Today at Sigfox Connect 2020, the largest IoT showroom, Konvoy Group, an Australian keg rental solution provider for the beverage industry, announced a world first with the deployment of their keg tracking and monitoring IoT solution across their 70,000-strong fleet of kegs in Australia and New Zealand.
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The Konvoy team (Photo: Sigfox)
The beacon technology allows Konvoy Group and its customers to reduce keg losses, while maximizing the use of its keg fleet. To roll out this world’s first large scale connected beer-keg solution, Konvoy is leveraging Thinxtra’s Sigfox 0G network.
Konvoy’s ambition was to make keg supply chain management easier, with one of the main challenges a lack of visibility of its fleet. Although scanning technology (RFID, barcodes and QR codes) was an important step in keg location, scans were often missed, resulting in lost kegs and incomplete tracking data.
To address the problem of lost kegs, protect their customers’ bottom line and differentiate themselves in the keg rental market, Konvoy partnered with Thinxtra, The IoT Telco and with UnaBiz, the customized IoT solution provider, to develop an innovative purpose-fit tracking and monitoring solution. The solution runs on Sigfox global 0G network which is owned and operated by Thinxtra in Australia and New Zealand.
“When we first met Thinxtra, we already had a precise idea of what we were looking for. The solution needed to be robust, low-cost and last a minimum of five years. More than anything, we wanted to offer real-time information and high-visibility to producers and keg rental companies on their keg fleet and enable them to not only reduce loss but also optimize keg use,” explains Adam Trippe-Smith, Founder & Managing Director at Konvoy Group.
Konvoy worked closely with UnaBiz to design and manufacture a full-fledged Sigfox-enabled tracking solution that makes operational and economic sense. “Konvoy’s go-to-market urgency was a challenge” said Philippe Chiu, CTO and Co-Founder of UnaBiz. “As a complete IoT business solution provider, on top of hardware development and mass production, we knew it was important to make the solution and data accessible to Konvoy as soon as possible. To value-add to hardware, the team also created a mobile application Konvoy and its partners now use throughout the chain for provisioning and pairing the beacon and kegs to accelerate the deployment of Kegfox. The ease of use and access to live location data is what will help Konvoy define its position in the keg rental market.”
Konvoy’s Kegfox beacon, a battery-powered passive tracking device, is programmed to send location data to Konvoy via Thinxtra’s Sigfox 0G network at regular intervals or upon specific events. Thanks to the low-power consumption of the 0G network, the beacon can last up to 7 years transmitting location and temperature information several times a day without the need for frequent maintenance. On top of tracking, an accelerometer was also built-in with algorithms to detect different types of movement throughout the keg’s lifecycle, such as when the kegs are moved or cleaned.
Konvoy Group knows its Kegfox beacon technology may offer significant benefits to other keg owners so as of 2021 the company’s new business division, Katch Asset Tracking, will offer solutions to other keg owners globally.
This will allow all keg owners to track the real time location of kegs to ensure efficient keg collection.
A keg is normally used around three to four times per year. This solution gives Konvoy Group’s rental business along with other kegs owners the opportunity to optimize existing assets and use kegs more times per year.
Additionally, the Kegfox beacon enables Konvoy’s customers including well-known craft breweries Moon Dog, Fixation, Parrot Dog and Hawkers to monitor the temperature of kegs, ensuring their beverages meet quality guidelines.
“While we focused initially on tracking, this solution has given us the opportunity to also monitor the kegs’ temperature. Because most of the producers have unpasteurized beverages, leaving a keg at too high a temperature actually spoils the product. Being able to send an alert to our customer saying their keg has been transported at the right temperature is an important benefit for them.” adds Adam Trippe-Smith.
Today, Konvoy already has over 200 keg rental customers and has already fitted 20,000 devices on its own kegs and is expecting to equip 95% of its fleet in Australia and New Zealand by the end of the year.
“We are passionate about accelerating the adoption of mass IoT for asset tracking and monitoring, such as beer-kegs, in the supply chain to achieve greater efficiencies and value for customers. Our job is to make sure they are connecting anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. It is fantastic to see Konvoy scaling so fast and even expand globally. It is a great example of what can be achieved today in short timeframes. We see the wider industry adopting IoT solutions more and more as customers simply demand the visibility and efficiency outcomes that can be achieved.” says Anthony Stewart, GM Sales ANZ at Thinxtra.
“Once again, the global Sigfox 0G network helps clients across the globe to meet the demand for both innovative and affordable connectivity solutions. It is the perfect match for the exciting field of keg tracking and monitoring. Konvoy demonstrates that by being now able to differentiate its offer and provide a unique technological solution revolutionizing keg supply chain management,” explains Ian Terblanche, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at Sigfox.
Konvoy Group formed in 2019 to provide a simple keg rental solution for the beverage industry. Konvoy Group launched its first business, Konvoy Keg Rentals, in October 2019. Since then it has expanded to be the only business in Australian and New Zealand to offer keg rentals, keg servicing and keg tracking. Konvoy Group has three stand-alone businesses: Konvoy Keg Rentals, Keg Services and Katch Asset Tracking.
Thinxtra, The IoT Telco, accelerates business efficiency by connecting assets and making them work smarter. With our partners, Thinxtra delivers fit-for-purpose Internet of Things (IoT) device-to-cloud solutions in ANZ, HK and Macau. Born in IoT, we are passionate about contributing to a profitable and sustainable future through large-scale operational efficiencies. Our customers benefit from new business models, better customer experiences and higher asset utilization. We know how IoT creates real business value and we know how to deliver it through market leading local IoT expertise with global reach to the world’s largest 0G network, powered by Sigfox technology and spanning 70+ countries. Visit thinxtra.com.
Sigfox is the initiator of the 0G network and the world’s leading IoT (Internet of Things) service provider. Its global network allows billions of devices to connect to the Internet, in a straightforward way, while consuming as little energy as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption and global scalability.
Today, the network is available in 72 countries, with 1.3 billion people covered. ISO 9001 certified and surrounded by a large ecosystem of partners and IoT key players, Sigfox empowers companies to move their business model towards more digital services, in key areas such as Asset Tracking and Supply Chain. Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is headquartered in France and has offices in Madrid, Munich, Boston, Dallas, Dubai, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.
UnaBiz is an end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company and the first IoT dedicated network operator to roll out a nationwide network in Asia. UnaBiz envisions a closely connected world powered by simple lightweight solutions that can help every person and every organization on the planet live smarter, simpler. The company’s mission is to enable massive IoT with affordable, energy efficient, and easy to deploy solutions in key verticals such as aerospace, facilities management, F&B, healthcare, logistics, supply chain, and smart cities. UnaBiz raised more than US$10 million in its Series A funding in 2018.