Fizzy water and carbonated drinks are very popular beverages that make up a significant portion of the global beverage industry. To remain competitive and profitable in this highly competitive market, with numerous bottlers and distributors vying for market share, these companies need to focus on supply chain optimization, sustainability, and energy management.
For starters, bottlers and distributors need to ensure that they have enough inventory to meet customer demand while also remaining energy efficient by minimizing waste, spoilage, and redundant delivery trips. This requires smart transportation methods, which have now become much easier and cost-effective with advanced technologies such as The Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity.
How Carbonated Drinks are Made
When CO2 is added to a drink, it creates carbonation, which gives the drink its characteristic fizz or bubbles. The bottler can do this during the manufacturing process or by the establishment that serves the drink, such as a restaurant or bar. In cases where the CO2 is added on site, the establishment typically stocks two separate containers: one for the CO2 gas and one for the liquid drink or water. These containers are connected to a dispenser or tap, which mixes pre-defined and exact measures of the CO2 and the liquid to produce the desired drink. This process ensures that the drink has a consistent level of carbonation and taste and allows establishments to offer a wide variety of carbonated drinks to their customers.
Challenges of the Industry
Traditionally beverage companies often relied on manual processes to locate CO2 containers within establishments and monitor their stock levels. This involves sending delivery drivers on regular routes, where they physically check the location of the CO2 containers and assess their stock levels. Based on their findings, they replenish the containers as needed. But this approach is time-consuming, heavy on carbon footprint, inefficient, and costly, as it requires a significant amount of manpower and resources to maintain. It also leaves room for errors and inconsistencies, as the manual process can be prone to mistakes, such as misplacing containers or failing to accurately measure CO2 levels.
Optimization Management through IoT and Smart Sensors
To address these challenges, future-looking companies are turning to IoT technology to optimize their CO2 delivery operations. By installing IoT sensors on CO2 containers and using wireless connectivity such as LoRaWAN and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) networks to transmit data to a central IoT portal, companies can remotely monitor the location and stock levels of their CO2 containers in real time. This allows them to optimize delivery routes and reduce waste. The data analytics provided also help improve operational efficiency and ensure that customers always have a consistent supply of carbonated drinks.
“To address these challenges, future-looking companies are turning to IoT technology to optimize their CO2 delivery operations.”
The combination of IoT-enabled sensors and green technology offers numerous benefits, including remote tracking and monitoring of container location and CO2 levels, real-time data analysis, and more efficient and proactive operations for distribution companies. Additionally, the low-power and highly secure nature of its LoRaWAN and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) networks makes it an ideal solution for this application. By implementing this IoT solution through M2M connectivity, distribution companies can save time and money, become more sustainable, and better serve their customers.
By optimizing distribution operations and reducing unnecessary trips, this IoT solution can also help distribution companies reduce their carbon footprint. With increasing global awareness of the need for sustainability, IoT solutions like this are becoming more important to help businesses reduce their impact on the environment.