iStill designs, makes, and sells high-quality distilling equipment. How quality is achieved and maintained? What our philosophy on quality is? Let’s dive in deeper via these three simple yet vital pillars:
- Quality innovations;
- Design and manufacturing quality;
- Staff quality.
Innovation quality starts and ends with the question “What qualities do our distilling solutions bring to the market place?”. And since iStill is an innovation driven company, we ask ourselves that question a lot. It is what helps us invent and introduce disruptive technologies to the very traditional distilling industry.
But how do we measure an innovation? How do we know where to invest our money and to what innovations we need to give our attention and energy? It is our tagline “Distilling made easy” that serves as our north star, iStill’s guiding principle. Whenever a new quality can be introduced that will actually make distilling easier, we’ll pursue it. If an innovation doesn’t make distilling easier, we’ll drop it. In order to help you make quality spirits, we need to offer very specific qualities. And since distilling is pretty darn complex, making it easier results in more control and better spirits.
An example on a quality innovation? Here we go. Boiler and column integrity are very important. For you to run a distillery, you need a functional boiler and column. These are the major parts and the parts that take longest to replace, were they to be damaged. If you drive your forklift into your still and rupture a column or boiler, you will be out of business for a prolonged period of time. A simple design solution we have incorporated to maintain boiler and column integrity is that we do not weld anything directly to either boiler or column. No weak spots and nothing sticks out, making the risk of actually damaging your boiler or column with your forklift infinitely smaller.
Design and manufacturing quality
In our designs, form always follows function. Remember, iStill is about making distilling easier, not prettier or fancier! Fancy and pretty stills are, in our perception, not a goal, but a result. The form follows function philosophy, as a consequence, results in a minimalistic, almost Scandinavian design.
Execution, how design is laid-out in material, follows another simple rule at iStill: double the norm. Put simply, most designs are made according to certain specifications. For instance: how strong does the boiler need to be and what metal sheet thickness will get us there? Thicker sheeting, an above the norm execution, leads to higher costs, and that is something most manufacturers try to avoid, since it would eat away at their cost price and margins.
At iStill, we use a very different approach. Our equipment is build by doubling the norm. Here is an example: let’s say that 2 mm thick Stainless Steel is needed for a certain size boiler. The implication of our “double the norm” philosophy is that we’ll build it out of 4 mm thick steel sheeting instead. Or lets look at the agitator engine. If we calculate that one horsepower is what we need for mixing a certain batch size, we’ll put in a two horsepower agitator.
Even though this approach to execution is more expensive, we feel it is well worth the money. Your still is going to be your money maker. You rely on it to work for decades to come. So wherever we can increase longevity, we feel we should. The double the norm philosophy pays off tremendously.
Most equipment is designed with “value for money” in mind. The designer and producer of a given tool wants to make conscious decisions on what quality he brings to the market, given a certain pricing. In doing so, he accepts that he may not be the best, but that’s allowed, since his products aren’t the most expensive either.
At iStill we replaced “value for money” by “quality over money”. If we can use a better part, if we can design something of better quality, we’ll do so. We always want the best quality, because it helps us limit your downtime. And since you depend on your distillery equipment to make a living, we feel that this is the only way to approach still building: we build according to the highest quality levels, whatever it costs.
Since quality is dependent on so many tasks and functions being done right, it takes a team of specialists to realize high-quality products. A team of individuals that are passionate about what they are doing, whether it is welding, designing, testing or assembling an iStill. It is passion, and the willingness to learn from mistakes, that drives us forward. It is passion that changes the world. Therefore, passion is basically the only job requirement, if you want to be an iStill employee. Passion and the willingness to learn and innovate. To help make distilling top shelf product a little bit easier each and every day.
iStill Quality Philosophy …