A wireless metering solution for tracking beer and spirit dispensing
Published: 10 February 2012 - Rachael Morling
Wireless mesh technology is being used for tracking, in real time, the dispensing of beverages. A key element in the Bonzi wireless beverage metering system, IDC’s ZigBee wireless mesh technology can track when, where, what and how much beer or spirit is dispensed, with the resulting data routed to a back office PC, or direct to the web via IDC’s ZB104 Ethernet Gateway, for analysis.
The ZigBee chip is integrated into the Bonzi pouring head and transmits each pour wirelessly for comparison with registered sales, improving stock and cost control and highlighting any discrepancies.
The technology was suitable for this application due to its low power consumption and peer-to-peer networking capabilities. It can be incorporated into small inexpensive chips that consume minimal power, and is also a full-blown telemetry system in its own right, with the ability to provide wireless personal area networking (WPAN) i.e. digital radio connections between computers and related devices, such as sensors.
This flexibility of communication means that any number of the ZigBee-equipped pouring heads can be used at any one time, each providing specific and accurate pour information to a secure onsite PC, via an IDC ZB104 Ethernet Gateway. The Gateway is a dual function device acting as the central co-ordinator for a network of ZigBee devices, and also transfers data to and from the wireless network over Ethernet.
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