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Colorado brewer improves keg cycle times

RFID-enabled asset tracking and supply chain management solutions provider Fluensee has been selected by New Belgium Brewing Company to help track, manage and improve the utilisation of the brewer's kegs. James Graham reports

New Belgium Brewing of Fort Collins, Colorado has implemented the browser-based Fluensee AssetTrack application and passive RFID technology to provide better visibility to its keg fleet.

On its fill line New Belgium installed passive RFID readers that capture data on all tagged beer kegs, sending RFID data to Fluensee AssetTrack that provides the brewer with up-to-date information about which kegs are being filled most often and with what brand of beer. This information will help New Belgium to increase the utilisation of its existing kegs through improved visibility throughout the fill-to-fill process.

New Belgium predicts that when fully adopted, it will use this RFID-enabled keg management system to know: Current keg location and status; fill-to-fill cycle time for each keg; length of time at distributor; and keg turn rates by distributor.

"New Belgium prides itself on offering world-class beer while implementing business processes that reduce costs, labour and impact on the environment," said Brendan Beers, packaging materials purchaser for New Belgium Brewing.

"Using RFID technology helps us automate our keg management process so that we know where our kegs are, how frequently they're being used and how quickly they are being returned. Our vision is that RFID will streamline keg movement to our customer sites and throughout our supply chain."

The New Belgium Brewing Company’s beers go by names such as Sunshine Wheat, Trippel, and Blue Paddle. New Belgium brews are distributed in 24 US states. New Belgium's brews some 500,000 barrels of beer each year and is the third largest craft brewer in the US.


May 09

1 May 2009 - James Graham