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New Belgium Brewing 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.
Fluensee's AssetTrack solution and RFID provide 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 utilization of its existing kegs through improved visibility throughout the fill-to-fill process.
Ultimately, New Belgium predicts that when fully adopted, it will use this RFID-enabled keg management system to know:
"New Belgium prides itself on offering world-class beer while implementing business processes that reduce costs, labor and impact on the environment," said Brendan Beers, Packaging Materials Purchaser for New Belgium Brewing. "Using Fluensee's AssetTrack solution and 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."
Today most brewers use manual systems or barcodes to track their beer kegs. With both methods it is difficult to tell which customer has which kegs and who is responsible for damaged kegs when they are returned to the brewers. When applied to the right business processes, RFID will tell brewers with absolute certainty where and when their kegs were delivered and who has kegs that are available to be returned to the brewery to be refilled.
With very detailed asset status and movement history information, Fluensee's RFID-enabled AssetTrack solution will also help New Belgium by providing accurate turn and loss data, which allows them to better understand the "as is" state of its keg fleet. Using process improvement tools such as Six Sigma, the data from AssetTrack will help drive improvement projects focused on optimizing the efficiency of the fleet.
"As a leader in the brewing industry, New Belgium recognizes how RFID can help provide better information about kegs and their contents, which in turn leads to better control over the entire keg fleet and supply chain costs," said Tim Harvie, president and chief executive officer of Fluensee. "We look forward to helping New Belgium find many new ways to use RFID throughout its distribution network to help them achieve significant time, labor and cost savings."
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