O.Z. Tyler Distillery’s new monitoring system: a closer look


OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) We told you about a new system going up at the O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro to monitor rick houses.

The planned installation follows the partial collapse of a rick house last month.

How is it different from O.Z. Tyler’s current inspection method?

“A person walks into the warehouse, checks the plumb bob, checks for any broken posts or boards, any kind of foundation cracking,” says Master Distiller Jacob Call, describing how distillery workers now check warehouses. After one partially collapsed last month, they looked for other ways.

“It will help us keep a better, more accurate set of eyes,” he says.

Those sets of eyes will be a structural health monitoring system developed by StrcutuRight, based in Louisville. Using lasers and scanners, it monitors a building’s physical shape, and conditions bourbon is stored, including temperature and moisture, and sends the data to a phone app.

“Bourbon ages differently, different levels of a warehouse, so we’ll be able to monitor our bourbon as well,” says Call.

Jeff Phelps of StructuRight says they tested their system, developed in the past year, on a historic building in southeast Indiana. Their system’s data matched others when measuring a building’s movement after windy conditions.

“They did a laser scan on the building which verified the sensors picked up the movement in that building. As a result, the engineer were able to design to sure the building,” Phelps recalled.

Call says the system, to be installed in September, can take human error out of determining a warehouse’s soundness.

“This gives us real time data, real time information. And also from a quality standpoint, it allows us to do some research and development for examining how bourbon ages in the warehouses,” he says.

The new system won’t be installed in all the warehouses immediately. Call says they’ll be starting with one warehouse and gradually install them in other ones.

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(This story was originally published on July 12, 2019)

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