Bruichladdich Distillery Co. reduces downtime on its malt whisky bottles with Linx laser coder

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Bruichladdich Distillery Co.Botanist Islay Dry Gin. Photo: Botanist Islay Dry Gin.
Bruichladdich Distillery Co.Botanist Islay Dry Gin. Photo: Botanist Islay Dry Gin.
Bruichladdich Distillery Co. has installed two Linx CSL30 laser coders from Linx Printing Technologies to reduce downtime on its whisky and gin bottle lines.

The distillery based on the Isle of Islay in the Inner Hebrides, installed its first Linx CSL30 coder on its Botanist Islay Dry Gin bottles last year and has now installed the same machine on its malt whisky line. 

Low maintenance

Bruichladdich 1

We installed our first Linx CSL30 during a period which saw a 47% growth in our Botanist sales in the previous year,​” said Jonathan Carmichael, bottling hall manager, Bruichladdich. 

To adapt and keep up with demand, we took the opportunity to re-configure our line in another warehouse, adding some new machinery and the Linx CSL30 was an important addition to our line​. 

As a producer of premium spirits, it’s important the codes on our bottles are clear and sharp and in keeping with the brand​. 

Another factor in the decision to install a laser coder was the low maintenance required, meaning less downtime in production. For these reasons we installed a CSL30 on our whisky line as well​.” 

The CSL30 codes in the bottle labeller are installed on two lines which are 5mm in height, onto the bottom of the glass gin bottles. 

The codes comprise a line number and a batch code, including a unique bottle number and the bottle’s production date and time. 

The line currently runs at 2,100 bottles per hour, nine hours per day, producing 1.2 million bottles per year. 

The laser coder can apply codes from a range of distances, and is easy integrated into a production line. 

Black whisky bottles

In Bruichladdich’s case, the gin bottles stand on a base plate that means the laser head has to sit further away, yet the quality of code remains high. 

On the whisky line, the Linx CSL30 codes are clear, etched codes that are highly legible. 

This capability of laser coding to produce a visible code on every color and shade of bottle is important to Bruichladdich, because many of its whisky bottles are black. 

Bruichladdich 3

The codes always appear in the same position on the bottle every time and do not detract from the premium branding. 

Another benefit of using laser coders means it removes the need for printhead cleaning and maintenance, which reduces downtime.

Originally founded in 1881, and reopened as a progressive distiller in 2001, Bruichladdich produces and sells high provenance whisky, distilled using much of the original Victorian machinery. 

In recent years it has expanded into gin under the brand name The Botanist. 

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