May 16, 2024

    UWB Case Study Budvar Brewery

    The Challenge

    Logistics can be a challenge for any company, but the Budweiser Budvar Brewery had recently found itself facing a particular puzzle. Crafted exclusively in České Budějovice (Budweis) in the Czech Republic, the brewery produced ten different beer varieties, each with labels in dozens of languages, and shipped to 76 countries. This diversity created an intimidating 360 product combinations and the warehouse had to accommodate more than 20,000 pallets of two different container sizes for both indoor and outdoor facilities.

    Before exploring Ultra-Wideband solutions, Budweiser Budvar had relied on a passive RFID system. The RFID anchors were mounted on forklifts with about ten tags per tracking position. It worked for a while, but it eventually fell short in some critical aspects:

    • Dependability: The system experienced reliability issues, leading to disruptions in operations.
    • Maintenance Cost: Maintaining and scaling the RFID infrastructure was expensive.
    • Efficiencies: The system's limitations resulted in operational waste and delays.
    • Lack of Precision: It did not consistently provide accurate, real-time location data for goods. The brewery struggled to leverage data for analytics.

    The Solution

    Budweiser Budvar Brewery looked for a game-changing solution and found it in Sewio's UWB-based Real-Time Location System (RTLS). UWB uses time of flight (ToF) to measure the distance to a tag. Multiple methods for ToF improve the accuracy of measurement and reduce infrastructure costs.

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    Two-way ranging (TWR) and time difference of arrival (TDoA) eliminate the impacts that reflections from walls and machinery (multi-path) have on signal strength. Other ranging methodologies in UWB include phase difference of arrival (PDoA) and reversed TDoA (RTDoA), offering benefits for various types of deployments. These different ranging techniques can be used to identify the distance and direction (vector) of an object.

    Here's how this technology transformed the Budvar warehouse management:

    • Efficient Deployment: Installing Sewio's UWB-based system took about a month. Afterward, engineers took about six months for seamless integration into their existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.
    • Comprehensive Coverage: To cover a sprawling 15,000 square meters (17,940 square yards) across the indoor and outdoor warehouse facilities, Budweiser Budvar deployed 70 UWB anchors and equipped 15 forklifts with tags, achieving an impressive positional accuracy of 30 centimeters.

    Results and Benefits

    The installation and integration of Sewio's UWB-based RTLS yielded substantial improvements:

    • 19 Percent Better Uptime: Compared to the legacy RFID system, the UWB solution delivered a 19 percent increase in uptime, minimizing disruptions in warehouse operations.
    • 19 Percent Better Warehouse Operations: Budweiser Budvar Brewery optimized its warehouse space more effectively, resulting in a 19 percent increase in overall warehouse utilization.

    The adoption of UWB technology marked a significant turning point for Budweiser Budvar Brewery's warehouse management. By overcoming the limitations of their legacy RFID system and embracing UWB-based RTLS, they not only improved operational efficiency but also gained the real-time, high-precision location data needed for advanced analytics. This success story underscores the power of UWB technology in enhancing business operations, and as the ecosystem of UWB Technology, and solution providers expands, we can expect even more groundbreaking micro-location services to shape the future of various industries.


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