Link 51 pallet racking solution helps Inver House consolidate their maturation process
Inver House Distillers is part of International Beverage Holdings Limited (InterBev) – the international arm of Asia’s leading drinks business, the Thai Beverage Public Company Ltd (ThaiBev). Within its portfolio there are five distilleries – Pulteney, Balblair, Knockdhu, Speyburn and Balmenach – each producing its own distinctive, individual single malt whisky.
Inver House is also highly active in the warehousing and blending of Scotch whisky, with its main warehouses and head office being centrally located in Airdrie.
Beyond whisky production, Inver House currently distils the premium brand, Caorunn Gin at Balmenach Distillery, and also produces vodka brands from its Airdrie site.
With increasing worldwide demand for their whisky products, Inver House had to look at increasing
capacity across their 6 sites for storage of sherry butts, used in the maturation of high value single malt products. Space at their 5 distilleries was extremely limited due to their traditional dunnage type warehouse arrangement, so a solution at the central Airdrie site was the preferred option. As all sherry butts previously held at the Airdrie site were stored at ground level in traditional palletised warehouses, spread across the entire site, the logistics of moving these casks to the process areas was very inefficient. This method of storage also presented a risk of damage to the integrity of the casks and final product. The decision to centralise the storage of the sherry butts within the Airdrie site not only increased operational efficiency, but ensured the casks and their high value contents, could be monitored more frequently.
As Link 51’s racking solution for the Macallan Distillery at Craigellachie in Moray, Speyside for the Edrington Group was well known across the Scottish whisky industry, it was this case study that provided the impetus for Inver House to submit proposals for a similar racking capability at their Airdrie site.
Given the uniform dimensions of the sherry butts and the quantities they needed to store, Inver House arrived at a scaleable solution to match their needs.
The racking requirement was put to tender and Link 51 were eventually chosen to deliver the project because of their track record of providing bespoke racking solutions to the whisky industry, including the recent installation at the Macallan Distillery.
Link 51 installed a storage system to accommodate up to 576 sherry butts to a height of 8 levels and to 9 butts deep on each level. A specially constructed stairway to one side provides access to each level and its corresponding walkways. As a direct benefit, Inver House was able to store extra capacity in a relatively small warehouse footprint which in turn will help increase overall efficiency within the distillery operation.
An additional feature of the solution is its rack end stops that prevent the butts from tumbling off the racking once placed on the rails. The stops tilt to allow the butts to be loaded and then returns to the vertical position once the butt has moved clear of it.
By using Link 51, Inver House benefited from:
- UK-based in-house manufacturing capability
- Fully managed market-leading storage solutions
- Extensive project management expertise
- Substantial industry specific knowledge and experience
- High-quality product range combining strength, durability and operational reliability
“Link 51 was first class throughout the project. From our initial discussions, through to the installation itself, they created confidence through a structured process and it was clear that we were in safe hands.”
James Preston Production Manager, Inver House Distillers Ltd.