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Brewing Industry Has a Thirst for RFID Tracking

UK based Kegspertise is helping major brewers track their kegs and improve supply chain efficiency.

When most of us think about working at a brewery, we tend to think of it as an adult version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, where the biggest problem is figuring out what super-model to put in the next commercial. The reality is that brewers, like all product offering businesses, face supply chain challenges on an almost daily basis.rfid_04

Major brewers often have several thousand kegs in their inventory at any given time. Most brewers were faced with the challenge of managing these kegs from filling, through delivery and then to pick up when empty. The issue is that a large portion of kegs were not returned by customers and distributors in a timely fashion, and the brewers had no means of tracking where their kegs were. At a cost of roughly $100 per keg, brewers were often forced to over-stock them to ensure that they had enough to meet demand.

Currently, Carlsberg Brewery is working  with the UK based firm Kegspertise to address this problem. Kegspertise has provided Carlsberg with the software and hardware infrastructure to RFID tag nearly 80,000 Kegs of their Somersby Cider for tracking. The planned roll-out will see all new kegs equipped with RFID tags as well as the retrofitting of the existing kegs with EPC Gen 2 passive high-frequency RFID tags. The new system will allow Carlsberg to easily track their keg inventory and ensure that almost all of their kegs are returned when used.

These same tracking principles can be applied to the fleet management industry as well. Fleetmind deploys a number of RFID systems as part of their Automated Service Verification. Most waste management organizations are responsible for servicing tens, if not hundreds, of thousands customers, knowing where your containers are, if they’ve been serviced and what state they are in, can go a long way towards improving customer service and overall fleet efficiency. Solid waste may not be as “cool” as a keg full of beer, but understanding your inventory situation is always a good business practice.

 

 

 

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