Putting the IoT in CO2

Article

Carbonated drinks and fizzy water make up a significant portion of the worldwide beverage industry. The sector is incredibly competitive and if they are to keep growing and remain profitable, it is imperative for beverage companies, to optimise their workflows. 

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is what adds that special fizz to our favourite beverages. Sometimes, CO2 is added at the point of production by the manufacturer, and sometimes, when the beverage is served on draught at a bar or restaurant, CO2 is added at the catering establishment itself. 

The draught system carbonates beverages by adding high-pressure CO2 into the liquid drink just before it is served to the final customer. This necessitates two containers of liquid – one containing the liquid drink and another containing the carbonating gas itself. These two components are then blended together to create a specific beverage.

As simple as this may sound, the challenges faced by fizzy drink distributors are twofold: 

  1. Containers go missing and identifying the location of carbon dioxide containers (kegs) at all times can be problematic.
  2. Monitoring the volume of carbon dioxide within the containers is not straightforward. 

Historically distributors engaged in a physical route where employees visited catering establishments, manually located the CO2 containers, determined their internal levels, and supplemented the catering establishment’s stock as necessary.

But when containers cannot be located, or when their contents run out before the physical visit takes place, business is lost, and customers remain unsatisfied. On the other hand, when the physical visit takes place before the containers need replacing, that physical visit is rendered unnecessary, resulting in a waste of time and resources to the distributing company, and a cost to the environment. 

To tackle both these challenges, Melita.io developed an Internet of Things (IoT) solution. The solution involves the attachment of energy-efficient smart sensors to the CO2 containers. The sensors transmit the exact geo-location of the containers to an intelligent IoT system that keeps track of the containers in real-time, all the time. Additional smart sensors are attached to the inside of the containers to read the levels of CO2 within the containers. This information is communicated to the distributors’ IoT software platform through Melita’s LoRaWAN gateway network.

This data gives the supplier the visibility to increase efficiency by remotely ascertaining which locations necessitate a visit and refraining from making unwarranted trips. Furthermore, the location of the CO2 containers can be identified with ease even if they get misplaced.

Melita’s LoRaWAN network provides excellent coverage even in remote locations and extremely accurate localisation data, without the use of SIM cards.

This  IoT solution from melita.io, makes the distribution of CO2 more efficient by allowing the distributors to optimise routes, deploying physical visits where and when necessary, reducing overheads, and the negative impact on the environment. In addition, precise localisation data ensures that the containers can be easily traced, avoiding the distributors’ cost of replacements. 

By being able to remotely gauge the internal content levels, the distributor is also able to recognise and resolve stocking issues in a timely manner. This process also removes the requirement for individual clients such as busy restauranteurs to regularly measure their CO2 quantities, and manually placing orders, thus saving them valuable time and resources.  

To learn more about how melita.io can help your business take advantage of the power of the Internet of Things, contact us.

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