Growth of Somerset Cider Industry Underpinned by adi Group’s Self-Delivering Model

Lovers of British cider have been buoyed in recent years by the resurgence of traditional Somerset ciders in a market inundated over the last decade with Irish and continental brands. And, they can raise a glass to adi Group and the role its highly skilled engineers played in helping redress the balance.

James Sopwith
James Sopwith

Multi-disciplinary engineering firm, adi Group, has supported the successful growth of the Somerset cidermaking industry by designing, manufacturing and installing a state of the art kegging facility, which sees 454 kegs filled in an hour and features a 50,000 unit per hour canning line and a tank farm with a capacity of almost 6.5 million litres at Thatchers’ Sandford plant.

Paul Hart, Operations and Group Engineering Director for the adi Group, said, “With ground broken on the project back in 2014, we are now in our fifth year as a strategic partner with a permanent presence onsite providing Thatchers with a full range of engineering services. It is a real pleasure to support and facilitate the growth ambitions of a market-leading cidermaker and help them ensure the thirst of British cider lovers is quenched.”

As part of the five year strategic investment made by Thatchers in their Sandford production facility, aimed at doubling its output, adi Group established itself as the partner of choice thanks to its extensive knowledge and experience of long term manufacturing infrastructure process development work. The project has further demonstrated adi has the expertise to meet the diverse needs of the booming UK distillery, brewing and microbrewing industries.

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With a structure and delivery mechanism unique in UK engineering, and with the oversight of its adi Process Pipework division, the Group was able to deploy a team of over 30 subject area specialists from adi Electrical, adi Projects, adi Mechanical, adi Climate Systems and adi Automation to support the team from its nearby Frome base.

Growth of Somerset Cider Industry Underpinned by adi Group’s Self-Delivering Model-2

The outcome was the self-delivery of real time control system solutions, all electrical design, manufacture, installation and testing, mechanical and process pipework design, fabrication and installation, valves, machine moves, associated services, storage tanks, major plant and equipment access facilities, HVAC system, CDM duties, along with the writing and integrating of the control valve system software and panel design and build.

adi also used its core skills to design, develop and build a Clean In Place (CIP) cleaning system, which was critical in ensuring Thatchers fulfil the requirements of its cleaning and hygiene diligence regimes, and to undertake the two phased installation of all 36 x 125,000 litre vessels in the new tank farm.

James Sopwith, MD of adi Projects, believes adi Group is well-equipped to deliver solutions to beverage manufacturers of all kinds, from boutique microbreweries to the largest scale drinks manufacturers, canners and bottlers.

He added, “The brewing, distilling, canning and bottling industry require a number of highly specialised skillsets. With our unique business model, we have all those capabilities at our disposal and give our customers the benefit of a joined-up experience, which meets their requirements right across the project and throughout its lifecycle.”

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