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KegTracker, A First Of Its Kind IoT Device That Turns Kegs and Casks Into Smart Containers

Have you come across a smart container? A KegTracker?

In light of the lockdown on breweries and distilleries, keg losses through COVID-19 restrictions are particularly distressing to suppliers, breweries, and pubs. Restaurant owners, pub owners, and hoteliers are all looking for ways to reduce waste and unnecessary costs as the hospitality industry reopens.

By increasing visibility of beer keg’s location and condition throughout the supply chain, damage and improper handling can be prevented. Among the smart keg tracking sensors available these days is the Internet of Things (IoT). These smart sensors provide real-time visibility into the entire tank fleet, at any time, from any location. In addition, smart sensors track keg location and provide data on keg condition, such as tilt, level, tamper shock, and movement.

The handling process of kegs is pretty challenging since kegs are reusable containers. KegTrackers are produced to maintain close ties with them. However, a lack of transparency leads to the wastage of beer and contamination at times. An IoT device developed by The Smart Container Company, a company in the UK, measures in real-time volume, location, temperature, and motion of individual kegs with its Zero-Waste KegTracker device, a first-to-market product. Their AI-powered platform, BeverEDGE, uses the captured data to provide breweries, distributors, and retailers alike with insights to improve efficiencies and sustainability in supply chains.

Any connected device will receive a notification immediately if the location or condition changes or if tampering is suspected. This can lead to a swift correction of the situation.

Brewer World talks to Eduardo Garcia, the co-founder, and CEO at The Smart Container Company, to understand the KegTracker.

What are KegTrackers and BeverEDGE?

Kegtracker is our first-to-market device that connects kegs to the internet. The device gathers real-time intelligence as kegs move along the supply chain, feeding this data to the cloud and our proprietary software platform, BeverEDGE.

Using the latest in IoT, AI, and 5G, these products work together to create the most in-depth insights for distributors, brewers, and pubs.

Our technology empowers each draught beer supply chain participant to make more informed decisions, optimise their efficiency, increase profitability, and reduce their carbon footprint.

How does KegTracker work?

Using the latest digital technologies, Kegtracker uses sensors to measure the volume, location, temperature, and motion of each keg, no matter where it is; at a stadium, in transit, or a pub cellar.

The device is easy to install, water-resistant, theft-proof, one-size-fits-all, and has a five-year battery life (you don’t need to worry about recharging it!)

In short, the Kegtracker is the most advanced technological solution for the draught beer industry, enabling greater transparency and a much leaner day-to-day operation.

What was the concept behind Net-Zero waste?

Our ground-breaking technology unlocks enormous potential for sustainability tracking in the beverage and hospitality industry by measuring data in real-time.

Brewers, distributors, and pubs will now have access to insights on their current carbon footprint, energy spending, beer waste, and recommendations to make their supply chains more sustainable.

Working towards achieving net-zero emissions is critical to the health of our planet. This is why we have developed technology that can pioneer greater sustainability for the draught beer industry.

Do Breweries and Beer manufacturers need to look into a more Circular and Sustainable approach within their operations? If yes, why do you feel so, and how does The Smart Container Company help enable this?

Reusable containers such as kegs and casks are the most sustainable method for transporting the beverages we love.

These containers, however, are challenging to manage – they lack visibility for business owners and stakeholders as they travel from the brewery to the retailer and back again.

Our technology creates visibility along the supply chain by tracking relevant data points, reducing lost kegs, minimising spoiled products, and facilitating more efficient deliveries. This creates a circular supply chain and translates to more significant profit and a reduced carbon footprint for the industry. The planet will thank us!

How do your solutions help in bringing Transparency in Supply Chain for Breweries?

With our technology, information is transmitted in real-time to anyone who interacts with the keg. We measure many data points: the temperature of the product, the motion of the keg, and of course, location information. These data points are crucial to understanding what is happening with the keg and the product inside. This leads to more transparency, better quality beer, better production planning, and fewer lost kegs.

We also measure the volume of the liquid inside the keg. This enables live sales and consumption data and better inventory management, dynamic reordering, and route optimisation – all key to reducing carbon emissions.

The combination of Kegtracker and BeverEDGE means intelligence and transparency like never before.

What Role Will IoT Play in the Future?

The World Economic Forum estimates that digital technologies such as IoT, AI, and 5G can cut global emissions by 15%. IoT will play a significant role in smarter manufacturing, reducing costs, improving product quality, streamlining processes, and making sustainable and profitable industries. We are excited to apply our technology to the brewing industry, given its size and scope and the room for improvement. But, unfortunately, there has been very little innovation in space until recently.

Crowdfunding: Is it easy or challenging?

I believe the saying is that nothing good is easy! Crowdfunding is a powerful, excellent tool – especially for an early-stage business – though a lot of work goes into a successful campaign. These milestones are much easier to reach when you have the right team in place, aligned to a common goal. At The Smart Container Company, we have a robust and diverse team of engineers, data scientists, sustainability experts, beverage industry gurus, and more – all from different countries, interests, educations, and backgrounds.

We are grateful to have raised two rounds on CrowdCube. In 2020, we raised £475k, exceeding our goal by 475%. This year we’ve raised 602k, with about six days remaining. We feel great about exceeding our goal again this year and thankful to the crowd for their consecutive support.

Check it out!

Which are the countries using The Smart Container Company’s Kegtracker. Are there chances of the Kegtracker being available in India in the future?

Currently, our pilot clients’ core operations are in the UK. However, after this raise, we will look to expand our efforts globally. Our device was designed to fit on any keg and transmit data from anywhere, and yes, as a country that enjoys beer (understatement!) So India should expect us imminently.

What is your understanding of the craft beer industry in India, and do you see potential IoT applications?

The Indian craft beer market has been growing fast for the last decade. With so many beer lovers and talented brewers, we’re excited to see what kind of delicious beer will come from India next. IoT applications (such as ours, for example) will drastically improve the operations of craft breweries, allowing them to grow their sales and better manage their kegs and carbon footprint. With this day-to-day management out of the way, they can focus more on what they love – brewing the best possible beer.