Katch C1 Cellular Keg Tracking Beacon

  • 2023

  • Product
    Commercial and Industrial

Commissioned By:


Designed In:


Katch C1 Keg Tracking Beacon is a globally optimised IoT asset tracking device designed for keg owners who manage keg fleets. Helping eliminate keg losses and increase keg utilisation by keeping track of locations and temperatures within supply chains; a prerequisite for beverage producers to maintain product quality and traceability.

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  • The challenge was to design a robust and secure device for multiple keg configurations, that could be pre-fitted to new kegs or retrofitted to existing kegs, whilst providing protection to internal electronics from harsh environmental impacts during transportation. The design needed to facilitate optimum antenna performance of the unit by specific location of the antenna elements away from metallic keg elements, and consider the various keg sizes and subtleties between different keg manufacturers. The challenge was to deliver a highly robust, impact-resistant unit with strong retention features that was simple, efficient and practical to install while maintaining sleek aesthetic design.

  • The design process required a number of 3D printed prototypes to meet unique installation challenges presented by the geometry of three keg models, and the required antenna angle and position relative to each keg. The enclosure design is IK10 and IP69K rated, consisting of an injection moulded plastic lid and base, mechanically sealed using an O-ring and threaded machine screws into threaded inserts. The two installation configurations: Option 1: Bracket clamping - Installation of a keg-specific metal bracket, clamped between the keg rim and keg dome. Option 2: Bolting - Pre-drilling each keg with a mounting clearance hole through the keg wall.

  • With the ability to track and trace the life cycle of kegs, from brewery to warehouse, distributor and venues, keg owners achieve visibility of assets at macro and micro levels. By eliminating keg losses in keeping track of keg’s movements throughout the supply chain, keg owners can increase their profit margins by turning kegs quicker and more efficiently using the latest location data; in addition, detailed time interval temperature and movement data can be used to enable product traceability and quality control. An autonomous keg tracking system reduces supply chain inefficiencies and greenhouse gas emissions by lowering non-productive keg movements.

  • The key challenge when designing Katch C1 is to ensure multi-year battery life without compromising location tracking and temperature sensing requirements. Much efforts were invested to fine-tune the device's duty cycle and payload optimisation. The end result is a highly efficient device operating system with an extremely compact payload that can sustain up to 7 years of battery life operation and uses only tens of megabyte of data per annum. One of the key design features, which required the device to be fitted to multiple keg configurations of different diameters and curvatures while also achieving the required antenna angle and positioning relative to the keg for optimum antenna performance, resulted in keg-specific bracket lengths that were carefully tuned through an iterative physical test procedure. This was achieved through using 30+ 3D printed prototype brackets.