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AMS Equipment Limited and Crowcon ensure the safety of Scottish whisky workforce

Equipment for the preparation of beer in a private brewery


AMS Equipment Limited is a long-established equipment and services supplier that provides tailored solutions to ensure the safety of workforces, productivity and assets, even in tough conditions. When a leading Scottish distiller approached the firm for gas detection to secure the safe production of single malts, Crowcon was delighted to support.

AMS Equipment Limited – making dangerous work safer

AMS Equipment Limited provides market leading equipment and services to offshore and other industries. Having been founded in 1986, the company has been asked to solve many tough challenges for clients working in the harshest of locations. AMS is therefore always on the look-out for new, innovative solutions that can help their clients to work safely and efficiently, while getting value for money.

With decades of experience behind them, and excellent working relationships with top suppliers and manufacturers including Crowcon, AMS staff have a solid understanding of their customers’ requirements and provide tailored solutions. When AMS were approached by a Scottish distillery with gas detection issues, they turned to Crowcon products to build a gas monitoring system that would cope with a number of potential hazards.

A major distillery in need of complex gas hazard monitoring

Glass bottles filled with alcoholic beverages move along conveyor line with control panel in modern distillery for bottling alcoholic beverages. Factory for bottling prune tincture.

AMS’ client was a major Scottish distillery that produces a range of award-winning single malt whiskies. Due to expansion, the distiller required additional fixed gas detection and monitoring.

The distiller had recently built a new innovation centre, to be used for the development of new whiskies, and the new gas monitoring system was required for this building. The primary target gases were ethanol (which is a by-product of whisky production) and carbon dioxide (which is a by-product of the fermentation process).

The distillery site presented several challenges. It was a noisy environment, included multiple ATEX zones, and had substantial potential for gas leaks. Consequently, the new gas monitoring system had to include sounders and beacons place at various points around the site, as well as the appropriate outputs from the control panel to alert staff to alarms.

The distillery specified that their new gas detection system should protect employees, alert staff to any gas leaks and alert staff to any issues with process (for example, where a process may cause a gas leak). It should be low cost in terms of maintenance.

Innovative solution, minimal maintenance

To create the new system, AMS used an innovative combination of two Crowcon products. To manage the presence of carbon dioxide they used the XGard IR, an explosion-proof gas detector with a dual-wavelength infrared sensor that gives highly reliable detection of hazardous gases and vapours. Xgard IR offers the many advantages of infrared sensor technology in a rugged and versatile package. It provides fail-safe sensor technology, is immune to poisoning and damage by over-gasing, and is sensitive and quickly responsive.

XGard Bright.

Meanwhile, ethanol was monitored via the XGard Bright with MPS™ sensor which, thanks to its use of MPS™ technology, simultaneously monitors multiple gases with TrueLEL™ accuracy. The XGard Bright with MPS™ requires no calibration for 5 years and this, coupled with an extended-life battery, greatly reduces associated disruption and downtime, leaving the distillery free to develop new whiskies in peace.

According to Chris Sloan of AMS, the new solution ticks all required boxes. ‘The new gas detection system meets all of this client’s various gas detection needs in one neat package,’ he says. ‘The dispersed alarm with beacons and sirens ensures that even when the site is at its noisiest, an alarm will be quickly understood. And the two fixed detectors are ideal of this setting: the XGard Bright with MPS™ sensor technology provides very stable readings and the fact that it’s poison-resistant means the readings are safe and consistent. The XGard Bright IR is an excellent product that provides stable and reliable readings for the detection of carbon dioxide. It’s also low maintenance and resists cross-interference thanks to its infra-red sensor technology.’

And the client? Chris is very pleased that they are pleased. ‘They are delighted to have a safe working environment so that they can just focus on producing more and more award-winning single malt,’ he says.


Picture of Makisha Schultz

Makisha Schultz

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