SCADA Alarm System

SCADA Alarm System

Following an incident occurring at a Tank Farm of one of Elite’s key clients, it was highlighted that their whisky supply system can be left unattended during specific times (lunch break/night shift/weekends).
During these periods, it was discovered that a high risk of missing critical alarms is present. Our client required a solution to alert key personnel of the plant immediately when any of the critical alarms is active.

The Elite proposed solution involved the use of a cost-effective, secure, remote connection to read the alarms from the existing Siemens S7-400 PLC. The system had to work independently from the client’s main SCADA system and if an alarm was detected, an SMS text message had to be sent to both the C&E Engineer and the Engineering Manager.

Due to the critical nature of the plant operation, this work had to be fully implemented with no impact to the plant operations.

As a result of the successful implementation of this project, our customer now has a robust and enhanced alarm monitoring system. They can now identify situations (e.g. power cuts during weekends) where they were previously unaware that some alarms had been triggering.

#engineering #project #SCADA #plc #ics #pcs #electrical #electricalengineering

Obsolescence Management – SCADA

Obsolescence Management – SCADA

A well known beverage manufacturer based in Glasgow, had ongoing obsolescence issues with their existing, site-wide, (20+i-Fix nodes) SCADA system. Due to the fragmented, ageing system on site a decision was made to upgrade the full SCADA system to make it more modern, resilient, and secure.

Elite’s engineers started working on the 9-month long project by merging and optimizing the existing databases into a single database. Elite removed numerous duplicate data tags and modernised some of the technologies that were previously used. Various differing versions of the site-wide SCADA node’s were upgraded to the latest revision.

In addition, a total of 9 servers were merged into a single (cloud based) unit whilst the existing servers were all virtualised.

As a result, our client can now merge & expand their plant system with ease and less potential downtime implications. Routine maintenance is easier with regular backups now performed automatically with less strain on the plant resources. The system is significantly more secure and much more flexible for remote access from an administering perspective.

Elite is once again proud to support local business, providing modern and effective engineering solutions to our customers!

Grain Intake Optimisation

Grain Intake Optimisation

Our customer, a main manufacturer of whisky and spirits, required to optimize and simplify the cereal intake process in their distillery. The project included the removal and replacement of obsolete equipment and the optimization of the control system.

The scope of the project included replacement of an old MCC and the design and installation of Siemens S7 based process control system. In addition, the new S7 system required integration with the existing ABB DCS. Following implementation and testing, site installation of MCC and commissioning took place. Solution developed by Elite has additionally incorporated a client/server SCADA based network and a HMI for Process Visualization, Management, Maintenance, Diagnostics and Standard features for alarming, trending and user configuration.

The new system employed has been optimized simplified compared to the previous iteration. The new process control equipment should be more efficient and reliable. Operation and maintenance personnel have improved monitoring and diagnostic capability available in runtime; this in turn should help reduce plant downtime.

Expanding on the knowledge and expertise gained by Elite, we are once again proud to offer a solution to one of our key clients and build upon our relationship with our partners.

New Home of The Macallan

New Home of The Macallan

A Control System Engineering Achievement


The Macallan’s new distillery is an exceptional architectural landmark with a completely unique design

When Elite Control Systems completed the final commissioning of a turnkey software control system for The Macallan’s new distillery, it represented more than successful completion of a job. It was an engineering achievement carried out on behalf of Edrington for The Macallan, its world-renowned single malt whisky.

“It was a real honour to be given the opportunity to provide the critical software control system for a product that many people regard as the Jewel in the Crown in Edrington’s portfolio,” said Brian Sneddon, General Manager for Elite Control Systems.  “There is no other distillery quite like this one. It’s not only an exceptional architectural landmark, it’s a completely unique design. Some of the challenges from a software control point of view actually lay in the uniqueness of that very design.”

Edrington invested a tremendous amount of thought and planning before finalising its vision: to create a visually striking piece of architecture that would blend seamlessly into the Speyside hills, while providing the production capability to meet customer demand for The Macallan for generations to come.

Three pods are better than one

To make certain that its production capability is both reliable and adaptable, Edrington broke from tradition. Instead of constructing a traditional distillery that features one main production facility, The Macallan distillery features three individual production “pods”.  There are many advantages to this design. Having three production pods means that production needn’t stop when maintenance schedules demand. The new distillery enables production of The Macallan to increase by one third, if required.

From a controls perspective, the three-pod design means a much more complex system than normal was required. The real challenge, however, was developing a system to manage the production interfaces alongside all the sequencing, interlocking, etc. that is required between each of the pods. These pods operate and interface both individually and collectively with the distillery’s single mash house. “This raised the software control aspect of the project to a much higher level, making it a real engineering challenge,” said Sneddon.

Production pod with several Spirit & Wash Stills on the upper level

Once the commissioning checks were completed, and the control system was deemed fully operational, the distillery was nearly ready to begin production. Given the complexity of a distillery with three production pods, the required control system represented a different way of working for both Edrington and Elite. Throughout the construction of the plant and development of the control system, Elite had a dedicated team of engineers working alongside both the main contractor and Edrington’s engineers. Elite housed their engineering team in their own cottage minutes from the site, helping facilitate communications and teamwork. For months beforehand, Elite had worked closely with Edrington’s engineers to ensure that everyone was fully aware as to how the control system would operate, allowing production to commence as planned.

New distillery up and running

Elite Control Systems provided the critical software control system for the new Macallan Distillery

Production pod with the Spirit & Wash Stills on the upper level in the background, and the production equipment on the lower level

The project progressed and Edrington commenced ready for production in November 2017, running its first spirit in December 2017.  Since then, Edrington has operated all aspects of the plant from the main onsite control room.  Should Edrington require added assistance, Elite can also monitor the status of the new control system from its base in Livingston. “As part of our standard services, we provide 24-hour support.  Although the production process is not managed remotely, should Macallan request assistance, we can login remotely and securely to monitor production and support the automated system,” said Sneddon.  “If something untoward were to disrupt operations, we can respond immediately, allowing production to resume without missing a beat.”

The Macallan distillery project is an historic achievement, not only in terms of its innovative design and architecture, but for those involved, it was an exciting, rigorous challenge. “To realise The Macallan vision, it was essential that we work with a trusted systems integrator we could rely upon to operate this innovative, yet extremely complicated distillery,” said George McKenzie, UK Engineering Manager for Edrington.  “Elite had worked for The Macallan and other Edrington distilleries previously, so we were confident in their ability to design a reliable control system. In the end, Elite lived up to our expectations, and were both responsive and flexible throughout.”

For Elite, The Macallan project represents a major milestone. “To have contributed successfully to such an innovative distillery, it’s a critical milestone for us in terms of the credibility it lends to us as a respected systems integrator,” said Sneddon.

If you would like information on our services, please fill out our contact form and a member of our team will be in contact with you.



Celebrating Great Achievments at the IBD Scottish Section Annual Awards Dinner

Celebrating Great Achievments at the IBD Scottish Section Annual Awards Dinner

Last Friday saw the Institute of Brewing and Distilling hold their Scottish Section Annual Dinner in Glasgow at the Doubletree Hilton. The event was the biggest yet, with over 500 people in attendance, celebrating the great achievements of Brewers and Distillers within the Industry.

Elite Control Systems Limited were proud to be in attendance as a leading Supplier to the Industry, with both clients and partner suppliers equally represented including Glenmorangie Distilleries and North British Distillers.

The IBD leads the way for people working in the Brewing and Distilling Industry, with over 5000 members. It dates as far back as 1886 which means it is the largest global professional body for Brewers and Distillers.

About Elite Control Systems Limited


Formed in 1992, Elite Control Systems is known for its expertise in providing engineering services to a variety of Industries who use fast-moving process control, automation and information technology. Elite are a recognised provider within the Whisky Industry providing Software Control Systems and Priority Support to various distilleries and bottling facilities.

Elite Control Systems Secures New Business for 2018

Elite Control Systems Secures New Business for 2018

Elite Control Systems are happy to report great recent success securing work with several new clients in the past 5-6 weeks.

This work includes:

  1. Project work in a large well-known brewery
  2. A full SCADA upgrade at a Major whisky producer’s site on the isle of Islay
  3. Commissioning of a new production line based in Russia
  4. Support assistance and ongoing projects with a major Food supplier in Central Scotland.

Well done to everyone involved, a real diversity of achievements including work that has taken us from Fife, to Glasgow, via the Western Isles & all the way to Moscow….

More to follow on all of these projects…..

About Elite Control Systems Limited

Elite Control Systems was founded in 1992, and specialises in systems integration and engineering support services. It is known for helping companies within a variety of industries who use fast-moving process control, automation and information technology to achieve their business objectives.

Elite Control Systems and North British Distillery Compete in Annual Charity Fundraising Lawn Bowls Day

Elite Control Systems and North British Distillery Compete in Annual Charity Fundraising Lawn Bowls Day

North British Distilleries and Elite Control Systems' Annual Bowl Day

Employees from both Elite Control Systems and North British Distillery

Last Friday saw the annual Elite Control Systems/North British Distillery Lawn Bowls day which was held at West Calder Bowling Club in aid of ‘Garvald Edinburgh’, a local charity which arranges social activities for people with disabilities in safe and friendly environments throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians.

The teams were treated to hot rolls on arrival prior to playing games throughout the afternoon. in mixed teams. A dinner was then provided by the club at the end of the day for the teams and a raffle followed with the money raised being donated to ‘Garvald Edinburgh’ with a total of £245. The prize ceremony concluded the day with prizes for both the “best” and “worst” player, and prizes for the winning team, and runner-ups. Overall, it was a very successful and light-hearted day enjoyed by all.

Winning team at the NBS-ECS annual Bowls day

Winning team at the ECS/NBD Annual Bowls Day

About the Companies

Elite Control Systems was founded in 1992, and specialises in systems integration and engineering support services. It is known for helping companies within a variety of industries who use fast-moving process control, automation and information technology to achieve their business objectives.

The North British Distillery Company is a Scottish grain whisky distillery, based on the outskirts of Edinburgh was established in 1885 and has produced over 2.5 billion litres of Whisky.