Tomatin Distillery upgrade projects

The Tomatin distillery which operates today was established in 1897 but has been expanded several times over the years.

The name “Tomatin” translates to “Hill of the Juniper Bush”, as juniper wood gives off no smoke while burning it has long been a favourite of illicit distillers.

1974 saw the most significant boost to capacity with the total number of stills reaching 23 (12 wash and 11 spirit) requiring seven spirit safes and with the capacity to produce around 12 million litres of alcohol every year. At this time Tomatin was the largest distillery in Scotland.

Since that time, the focus has changed and the distillery has gone from strength to strength. There has been a change in strategy to grow the Tomatin brand in its own right. The range of single malts is currently sold in over 50 export markets, with additional markets being added all the time.

During the summer of 2012 Muirton Control & Automation Ltd carried out an extensive upgrade and refurbishment of the mash house and replacement of the obsolete control system which dated back to the 1970s and beyond.

The brief was to create a semi-automated mashing control system which would make the process more uniform and repeatable, but at the same time leave the operators in control and able to adapt to any changing situation which might arise.

Tomatin Distillery

The works carried out included:

  • Building and installation of a new motor control panel.
  • Building and installation of a new PLC panel.
  • Supply and installation of a new operator interface workstation.
  • Design, creation and commissioning of new bespoke PLC and operator interface programs.
  • Supply and installation of all the required instrumentation to measure the various flows, temperatures and levels.
  • Supply and install of all the required actuated valves and globe control valves.
  • Supply and installation of fully actuated position controlled grist case outlet slide.

Since 2012 the mashing process has been working well and has been very well received by the operators on site. In 2015 further works were carried out to replace the malt intake and milling control system, these additional works included: –

  • One additional new motor control panel.
  • Two additional new PLC remote I/O panels above and below the malt bins.
  • Additional PLC and operator interface programming.
  • Supply and installation of new pneumatic cylinders and controls to operate twenty malt bin outlet slides which hadn’t operated for a number of years.
  • Supply and installation of new controls for the existing malt weighting machine and PLC and operator interface programming to add it to the control system.

All of the works were carried out within budget, on time, continue to perform well and we look forward to our next project for The Tomatin Distillery Company Ltd.


We are extremely proud to play our part in bringing some of Scotland’s most iconic and best loved brands to life.

Ewen McDonald,
Muirton Control & Automation Ltd.

Our experience


iMash control systemWorking closely with Allen Associates we designed a simple robust control system for the iMash using proven technology to create a simple and operator interface.