Expanding Production in a Difficult Labor Market

AutomationBrewingCost SavingsDistillingEngineering Solutions

Many medium-sized breweries and distilleries have found themselves facing a challenging conundrum – how do they grow their business and expand production volume in an environment where they cannot find or keep qualified labor and the lead time on equipment needed is many months out?

For many operations around the country, finding enough labor, and uniquely skilled labor at that, has become an increasing concern for brewers and distillers alike. Brewing beer and distilling spirits is a unique craft – an art and science wrapped in one – and finding or training these artisans takes time. All too often, those that are trained quickly move on to more advanced positions to benefit their own personal careers and development. The distillery or brewery is faced with the on-going cycle of finding, training then replacing quality artisan workers, leaving no time to focus on the growth of the business.

Additionally, increasing your output often means you also must increase your production and storage capacity, in other words you need more equipment. Due to the ongoing supply chain issues across the country and around the world, commercial craft stills (as well as fermenters) are taking longer on average to get delivered from the time of order. For business owners looking to increase revenues fast, that just isn’t going to cut it.

This is where process engineering and automation come in.

Through process engineering and automation, opportunities to improve and optimize your existing process can be identified, whether that be saving energy, reducing waste, saving time by eliminating steps altogether, and simultaneously achieves greater product consistency. In many facilities, the balance of labor and automation is a precarious act. Through process engineering, an owner can obtain both simplification and higher throughput on their existing equipment, which is particularly relevant when production space constraints are a fact of life. Focusing on repeatable tasks, transfers, and cleaning, a facility can be upgraded to allow the labor-intensive, yet necessary tasks to be completed at their highest efficiencies via automation. Utility systems can be self-sufficient and remotely monitored. The business can focus its trained, skilled staff on the core of production, not the “necessary evils”.

ICC Group’s automation team has implemented industrial automation for many of our brewing and distilling clients allowing them to reduce labor and operational costs while increasing throughput and end-product consistency. When each step of production is controlled precisely and accurately, more processes can be performed simultaneously without mistakes. Reducing the need for manual intervention at various stages of processing or manufacturing means fewer people are needed to perform tasks.

As a Rockwell Automation Partner Network member, ICC provides versatile products and technologies to keep you a step ahead. Every day, we develop smarter solutions and create efficiencies by connecting manufacturing operations and information systems to drive growth for your business. Our joint industry expertise and understanding of your time-honored craft equip us to address your issues in real-time and to anticipate new ones before they happen.

ICC Group also has a leg up when it comes to manufacturing and sourcing brewing and distilling equipment. Due to our long-time partnerships with suppliers around the world, we can get you the equipment you need faster and at the best price available.

Our partner, Forsyths Stills of Scotland, is a family-owned business that has been building copper stills for Scotch whiskey and more since the 1890s, and their expertise is world-renowned. Their stills are currently featured at some very high-end bourbon and rye distillers in the United States as well. ICC Group has a unique relationship with them and can match their quality stills to your needs on a highly competitive timeline and budget. Forsyths stills are a work of art and can be an incredible differentiator for your distilleries marketing position.

Looking for high shine show tanks for your brewery or distillery tours? We have access to highly competitively priced mirrored stainless steel at our US-based manufacturing facility that can truly make your operation “shine!”

ICC Group is more than just an engineering company and manufacturer of stainless steel vessels and equipment. We are a team of engineers, talented designers, planners, fabricators, and artists, all who are experts in the distilling and brewing fields - and together we've been custom designing and building brewing and distilling equipment since 1987.

From storage and mixing tanks to stills and fermenters, to automated systems and large-scale facility buildouts, we’ve done it all and have a list of top-tier clients to show for it.

ICC’s engineering expertise and design/build experience in combination with our US-made stainless tanks and vessels offer brewers and distillers the ability to expand their operations and increase production volume (and revenues) without the headaches and cost of added labor or long-lead equipment.

Reach out to our experts today to learn more about how we can help grow your business.

Download our Benefits of Automation brochure here.

ICC Group Contact Information
Michael Newman
(803) 730-3869


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