facility went through a number of iterations of master planning. Once the decision to invest had been made, time was of the essence with Customer interest growing by the day.

The solution

QAS Group chose Edwards Engineering through its design expertise and long track record of delivering similar projects. The solution QAS Group pursued with Edwards Engineering was a phased implementation of bottling capacity albeit against fast-track timeframes.

Cask disgorging was implemented to receive Clients’ 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’s first premium bottling line (installed in late 2020) 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.

The outcome 

Edwards Engineering delivered both phases on time and to budget and QAS Group now have a fully functioning facility, capable of receiving the smallest volumes in single casks and 1,000 litre IBCs to 30,000 litre tankers. Premiums spirits can be received, filtered, reduced, flavoured and bottled to order enabling QAS to serve a wider customer base with an enhanced service range.

 

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“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, delivered the project on time and to budget and most importantly, focus on what we, the customer, need.”

Brian Kemp, Managing Director, QAS Group