The beer industry is going high tech. Carlsburg UK, with more than 150 years of brewing heritage, is deploying an RFID based solution to track its beer kegs in order to provide greater visibility into the path its kegs take after they are filled.
Carlsburg UK is currently tracking 80,000 container assets, including 10 percent of its beer kegs and 100 percent of its cider fleet. The solution has been so successful that Carlsburg is rolling out RFID deeper into its fleet. All new containers are now pre-fitted with RFID tags.
“Carlsberg UK is striving to be the UK’s best beer and beverage business with a focus on innovation and efficiency,” says Neil Harrison, head of primary logistics for Carlsberg UK. “Our containers are a costly and valuable resource and we needed an accurate solution that would improve our ability to manage them.”
Carlsburg UK turned to a solution from West Yorkshire based Kegspertise, a provider of container tracking solutions.
Assets are initially tracked from pre-fill via readers on the keg filling line which is also used to facilitate automated rejection of beer kegs when filling cider and vice versa. An RFID portal developed by Kegspertise is installed at the strategic store level and scans the container as it returns.
Data is transmitted in real-time to the Kegspertise reporting system which includes full analytics such as fill to fill cycle time, fill to return cycle time, container population and loss rates.
The solution enables Carlsberg UK to accurately view the time it takes for a container to return to the strategic store and be ready for reuse after it has been filled and distributed. It also provides data on when the container is filled next.
These two factors enable brewers like Carlsburg to plan their production around the availability of empty containers, and to avoid the purchase or new costly containers due to poor inventory visibility.
In addition, the solution provides an accurate view of actual container population on the market, meaning that Carlsberg UK can be confident about its inventory accuracy. The solution enables Carlsburg to gain a detailed understanding of its container loss rate, which is a major issue in the brewing industry.