FIB Industries BV and Actemium provide state-of-the-art solutions for the supply of fresh beer
Increasingly, traditional keg beer is being replaced by tank beer, which, in addition to being safer and more efficient, also saves on costs and reduces the physical strain often experienced by drivers and catering establishment staff. Every day, brewery tankers go out on the road to top up beer tanks, bringing beer not only to hotels, restaurants and bars but also to football stadiums and festivals. Getting fresh beer from brewery to glass presents a complicated logistical puzzle. Since this year, all deliveries of beer also need to comply with the guidelines set out in the European Measuring Instruments Directive. How can all of this be achieved? FIB's Willem Heddema and Michiel van Vlijmen from Actemium have the answer.
FIB has been involved in the development of tank beer and the supply of beer to venues since the very beginning. "We recently installed the 20,000th beer tank,” says Willem Heddema from FIB. “Over the last 35 years, we have worked on continually improving our beer tanks and draft beer systems. And having joined forces with Actemium to combine our expertise, we have now developed a state-of-the-art solution for the supply of beer, and it is proving to be an international success."
MID legislation came into force in 2016. "When a brewery supplies beer, this represents a financial transaction," explains Actemium's Michiel van Vlijmen. "The Measuring Instruments Directive basically ensures that everyone measures using the same meters. As the entire beer supply system on our tankers is certified in accordance with MID guidelines, the brewery knows exactly how much beer it is supplying. And the venue knows exactly how much it is getting. This means that there is absolutely no risk of mistakes and accounts always balance."
A logistical puzzle
But that is not all. "Each day, a lot of beer trucks make their way from a large brewery in the Netherlands to thousands of customers serving draft beer. This presents a huge logistical puzzle.
We have developed an operating system that automates the entire logistic supply chain, making it paperless," continues Michiel van Vlijmen. "The brewery's planner receives the orders and can then plan the routes for the trucks on the road. Drivers use tablets that provide them with all the information they need. Such information will include the customer's order, the times when the city centre can be driven into and any permits that may be needed, and also matters such as parking regulations. Any relevant information at all really. Drivers also benefit from real-time data exchange with the planner. So if there are any changes or emergency situations, they can immediately modify their schedule and respond to them."
More information, more quality
The beer supply system developed by FIB Industries BV and Actemium is fully customisable. "We sit down with customers to go through their requirements and wishes. We then translate these into a functional specification for the hardware and software. One option, for example, is reminding drivers of driving hours regulations."
"Our beer supply system now makes more information available than ever before," adds Willem Heddema. "As our trucks drive in all weathers, they are also very well insulated. They are equipped with the most advanced measurement and control technology. This is used for constantly measuring the CO2 pressure in the tank, for example, in order to guarantee 100% quality. The conditions under which the beer is transferred from the tanker to the beer tanks are recorded for each delivery. The result? Fresh, cold, delicious beer, straight from the brewery to the glass!"