Success Story: Beam Global Spirits and Wine

Jim Beam and Wonderware, a Perfect Mix

Clermont, Kentucky – In 1775, Jacob Beam sold his first barrel of bourbon, setting the stage for seven generations of master distillers. Today, Beam Global Wine & Spirits is the largest spirits company based in the U.S. and the fourth largest in the world. The company is a brand leader, producing top-quality products that are enjoyed by responsible adults worldwide. But the  distiller has not reached its current success by relying solely on age-old production methods. Jim Beam is at the forefront of automation and information software solutions through its  longstanding partnership with Wonderware. For over 16 years, the two companies have worked together to incorporate Wonderware software throughout the operation.

First installed in 1992

Jim Beam first chose Wonderware software for the Clermont operation in 1992, based on its ease of use and ability to interface with existing programmable logic controllers (PLCs). As the strength of the solution became apparent, it has become the software standard at Jim Beam, integrated throughout the Kentucky plants with the help of Wonderware Cincinnati, the local Wonderware distributor. Today Wonderware software solutions are an important part of the production processes of the extensive operation, from the dry house and water plant to the boiler house, distillery and bottling lines.

Efficient Upgrades and Growth

One of the exciting challenges facing Jim Beam in the early 90s was the need to accommodate growth. The distiller called upon Wonderware Cincinnati for a solution that would meet current needs for automation, but also provide for future expansion – without compromising the high quality standards of the product.

Wonderware recommended the Wonderware Industrial Application Server – built on the Wonderware ArchestrA® architecture – as the foundation of the solution for Jim Beam. The Industrial Application Server offered a uniform environment for visualization, device communications, application integration and reporting, plus an infrastructure for simplifying the development, launch, maintenance and administration of future deployments. This ability to replicate systems would be a major strength for Jim Beam moving forward.

Nathan Crosley, Operations Manager Bottling, illustrates this point, “We’re finding that Wonderware is easy to use and is providing us with the data and information that we need. We’re able to control our processes consistently, and we continue to implement and integrate it throughout our entire system.”

As expansion continued, then Wonderware Historian was added to enable better management of the operation’s central database. Both real-time and historical measurements integrate the operations center with the plant floors. And the software works as an extension of Microsoft® SQL Server® to collect comprehensive statistics while reducing the volume of stored data.

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