Innovation on tap: Spinview and Pelion Collaborate to Revolutionise Cellar Monitoring with Smart Connectivity

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 What do Digital Twin technology experts, connectivity experts and cellar experts all have in common? Thanks to innovative collaboration between Spinview, Pelion and Ding – the answer is better beer!

By joining forces with Pelion to create uninterrupted connectivity for IoT monitoring devices in beer cellars, Spinview provided remote access and monitoring to help DING’s clients achieve optimal beer taste, reduced brewery risks and costs.
 
Digital twin solution provider, Spinview, provides intelligence on all kinds of buildings and spaces – but in 2023 they encountered a new and rather interesting challenge. DING, a beer line cleaning technology company, needed to enhance their cellar management. The aim was to improve the quality of draught beer, reduce operational costs, and help bar operators achieve their sustainability targets.
 
DING’s commitment to offering eco-friendly solutions for cleaner and safer beer lines aligned with Spinview’s vision to create smarter and healthier spaces. The collaboration aimed to preserve the authentic taste of beer and mitigate financial losses caused by spoiled beverages. By integrating Spinview’s digital twin technologies for real time remote monitoring, the partnership focused on providing bar and pub operators with enhanced visibility, simplifying beer quality management, enhancing safety measures, and minimising operational costs.
 
Addressing the IoT connectivity challenges within the beer cellar environment for Spinview’s digital twin demanded specialised technical expertise and a customised solution. It prompted Commercial Director, Tori Mackenzie-Harvey, to seek the expertise of Pelion – a move that would prove instrumental. 
 

The bitter beer business issue

 Draught beer should be kept between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius (the industry standard). Warmer temperatures encourage bacterial and microorganism growth, tainting taste and creating health risks. Rising average temperatures and more frequent extremes due to climate change are making control tougher every year. Even a simple activity that lets temperature fluctuate, like leaving a cellar door open, can have a detrimental effect.
 
Close control of cellar temperature and beer line management are therefore vital to prevent spoilage and wastage. Bar and pub operators suffer from large amounts of stock loss though traditional beer line cleaning. Currently significant flushing is required due to the toxicity of the caustic line clean offered by current products in the market. DING’s beer line clean is non-toxic and reduces the amount of water and beer wasted. However, remote cellar and line clean monitoring is essential to enable bar and pub operators to gain maximum savings. Using IoT devices to create connected cellars carries exciting potential to reduce the cost of beer cellar monitoring, management, and maintenance.
 
Spinview’s digital twin IoT monitoring enabled by Pelion SIM connectivity, alongside DING’s smart beer line solution, is helping breweries and pubs manage cellar conditions better and mitigate other risk factors.
 

Real partnership is hard to find

Together, Spinview and DING embarked on a journey to develop a proof of concept (POC) for improved cellar operations. Working with a partner who would support this as a POC was important – but it would need to be a sustainable cost-effective long-term option too.
 
Flexibility was key, as Tori explains: “Pelion was supportive, providing us with a flexible pay-as-you-go data purchasing model empowering us to tailor packages that meet customer preferences and accommodate various commercial agreement durations, eliminating the constraints of traditional fixed two-year terms.”
 

Creating constantly connected cellars

Breweries devote significant resources for physical visits to monitor cellar temperature and conditions. Digital Twin monitoring can improve cellar vigilance, speed up the resolution of issues, and reduce maintenance costs for owners of any pub chain (of any size or location), who could benefit hugely from a whole-estate connected cellar solution. However, modern beer cellars may still be located underground in older pubs, taking advantage of naturally stable sub ground temperatures, as well as being located anywhere in a modern venue. Maintaining a cellular signal can be problematic, so using IoT devices for remote monitoring for this scenario would require highly resilient connectivity. Tori adds: “Pelion proactively suggested what it considered the optimal solution for the project – multi-network SIM connectivity. This choice ensures continuous connectivity, even in the event of a major network failure.”
 
Ensuring continuous, round-the-clock connectivity was crucial for demonstrating the viability and value of the solution to a trial customer, Tori explains: “Our clients depend on us for accurate, real-time monitoring. Any downtime is unacceptable because it directly impacts their operations. We’ve engineered our solution with bespoke alerts and alarms, ensuring that operators and essential personnel are promptly notified via text or email about critical conditions like temperature fluctuations or the need to clean beer lines. If connectivity fails, the gateway doesn’t send these crucial alerts, and our efforts to reduce beer wastage are severely compromised.”
 

Proving the point at two test sites

Pelion SIMs have been integrated into gateway devices across two locations: a pub chain in London and a hotel chain in Bracknell, a town 40 miles west of London. This proof of concept involves sensors for temperature, door status, and pH levels installed in the cellars, which connect through a gateway device. This setup channels the data directly into Spinview’s platform, displaying it through interactive widgets and graphs on the IoT dashboard for comprehensive reporting and analysis.
 
During the planning phase, thorough discussions between Pelion and Spinview helped determine the optimal SIM choice and configuration. Tori highlights Pelion’s valuable input: “Pelion offered extensive guidance, including the necessity of an additional router to support the security package we were developing. This package includes security cameras equipped with human detection. Although these cameras connect through the same gateway, we recognised that the video feed and image capture demanded a more robust data transmission capability than a standard gateway could offer.”
 
Spinview has been able to monitor the POC system and data usage in live operation at these test sites with the support and advice of Pelion on how to optimise the connectivity, she adds: “Our clients’ needs drive everything we do. Pelion has now recommended a different type of SIM that will meet the needs of our client’s IoT implementation even further, giving us enhanced efficiency and connectivity.”
 
Tori illustrates the immediate benefits of monitoring cellar temperatures during the trial: “At a London pub, the customer was experiencing frequent beer spoilage, despite assurances from their air conditioning supplier that the units were functioning correctly around the clock. In collaboration with DING, we deployed our remote cellar management solution. This enabled the pub’s landlord to confirm that the cellar temperature was consistently exceeding 12 degrees Celsius, often reaching 20-24 degrees. We discovered that the AC unit was actually being turned off during the early morning hours.”
 

Brewery business benefits are clear

 Enhancing the monitoring and management of cellars aligns seamlessly with Spinview’s mission, as Tori explains: “Our goal is to offer a comprehensive, unified view and management of a client’s assets from a single, central repository. This approach integrates all relevant building data to establish a continuous, accessible ‘golden thread’ of information, moving away from isolated data silos. By providing hospitality operators with critical insights, we enable them to make well-informed decisions. Maintaining cellar conditions and beer quality is straightforward with our methods: stabilise temperature, utilise DING’s beer line cleaning solutions, and manage beer line cleans, reduce wastage. This ensures the beer remains cool and of high quality.”
 
Spinview’s systems offer its clients the opportunity for a unified view of their facilities, and centralised web access to data so they can see issues instantly and take actions to mitigate risks. Giving multiple-venue operators easy access to cellar data across their estate can massively reduce the cost of cellar inspections and temperature checks, enabling them to despatch maintenance engineers to investigate changes and fix equipment faster.
 
Making this a reality for one brewery client is just a further step on the ongoing journey, Tori reflects: “The future is very exciting for clients of Spinview. Once digital twins are in place, organisations of any kind can have access to all their data enabling them to reduce both operational expenditure and impact on the environment. Reducing travel is only one benefit of many in implementing digital twins but it represents a huge operational cost to business – our solution allows you to spend your time doing what you do best, adding value rather than travelling or searching for relevant information.”
 

Confidence underpins the relationship.

Tori welcomes the assurance provided by Pelion’s robust and secure 24/7 connectivity between Spinview’s IoT devices and the cloud system: “Pelion instils confidence with its solid security features and the availability of a dedicated support team just a phone call away. Their direct expertise was crucial in customising the connectivity plan to suit our needs.”
 
She added: Working with Pelion has been exceptionally positive. They are flexible and transparent about costs and requirements at each step. Their straightforward and approachable manner was invaluable, especially during a period when I was coordinating multiple priorities quickly. Pelion’s non-salesy, to-the-point communication style was particularly appreciated.”

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