ecoSPIRITS Announces ecoPLANT 2.0, Reducing Closed Loop Operating Costs

SINGAPORE 18 NOVEMBER 2020 ecoSPIRITS has produced the first units of its containerised, semi-automated spirits processing facility, the ecoPLANT 2.0.  Destined for Yantai, China, Auckland, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia, the first units of the ecoPLANT 2.0 technology will go into service in late December. Additional ecoPLANT 2.0 units will be deployed to international markets in the coming months.

The ecoPLANT is a cornerstone of the ecoSPIRITS closed loop solution for premium spirit distribution. An upgraded version of the original ecoPLANT technology, the ecoPLANT 2.0 is a containerised, semi-automated spirits processing facility engineered to meet international food safety standards and best practices. ecoPLANT 2.0 units provide high-efficiency, hygienic ecoTOTE cleaning, sanitisation and refilling in line with the standards of leading international distilleries. When paired with the ecoTOTE™ and SmartPour™ technologies, the ecoPLANT completes an innovative closed loop system that eliminates more than 95% of the packaging waste and as much as at 80% of the carbon footprint of spirits production, distribution and consumption.

The ecoSPIRITS closed loop system for spirits distribution

The ecoPLANT 2.0 offers a broad array of performance upgrades over the first generation ecoPLANT technology, which was originally deployed in early 2019. First and foremost, the containerised ecoPLANT 2.0 design and upgraded, semi-automated cleaning, sanitisation and filling equipment dramatically improves closed loop efficiency, allowing for the processing of up to 400 ecoTOTES per day with three operators. A single ecoPLANT 2.0 can eliminate more than 40,000 single use glass spirit bottles – equivalent to 22,000 kg of carbon emissions – per month when operating at full capacity. This multi-fold increase in processing capacity reduces closed loop operating costs by as much as 70% over the prior generation ecoPLANT.

An efficient, modular solution to closed loop spirits processing

At its essence, the ecoPLANT technology is a miniaturised bottling and spirits processing facility designed to fit comfortably within a customised 20-foot shipping container. This ensures that all spirits handling takes place in a clean room environment that meets or exceeds international distillery standards. Each ecoPLANT 2.0 is equipped with automated sanitisation and filling stations in an air conditioned work environment, supplemented with spirits filtration, pre-rinsing, and additional safety and hygiene features. ecoTOTE processing takes place in a continuous loop, utilising automated conveyors to reduce operator movement and strain.

Continuous process for operator efficiency

Hygienic, clean room environment

Setting gold standards in hygiene, food safety and quality control was a core objective of the ecoPLANT 2.0 project.  The standard ecoPLANT 2.0 is compliant with Food Standards Australia and New Zealand for Food Premises and Equipment, as well as the National Food Safety Standard for Food Production in China. Individual ecoPLANT units can tailored to specific food safety and production regulations of any country during the manufacturing process. Spirits filtration standards, as well as spirits handling, sampling and analysis, can also be adjusted to the requirements of individual spirits producers, dovetailing with existing production standards and controls in place at their distilleries.

Distillery grade process engineering

Gravimetric filling for speed and accuracy

The modular, containerised design of the ecoPLANT 2.0 allows for rapid deployment to any global spirits market, opening the prospect of expanded access to closed loop service for spirit brands, distributors and hospitality venues. Each ecoPLANT 2.0 arrives in its destination market fully equipped for operations, requiring just 24 hours for commissioning at a new site. For production operations, the ecoPLANT 2.0 requires three-phase power supply, as well as compressed air and cold water. With comprehensive onsite commissioning and production training from the ecoSPIRITS engineering team, activating closed loop spirits distribution in a new market is a seamless experience.

“ecoSPIRITS is committed to moving the spirit industry in the direction of a circular future. With the release of the ecoPLANT 2.0, we are now able to make closed loop spirits distribution even more efficient and cost effective,” notes ecoSPIRITS CEO Paul Gabie, “Despite the challenges 2020 has brought to our industry, we are convinced that the future is green and the future is bright.”

Photography for ecoSPIRITS by Graeme Kennedy

ecoSPIRITS Releases the SmartPour, Streamlining the Closed Loop Experience

SINGAPORE 2 NOVEMBER 2020 ecoSPIRITS today announced the release of the latest addition to its closed-loop spirits distribution technology, the SmartPour automatic dispense accessory for the ecoTOTE. This latest hardware release will further improve the closed loop operations experience for hundreds of venue partners and hospitality operators who have already adopted the ecoSPIRITS low carbon, low waste system.  The SmartPour will become available across all ecoSPIRITS Asia Pacific markets in the coming weeks.

The new SmartPour, an automatic dispense accessory for the ecoTOTE

Circular economy solutions, while offering transformative environmental impact, present complex challenges in packaging design, closed loop logistics, user experience, and quality control. The ecoSPIRITS system, which is a 360-degree approach to circular spirits distribution, is anchored by three proprietary technologies: the ecoPLANT, a containerised, semi-automated spirits processing facility; the patent-pending ecoTOTE™, a tamper–proof, closed–loop 4.5L vessel; and, now, the SmartPour™, an electronic accessory for seamless, hygienic in-venue dispense and sustainable refilling. When operated as a closed loop system, the ecoSPIRITS technologies eliminate more than 95% of the packaging waste and as much as 80% of the carbon footprint of spirits distribution and consumption.

The ecoSPIRITS closed loop system for spirits distribution

The new SmartPour accessory enables ecoSPIRITS partner bars and restaurants to quickly and accurately transfer spirits from an ecoTOTE to spirits bottles, cocktail shakers, or serving vessels. When mated with an ecoTOTE, the SmartPour provides a one-push pour at 30ml, 45ml, 60ml and 700ml volumes, along with a continuous pour option for any desired fill volume. Regional variants will be available for standard pouring measures in all global markets.

Battery powered with convenient USB-C charging, the SmartPour is compliant with global hygiene best practices for food handling, as well as FCC and RoHS standards in the United States and European Union, respectively. The SmartPour is compatible with both the new ecoTOTE 3.0 and the prior generation ecoTOTE 2.0, allowing for seamless deployment in existing ecoSPIRITS cities.

A SmartPour used to sustainably serve, and refill, Peddlers Gin, the world’s first Shanghai craft gin.

“ecoSPIRITS supports hundreds of partner hospitality venues across our Asia Pacific markets. The release of the SmartPour will improve their closed loop experience, while further enhancing hygiene standards and reducing labour costs,” notes Bob Syihabuddin, ecoSPIRITS Operations Engineer and lead for Asia Pacific closed loop operations, “The SmartPour solution provides a fast, accurate pour every time. It also integrates easily into back-of-house operations and processes.”

The SmartPour offers ecoSPIRITS partner venues a range of performance upgrades over the prior manual transfer solution, improving speed, hygiene, and accuracy. Each unit is water resistant, easy to clean, and transitions seamlessly between spirit types. SmartPours come packaged with all necessary accessories, as well as a link to a brief online product training resource.

One push pours that are fast and accurate

The perfect complement to the ecoTOTE

Whether batching cocktails, direct service, or sustainably refilling branded spirits bottles, the SmartPour completes the ecoSPIRITS closed loop in a user-friendly manner. Eliminating single use glass in the spirits industry just got easier.