• Why energy efficiency goes well with whiskey

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Jonas Berg, Project Manager at Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey. “We are delighted to have Schneider Electric as a partner and look forward to a long and successful relationship. Besides being able to give us a high-quality production facility, they have favorably positioned us to realize our environmental vision.” – Jonas Berg, Project Manager at Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey

Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey wanted to build the world’s most environmentally-friendly distillery. Together with Gävle Energi, the local energy municipality organization, Schneider Electric™ incorporated breakthrough designs and helped to build a scalable, energy efficient six-story facility that relies on gravity to produce world-class whiskey.

“The groundbreaking idea of building an environmentally-friendly distillery was conceived at Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey,” says Göran Pousette, Area Manager for Buildings at Schneider Electric. “But they knew their vision, which was completely new in the Swedish market, was only achievable with the help of an energy efficiency expert. So they turned to Schneider Electric to ensure a successful project from the very beginning.”

Innovative building design, powerful energy control Schneider Electric worked with the customer to present a holistic building and heating solution that automates processes and lowers power consumption. Because EcoStruxure™ is easy-to-implement and flexible, Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey selected the solution to control and monitor energy consumption during all phases of whiskey production. In addition, the building’s design enables gravity to pull malt, water, and yeast downward, making the whiskey production process even more energy efficient.

“The solution is designed for future requirements and is not limited by how the plant looks like today, but is designed to fit the needs of a growing company with all the features available from day one,” says Linus Palmborg, Head of Automation Projects at Schneider Electric. “The solution is designed to help Mackmyra grow and realize its vision by streamlining process management, planning, and follow-up monitoring.”

Today, Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey has optimal visibility and control of the entire production process, down to the barrel level. They can report on manufacturing times and temperatures, dosage amounts, and energy consumption for every bottle of whiskey.

Energy savings critical to all parties
Gävle Energi had great interest in having an energy efficient distillery in the area. As an advocate for energy savings, Gävle Energi joined Schneider Electric and Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey to build a system that can recycle much of the waste heat that is generated during production.

The system includes two storage tanks to facilitate heat recovery and reuse during whiskey production, while efficiently heating the distillery. Additionally, Gävle Energi built a pellet plant adjacent to the distillery which supplies all the heat required. The plant also supplies cooling from other facilities.

Flammability rated facility
In areas where large quantities of ethanol are handled and dropped during the manufacturing process a strong flammability rating is required. The maximum temperature of these zoned areas is 60.8° F. Once the temperature exceeds this limit, an alarm system goes off and the power supply in the zone is interrupted to minimize the risk of explosion.

“It is also important from a production standpoint that the temperature is kept constant because balanced fermentation is crucial to ensuring that the final whiskey product is top quality,” explains Jonas Berg, Project Manager at Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey.

A partnership that works
The seamless collaboration between Schneider Electric and Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey was important to this major initiative. “We are delighted to have Schneider Electric as a partner and look forward to a long and successful relationship. Besides being able to give us a high-quality production facility, they have favorably positioned us to realize our environmental vision,” says Berg.

The company’s principals all agreed that the method for producing the best quality whiskey was further enhanced by environmentally-friendly and energy efficient processes. As a result of their collaborative efforts to build a distillery that is twice as energy efficient as traditional distilleries, Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey has earned the respect of environmentally-conscious customers.

The combination of gravitational forces and Schneider Electric solutions enable Mackmyra Swedish Whiskey to reduce energy use during production.

To learn how flexible Schneider Electric EcoStruxure solutions can maximize energy efficiency in food and beverage production, watch the Mackmyra: Distilling with Gravity video today!
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