Plzeňský Prazdroj, in order to improve their overview of barrel circulation and following a selection procedure, chose a supplier for a project aiming to guarantee unique identification of Plzeňský Prazdroj barrels within the entire distribution chain. This will prevent misuse of these barrels, their modifications and their pre-sale to other entities local and foreign.
The Aimtec development team proposed four options for labelling, which all met the specific requirements for beer barrel labelling (for instance, the labels must pass through cleaning process on the filling line undamaged). The options were: self-adhesive labels, RFID tags, DPM (Direct Part Marking) and special self-adhesive labels with a laser print. It was the last mentioned labels, the customer selected as the optimal solution.
Barrels belonging to Plzeňský Prazdroj will from now on be marked with self-adhesive labels with a Datamatrix 2D code. The label material used is highly resistant to mechanical abrasion, heat and chemicals. Aside from the Datamatrix code, the labels also contain the barrel serial number in a legible format. Using a laser marking system, both the code and the number are burnt directly into the label material . With regards to this special marking, Aimtec cooperated with Lintech , a company specialising in industrial product labelling.
Currently, barrels with this type of marking are being identified using scanners. In the next phase of the project, deployment of high resolution cameras is planned, which will further improve the barrel identification process. Withing the brewing industry, this sophisticated, high-tech solution will be completely unique. In the next step, self-adhesive labels will be replaced by direct marking, which will be laser etched directly into the surface of the barrels.