KEGLINK FEATURE SPOTLIGHT: 'Has Moved'
The metrics our KegLink sensors monitor are not randomly chosen. Each is individually important to the storage and delivery of great beer, and combined they provide a multitude of measures that are useful to brewers, sellers and drinkers alike. One built-in measure that comes standard is ‘has moved’.
The lifespan of a keg is full of hustle and bustle. From brewer, to pallet, to truck, to fridge, to conveyor belt to venue chutes – kegs get treated pretty rough. Yet you may be surprised to learn how much of a sedentary life kegs live between these important events, spending days, weeks, months, or (yes we’ve seen it) years without being touched at all. One of the key flags built in to our KegLink software is the ‘has moved’ indicator, which is indicated by the same MEMS accelerometer that detects orientation.
The ‘has moved’ flag signals when a keg has physically moved, like being loaded onto a pallet, shuffled around in a cool room, or travelling along a potholed outback road to a terrible place like a pub with no beer. These slight movements are critical to understanding the keg’s whereabouts in the supply chain of beer. The 3 axis accelerometer is critical in detecting small motions in all directions.
Determining the ideal motion thresholds involved a lot of heavy lifting, transporting and a few sore toes (kicking empty kegs around the brewery). We knew we had a good compromise at a sensitivity threshold 800 milligals, when there were zero false-triggers on a stationary keg, but the keg also couldn’t be snuck out the door without setting off the “has moved” flag (picture Binary Beer staff dressed as sneaky cat burglars stealing kegs of beer).
Capturing a keg’s movement throughout the supply chain is a little more tricky than checking orientation, since some keg movements span just a few seconds. This means the accelerometer must be running constantly throughout the life of the sensor, ever vigilant, waiting to capture that next tell-tale jostle.
We put a lot of R&D into the algorithms and circuit design to optimise power usage while still capturing valuable fine-grained details. In the end, this feature consumes <1uA which is about enough to drain a AA battery in 228 years.
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