Nowadays the variety of beverage types is almost endless. They can roughly be categorized into sports drinks, energy drinks, bottled water, tea, coffee, carbonated beverages, wines/spirits and beers. Each category can be further sub-categorized based on flavors, sizes and where they are produced.
Each beverage type/flavor/size must come with its own unique SKU for product traceability. And such demand for product SKUs often pushes production lines and supply chains to their fullest capacity. Product traceability is further complicated when seasonal spikes, temperature/storage requirement, branding/labeling and packaging are taken into consideration.
Most supply chains, from manufacturers and distributors to retailers, are not yet equipped to cope with the aforementioned demand for product SKUs and are therefore faced with the following communication, collaboration and forecasting challenges.
- Outdated and non-automated supply chain management systems
- Inadequate or erroneous traceability
- Poor integration between manufacturing and retail operations
- Inaccurate demand forecasts
- Non-real-time inventory status
A leading information technology company that specializes in institutionalizing supply chain efficiencies for various industries came to Lanner for hardware solutions that can greatly facilitate the development of a supply chain management system for one of their end customers in the beverage industry. With this updated SCM system, they hope to achieve the followings:
- Enabling an automated and updated supply chain system
- Facilitating better integration between production, logistics, distribution and retail operations
- Creating a cohesive and complete view of all related metrics
- Adding key customers input to forecasting efforts
- Permitting production quality authentication (for alcoholic beverage)
- Implementing stringent traceability
The fanless LEC-2281 comes with Intel®’s 4th generation Core™ i7/i5/i3 processors. Its I/O interface includes Intel® HD Graphics 4600, HDMI, VGA and DVI-D interface, 6x USB ports, 2x 2.5″ HDD/SSD drive bays with RAID 0/1 and one mSATA socket; expansion is made possible via the included PCI, PCI Express x16 and the full-sized mini-PCIe socket with SIM card reader.
The LEC-7233, on the other hand, is a SFF (152mm x 30mm x 143 mm) thin client gateway powered by the dual-core Intel® Celeron® N2807 SoC. This box PC comes equipped with Intel® HD Graphics, 3x LAN ports, 4x DIO ports, 2x COM ports, 3x USB ports, HDMI, and 3G/LTE/wireless connectivity via the built-in mini-PCIe slots.
LEC-2281: Automation PC Controller for Beverage Production Line
The LEC-2281, an ideal automation gateway appliance for beverage/bottling production line control, traceability and production monitoring, features high-performance Intel Core™ processor and PCI slot for motion control /PoE card expansion. In this application scenario the LEC-2281 serves as the PC controller, offering advantages for a four-pronged approach to production line control. Firstly, product ingredients and finished goods’ data are accurately recorded using digital barcodes and secondly, product labeling is made fail proof via machine vision and high-speed industrial cameras.
Thirdly, with its 6x USB ports and 2x SSD hard drives, the LEC-2281, as a data gateway for production traceability, is capable of collecting/storing/uploading environmental metrics such as temperature, pressure and humidity from sensors at each all production checkpoints. And finally, barcode printers can be connected for printing QR Code/EPC tags on which critical information such as ingredients origins, product identification and manufacturer authenticity can be displayed.
LEC-7233: Thin-client Gateway for ID Authentication in Retail Stores
The LEC-7233, working as a compact IoT gateway installed at retail stores, features power-efficient CPU, COM/USB interface and wireless connectivity. It connects to barcode readers and cloud databases for real-time sales data, synchronizing and making available important insights into dates of purchase, purchased items, sales quality and sales clerks, therefore enabling far more reliable forecasting for inventory control and production decisions.
The end-customer succeeded in improving their supply-chain management efficiency and performance. This particular beverage maker was able to progress beyond an outdated buy-and-sell relationship between itself and its distributors and retailers, allowing them to retain and capture both existing and untapped markets by ensuring the right products hit the right markets at the right time along with greater product traceability, inventory forecast and customer satisfaction.