Food & Drink

AMIS drives improvements for brewery


Brewery drives improvements – Asset care and maintenance have been key to sustained improvement in performance for drinks manufacturer, Diageo’s St Francis Abbey Brewery (SFAB) at Kilkenny. This is thanks to The AMIS Journey, which provides a roadmap for improvement by assessing objectively how your maintenance operations measure up.


In 2006, Diageo, St. Francis Abbey Brewery (SFAB), as part of The AMIS Journey, achieved an initial AMIS Assessment score of 33%. By implementing the system which included the annual AMIS Assessment and continuous improvement projects. A huge improvement in plant performance, reliability and efficiency was achieved.

A series of annual AMIS Assessments and continuous improvement projects were key to the success.

After an annual AMIS Assessment in 2008, an old existing sieve which generated a lot of waste and had a high associated cleaning cost was replaced with a new swing sieve which was easily cleaned and maintained. Obsolete software at the tanker station was replaced with standard Siemens software. This allowed the engineering department to have greater input into plant modifications and improvement initiatives.

In 2009 boiler control was modified to a software-based system which led to greater efficiency and reduced running costs and in 2010 an analysis was carried out on the plant which identified a critical control path for production. Based on this, duty standbys were installed for the whirlpool and wort stripper pumps meaning that production would not be interrupted and stalled due to any failure of these pumps in future. This has resulted in a decrease in downtime since the installation of both pumps.

In 2011 the hot and cold liquor pumps in the brewhouse were identified as regularly requiring maintenance interventions and were replaced with new pumps. These contained more efficient motors and seals which were easier to replace.


In 2011 SFAB achieved a score of 80% (World-Class) – placing the site in the top 3% of all participating sites and top of all Irish participants. The score is also well above the average of 45% for the Drinks sector.

Ian Hamilton, head of operations at Diageo SFAB says: “The AMIS Journey to World-Class has been key to major, sustained improvement in the brewery’s performance over the last four years.

“We have seen significant reductions in utility ratios, site waste & overall conversion costs through The AMIS Journey. We have also seen full site engagement with remarkable contributions from all: including engineering, production, laboratory and indeed our contractor partners. The AMIS Journey and the continued personal development and achievements of all in St. Francis Abbey Brewery is something that we are very proud of.” 

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