Carlton & United Breweries

Carlton & United Breweries Uses Genetec AutoVu Automatic License Plate Recognition and Synergis Access Control to Improve Operational Efficiencies of Product Deliveries and Pick-Ups

Business Challenge

With a rich history dating back to 1824, Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) is part of the SABMiller group, the second largest brewer in the world, and is responsible for producing some of Australia's most famous beers and ciders, including Victoria Bitter, Carlton Draught and Strongbow. With an annual brewery capacity of 5.6 million hecto liters, the CUB brewery in Yatala (a suburb in the South East area of Queensland, Australia) is set on 76 acres and located directly between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Supplying most of Northern Australia, CUB Yatala grants onsite access to over 300 vehicles daily. Tracking and monitoring the comings and goings of vehicles was labour-intensive, and mostly managed by guards and staff who would manually input data into multiple systems.

After initiating a full site review, CUB Yatala realized opportunities to improve operational efficiencies, traceability, and security. According to Kevan Morgan, Project Manager at CUB Yatala, who spearheaded the project, "We were looking for a more automated and formalized method of logging vehicles as they arrive and move through the site, ensuring first that they are permitted to be there. We wanted a system that would also enable a more efficient traffic management plan, to get vehicles in and out as quickly as possible."

For assistance in fulfilling objectives, CUB Yatala relied on design and engineering consultants, Hills Limited, who suggested using Genetec Security Center, the unified security platform, for both automatic license plate recognition (ALPR) and access control components at the gates, as part of a fully customized solution. CUB Yatala chose technology integrators, United Technology Solutions, to implement the full solution.

Simplifying Vehicle Processing and Tracking Leads to Significant Savings

With a newly customized system and graphical user interface (GUI) in place, and Security Center running on the back-end to relay ALPR and access control systems at the gates, CUB Yatala has seen huge efficiency improvements. According to Morgan, "The system has helped CUB to achieve a significant reduction in traffic management and operational costs." 

As vehicles approach the CUB Yatala gate, the AutoVu Sharp cameras read the license plate which automatically triggers the GUI to populate the information associated to the license plate. This includes the transport company name, the load, the driver name, the driver's license information, and the captured vehicle picture, among other data. After quickly verifying that the prescheduled appointment and mandatory fields are met, the CUB Yatala guard inputs the delivery/pick-up location (DPL), and confirms entry by pressing a button which triggers an output in Synergis to open the boom gate. Vehicle entry is known as time-stamp 1, or T1, and as the vehicle continues through the site, reaching each point of interest, it will receive three additional time stamps; the last one being T4 upon exit. 

"When our guards would have to input information, it would take about 2-3 minutes per vehicle, and it was not uncommon for us to have 10-15 vehicles queued up. Today, we average about 30 seconds per vehicle, which is a huge time saving; the process for our guards is simplified, and very rarely do we have a backlog of vehicles waiting to come on site," said Morgan.

Once the vehicle arrives at its DPL, an operator enters T2 which is when the loading or unloading begins, and then T3 when the process and paperwork has been completed. The operator then calls the security guard who validates the information, and confirms the vehicle can leave the property. This validation adds the vehicle license plate to an exit-permitted database, allowing AutoVu Sharp cameras to read the plate on exit (T4) and automatically trigger Synergis to once again open the boom gate. 

"AutoVu is performing at an accuracy rate of 92.7%, exceeding our 90% requirements, and we are very happy with these results," said Morgan. The AutoVu fuzzy matching feature also ensures accurate reads by automatically correcting any potential misreads of familiar license plates. 

Reporting on Internal Efficiencies while Keeping Customers Informed

The most significant advantages of the new solution for CUB Yatala are being able to generate performance metrics, and accessing general information. According to Morgan, "The system provides us with built-in Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), because we now have accurate data that proves how long the vehicle is on site, and what position it's in when it is on site, how long loading took, and what time it entered and exited the site."

CUB Yatala was once asked to provide information to a transport company who had concerns about a driver's longer than average delivery times. " We were able to quickly run a report to prove how long the vehicle was actually on site, and justify that we withheld our end of the bargain, in terms of loading that truck, and getting it out in an efficient and timely manner," explains Morgan.

While the new system has been operationally beneficial, security and safety have also improved. CUB Yatala is now able to immediately identify drivers who have been banned from entering the site for any particular reason.

"By increasing our efficiency in processing vehicle pick-ups and deliveries, there are fewer trucks on site at any given time. The route signage also helps to ensure this efficiency. Drivers and transport companies are happier, and pedestrians are safer," says Morgan  

Brewing Up More Applications for Tomorrow

After experiencing such positive results, CUB Yatala is possibly looking at expanding the functionalities of Security Center to automate entry and exits in staff parking lots. While this is entirely a different project, CUB Yatala is confident in the unified platform's capabilities and sees the opportunity for greater efficiencies. 

"This solution built by Hills Limited using Genetec Security Center has exceeded our expectations and has allowed us to provide better governance over our operations and security. While operations have been streamlined, the return on investment is unquestionable and we plan to continue evolving the system to meet new objectives," concluded Morgan.


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