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Boost for Food and Drinks Production Sector as Industry Wales Leads on BITES Project

Diwydiant Cymru Gweithio gyda Busnesau Gweithgynhyrchu Cymreig i Wella Cynhyrchiant



Industry Wales, which supports the growth of engineering, manufacturing and technology businesses, is now leading the Business Innovation and Tourism Escalator Scheme (BITES) for the food and drinks sector in Wales, on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The BITES project will involve working with various industry partners over a period of time, to develop system research and demonstrator cells to support the growth of digitally connected supply chains, feeding information to Artificial Intelligence systems. This use of technology will enable manufacturers to grow and sustain their businesses in today’s competitive world, with the hope of inspiring others to do the same.

One of the businesses that Industry Wales is working with through the BITES project is Hensol Castle Distillery, South Wales’ first full scale gin distillery, visitor experience, gin school and bottling plant, located in the cellars of Hensol Castle.

As part of this project, Industry Wales is partnering with Walden & Phillips, a manufacturing engineering business, who will be installing data points for data gathering at various points along the product line at Hensol Castle Distillery.

Walden & Phillips will develop various hardware and software solutions, including a data node, quality station and screens and tablets, that enable Hensol Castle Distillery to make informed decisions a lot faster than previously, as well as learn more about their current processes and what can be done to enhance productivity.

Industry Wales Chair, James Davies, said

“The BITES project is a really exciting opportunity for food and drink businesses here in Wales. We find ourselves in a very competitive world and in order to get ahead of the curve, businesses need to consider and adopt technology and automation. By understanding what businesses want, we can get an idea of the data we need to access and what automation is needed to add value. Hensol Castle Distillery has had an existing line for a long period of time but now want to maximise what they currently do. The data collected through the installed technology will help them explore their current processes, and also what decisions they could make to improve the competitiveness and productivity of the business itself. This project will take place over a number of months and we are really looking forward to seeing how the business benefits in the short and long term.”

Chris Leeke, Managing Director at Hensol Castle Distillery, said

“We’re very excited to be working with the Industry Wales team to help us improve the use of technology and data to drive production efficiencies in our manufacturing facility. With cost inflation affecting all sectors improving productivity and reducing wastage is essential to all businesses in a competitive environment and we are delighted to have been given the opportunity by Industry Wales and Welsh Government to be a part of this very exciting BITES project”

Find out more about the BITES project here: