Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Hensol Castle Distillery to Increase Efficiency with Data Automation


Industry Wales is proud to be leading the Business Innovation and Tourism Escalator Scheme (BITES) project, on behalf of the Welsh Government. The project involves working with partners from across Wales to develop and implement innovative technology that enables Welsh manufacturers to become more efficient and grow in today’s competitive economy.

Hensol Castle Distillery, one of the manufacturers whom Industry Wales has partnered with, has seen bespoke PLC (programmable logic controllers) and HMI (human machine interfaces) data collection points installed at multiple stations along their product line, consisting of large touch screens and overhead screens.

The specification and installation of the system has been led by Welsh manufacturing engineering business, Walden Phillips. They teamed up with local supplies C R Clarke and Control 2K to deliver a customisable platform that has been tailored to the needs of the Hensol Castle Distillery. The system can also be developed as the needs and goals of the distillery evolve in the future.

Currently in phase 3 of installation, the distillery will see the implementation of further data capture points in their facility, with the final phase involving the positioning of data capture at their end-of-line Quality Station. Over the next four weeks, Walden Phillips plans to begin
training the staff at the distillery including the engineers, logistics team and managers on how to best use the system, using the data to make positive changes to their operations.

When completed, the information gathered will enable Hensol Castle Distillery to target production issues and address inefficiencies within their facilities.

Chris Walden, Director at Walden Phillips Ltd, said

“Data is one of the most important resources a production facility owns, and leveraging that data to affect positive change at every opportunity is a vital part of remaining competitive in the modern day. This project is about achieving precisely that and it demonstrates how to make solid progress towards digital transformation in manufacturing.

Chris Leeke, Managing Director at Hensol Castle Distillery, said

“Minimising downtime and maximising throughput is the basic principle of profitable manufacturing, every minute the production line isn’t running at maximum capacity, it costs money.

Industry Wales, Walden Phillips and the wider team are putting together a system that will provide us with the tools to understand the reasons for lost productivity at each stage of the process and will allow us to both track and address general trends, and also identify and alert us to issues in real time.

The system that is being implemented is visual and will alert both the production and management teams when productivity drops below expectation immediately. I have no doubt that the productivity gains we will see as a result of that improved visibility will be
transformational for us as a business. We’re very much looking forward to seeing the plans become a reality.”

To find out more about the BITES project so far, please click here: