Brewing giant Carlsberg is planning a global roll-out of its sensor-based Digital Draughtmaster system, and has contracted internet of things (IoT) connectivity provider Onomondo to support the expansion of its network.

The Digital Draughtmaster system uses pressure sensors in Carlsberg beer kegs to monitor product flow and availability in real time. The Carlsberg Group plans to deploy Digital DraughtMaster in 10 countries starting in 2024, which means that seamless global coverage is crucial to a successful project.

By using Onomondo’s global network, Carlsberg can connect to over 630 networks in more than 180 countries via Onomondo’s Network Marketplace. Access to the Marketplace enables the Carlsberg team to have control over data costs and network access for devices that have been deployed.

By harnessing Onomondo’s global connectivity and innovative software, Carlsberg says users of DraughtMaster will have the platform they need to gain real-time insights into sales patterns, early warning of technical issues, and the ability to digitise their operations.

Established in 1847 in a brewery just outside Copenhagen, the Carlsberg Group has a portfolio spanning over 140 brands generating $10.6bn in revenue with over 40,000 employees and 140 brands in its portfolio. In addition to the core Carlsberg brand, it also owns 1664, Asfana, Birrifico, Brooklyn and Chongqing, among many others. It is active in 40 countries which are undertaking a global digital transformation journey.

To support its activities, the group runs a network connecting over 200 sites across western and central Europe and the Asia regions. Yet the legacy network, built from different regional point services and technologies, proved to be challenging to manage for Carlsberg.

Opening new locations took too long and VPN performance into certain key areas was found to be problematic. Moreover, across regions, the internet-based software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) connecting locations was found to be unsuitable for the company’s VoIP infrastructure and for fully utilising all of the features of its Microsoft Office 365 service.

To address these issues, in August 2023 the company turned to Cato Networks for a single-supplier SASE (secure access service edge) deployment, and in November selected Expereo to implement and manage a new internet underlay network to ensure “seamless” performance wherever Carlsberg employees, partners and customers are located.

“Before working with Onomondo, we identified three key challenges that needed addressing for a successful rollout of our DraughtMaster system – operating devices on a global scale, ensuring secure transmission of data to cloud environments, and guaranteeing constant connectivity and functionality,” said Gregory Thomas, senior director at Carlsberg overseeing DraughtMaster.

“This is a challenge that usually requires a patchwork of service providers, but by implementing Onomondo’s IoT SIMs and core network into our system, these headaches are removed in one fell swoop. Onomondo is a simple, reliable, and accessible way to overcome the connectivity silos that have often plagued IoT projects.”

Onomondo believes that the IoT has long been recognised as a driver of technological change, with the potential to completely revolutionise the way people think about turning more of the world digital, even in the most unexpected places. To back its opinion, the company cited a McKinsey report showing that by capturing new use cases and accelerating adoption globally, IoT and converging the digital and physical worlds has the potential to unlock up to $12.6tn in value globally by 2030.

To securely transmit data from the Digital DraughtMaster to its AWS Cloud environment, Carlsberg will also utilise Onomondo Connectors. These are said to provide enhanced data security, eliminating the need for intermediate servers and ensuring protection against interception. They are attributed with already having helped Carlsberg achieve a 30% reduction in transmitted data, significantly reducing costs over the device’s lifetime.

The predictive maintenance capabilities of the Digital DraughtMaster, coupled with Onomondo’s software, is designed to allow users to address potential problems before they impact beer flow. Onomondo’s software enables Carlsberg to troubleshoot remotely, reducing downtime and improving customer experience.

“Onomondo’s objective has always been to serve a global client base and provide a simplified and unified network that provides IoT solutions with optimal coverage,” said Onomondo co-founder and CTO Henrik Aagaard.

“By collaborating with Carlsberg, we have built a solution that can function wherever their beer is consumed. This is particularly important given the phasing out of 2G and 3G standards worldwide, making it crucial for the network and devices to demonstrate adaptability and remain future-proof.”

Together, Onomondo and Carlsberg, the world’s third-largest brewer, say they hope to “revolutionise” the way bars and restaurants operate their draught installations through the networked DraughtMaster solution.

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