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Anheuser-Busch Brews Up RFID Keg-Tracking Pilot

A UHF RFID system from Velociti, utilizing technology from TrackX Holdings, will track 5,000 beer kegs at the company's Huston plant as they are tested, filled, shipped and received back from customers.
By Claire Swedberg
Oct 14, 2018

Beer company Anheuser-Busch InBev is trialing a radio frequency identification solution that tracks beer kegs at its plant in Houston, Texas, with a goal of reducing keg loss, improving efficiency and lowering the company's carbon footprint. The system, provided by TrackX Holdings, was deployed by technology deployment and support services firm Velociti.

The pilot, which is expected to begin this month, is intended to help the beer company understand data regarding the movements of its kegs, according to Andrae Kirkland, Anheuser-Busch InBev's senior manager of business process excellence. Initially, the solution will include passive UHF RFID tags placed on 5,000 kegs, as well as a network of readers and antennas.

Andrae Kirkland
Each one-quarter barrel keg, which holds 7.5 gallons of beer, will be tracked as it arrives at and leaves the Houston plant. The solution consists of TrackX's could-based software platform, known as GAME (Global Asset Management for Enterprises) for returnable transport items. Data is captured via RFID readers supplied by Impinj.

"The issue we want to address is management of our assets," Kirkland says—namely, the kegs themselves. The beverage company has a three-tiered logistics structure, with beer travelling from its manufacturing sites to a wholesaler, and then to the retailer where the beer would be sold, such as a bar or restaurant. "That opens the opportunity for loss," he states.

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