Smart Beverage Dispenser
In 2018, Switzerland’s largest beer producer and beverage distributor, Feldschlösschen, decided to enter the consumer market directly with intelligent beer dispensing machines. The goal of the remote unmanned stations was to connect their brand directly with end-consumers by providing a zero-waste, self-service solution for dispensing their flagship as well as specialty beers with “fresh from the keg” quality.
The move allows Feldschlösschen to directly reach customers and collect market data about which products are most popular where and when. It as well allows them to test-market new beers without the complex logistics of creating new shelf space at third party retailers.
In order to remotely and securely manage their machines, Feldschlösschen turned to qiio to provide an end-to-end IoT solution that securely monitors product levels, temperature, CO2 propellant pressure, machine location, and service requests. The solution also pushes data to each machine such as software updates, flow speed configuration, as well as text and graphics to the machine’s front-panel advertisement display, all from a web-based dashboard.
An IoT beer solution from edge to cloud
qiio quickly developed a hardware sensor prototype based on the firm’s “IoT Concentrator” hardware and cloud monitoring platform. The reference design includes all standard wired and wireless interfaces to the various pressure, flow, temperature and alarm sensors embedded in the dispenser. The design supports wired interfaces such as USB, CAN-bus, I2C, SPI, UART etc. qiio also offers all popular wire & wireless connectivity options including 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, LoRa and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE).
The IoT Concentrator continuously monitors machine sensors, collecting and concentrating system parameters and transmitting them via a TLS encrypted cellular TCP/IP data stream directly to a “digital twin” in qiio’s cloud, which is hosted in a secure, Microsoft Azure redundant data center. All machines are managed via certificate and monitored in real-time. Software and display updates are pushed to machines directly from a web dashboard.
The result: a new, efficient route-to-market connecting Feldschlösschen directly with their customers allowing them to deliver a higher-quality, eco-friendly, cost-effective service while collecting valuable market and machine data remotely and securely from the cloud.