Optimize spirits storage & management with Labox, the French nugget in distillery applications
The Labox application has been continually evolving since 2012 to offer even greater performance in terms of time savings, traceability and reliability. To achieve this, a team of specialists in quality control, IT and AI has developed powerful, secure tools.
Let's take a closer look at what Labox has to offer cellar masters and spirits specialists, and take advantage of a special My Spirit Factory code that will double your credits when you subscribe!
I) Why use a digital cellar assistant?
The need for high-performance traceability.
In addition to the obvious time-saving benefits, it is the digital traceability offered by the application that is at the forefront of Labox's advantages. Digital traceability helps protect spirits brands against counterfeiting, and provides greater security for the brand's partners (distributors, importers, investors, etc.). To be truly effective, however, digital traceability must cover all stages of production: the ability to carry out a permanent inventory, trace batches and transmit reliable information to employees are all performance and safety issues for distilleries.
In addition, operators are obliged to keep stock accounts, as spirits are among the most heavily taxed products and the most closely monitored by the French government, which demands to know in real time how much you can earn.
Hence the eminently strategic position of all the operations that take place in the winery, even if many of them are rarely promoted to customers, unlike distillation or blending. But the business is changing, and it's becoming complicated to rely on paper charts and Excel spreadsheets to keep accurate accounts up to date.
Manage inventory space more effectively.
Other reasons include the need for high-performance tools. The spirits industry is constantly expanding, and the number of stocks and references is growing, making management even more complicated. The result is a proliferation of conversion/calculation operations, difficulty in transmitting information to staff, and increasingly voluminous Excel spreadsheets. Hence the time-saving benefits of using an application capable of making reliable conversions and calculations automatically.
Similarly, the economic context may necessitate investment in digital solutions, for example when sales fall, which happens cyclically. This translates into larger volumes of eaux-de-vie being stored until better times. Another, slightly more exotic, reason has even been mentioned: the current phase of global warming may influence the evaporation of alcohol placed in barrels, as well as the temperature/hygrometry of the cellars. The use of an easy-to-use and reliable digital application enables us to compare results over time.
That's why it's so important to be able to measure storage parameters accurately, while taking precise inventory and saving time - exactly the skills Labox brings you!
II) Labox unboxed
A) Boxettes: ergonomic, functional tools.
Today's generation is more comfortable with computers and online applications than with paper, guides and manual calculations. With Labox, you can undertake the following calculations in just a few clicks, each equivalent to a set number of credits. Simply create a customer account by going directly to the application and purchase a number of annual credits that can be used by the cellar master and his staff.
Its great originality also lies in its modular architecture, with each of the functions presented here corresponding to a 'boxette':
- Conversion of alcohol content or density as a function of temperature: meets the need to convert volumes at 20°C to take account of the contraction or expansion of an alcohol as a function of the temperature measured, in order to accurately manage stocks of spirits.
To refine these calculations and make them more reliable than the results provided by the 'Guide Pratique d'Alcoométrie' or the 'Tables Alcoométriques Pratiques', Labox relies on conversions carried out in accordance with recommendation R022-f75 (1973) of the OIML (Organisation Internationale de la Métrologie Légale).
This is the official density conversion table, and Labox gives the result with 2 decimal places in % vol. for TAV, and with 1 additional decimal place compared to the 'Guide d'Acoométrie' for the volume correction factor.
- Volume conversion: allows you to convert the volume of your spirits according to the measured temperature and alcohol content in the cellars, for example.
- Reassembly / reduction of alcohol content taking into account the contraction factor: the Labox program combines calculations with alcohol tables to obtain a result that takes into account the contraction factor when modifying the alcohol content of your spirit.
As a reminder, when water and alcohol are mixed, the volume and density change, but not the mass, as if the molecules that make up the water take up less space once the mixture is made.
Reduction is fundamental in the world of spirits, and is the focus of much attention from the cellar masters, who use their experience to avoid stressing the eaux-de-vie when adding water. The aim is to find the right balance with an adequate TAV without denaturing the product.
This phenomenon will be the subject of a forthcoming detailed article written by Evelyne Chanson on the Labox website and relayed by My Spirit Factory.
Barrel volume (calculated using the Triple Carnet de Recensement) :
Labox calculates the total volume of the barrel using the 'Triple Carnet de Recensement' method, but with greater precision than the latter: thanks to the automatic rule of 3, there's no need to round off the results by referring to the columns in the book when you do it manually.
This is an opportunity to raise the controversial subject of the method used to calculate total drum capacity...
Of course, the person who enters the drum's measurement data into the census box is responsible for the information he or she provides. However, there is still some uncertainty as to the actual total capacity of drums, as no method is perfectly reliable. Similarly, there is still some confusion between "total capacity" and "full drum", which stops before the bung and also depends on temperature. However, the vacuum under the bung at 20°C is not systematically known.
A leading metrology article by Evelyne Chanson on the Labox blog describes and compares the various methods of calculation and spreading. Results differ according to the type of method and barrel morphology:
Other boxettes are available, such as dry extract from obscuration (and vice versa) and conversion of TAV into US units (actual TAV in % vol. at 20°C into US proof at 60°F). There are also free-access calculations: energy values, flash point, boiling alcohol...
B) Digi Tank: The digital revolution in gauge certificates.
Created in 2022, Digi Tank includes 2 applications:
- Digi Tank gauged containers: data from certificates and gauging scales for gauged containers are digitized and integrated into the application. You can then enter a gauge height or volume (in mm and HL) by selecting the winery and container concerned.
The application calculates the volume or conversely the gauge height. When a certain volume is added or removed, the application recalculates the gauge height. It enables operations to be saved, and an administrator to update databases (winery, container identification, certificate data, etc.).
- Digi Tank tanker trucks: this is the app par excellence for calculating gauges and optimizing tanker truck filling.
To do this, simply select the carrier and the tank number concerned from the database (the latter having been entered upstream with the associated certificates). Then, for each batch, we enter the height in mm in each tank compartment concerned, and the volume in HL. In detail, we enter the liquid temperature, TAV and TAV measurement temperature for each batch.
Digi Tank then calculates the total volume transported and the quantity of pure alcohol for all and/or each batch, at 20°C and taking into account the contraction factor.
Another advantage is the ability to save measurements for traceability purposes, while exporting data in CSV format.
III) A crack team for a technological challenge!
Labox was founded in 2012 by renowned wine and spirits quality control consultant Evelyne Chanson. This is the fruit of a career spanning more than 30 years for this Doctor - Engineer in Analytical Chemistry.
She is renowned for having developed a state-of-the-art research and quality control laboratory at Baron Philippe de Rothchild. She then set up her own laboratory in Cognac, L.E.C., which is well known in the region.
Her passion for computers led her to develop digital applications to facilitate the many calculations and conversions required in the production of wines and spirits, marketed under the Labox® brand.
Evelyne Chanson was joined very early on in the development of Labox by her son Pierre Chanson and Remi Delassus, who initially met while studying in Bordeaux, from where they graduated as computer engineers in 2014.
Rémi Delassus specializes in artificial intelligence and data processing.
At Labox Applications, he is in charge of the algorithmic side of things, with a rigorous scientific approach, as well as the sales strategy.
Pierre Chanson is a Full Slack developer and project manager in industry.
At Labox Applications, he is responsible for technical solutions.
In 2015, the work initiated to create Labox and make it more reliable found an international echo. In fact, the OIML (Organisation Internationale de la Métrologie Légale) recognized that the new computer programs would make the alcoholometric tables used internationally since 1975 more reliable, since they contained errors.
It turns out that the solutions offered by Labox increase the accuracy of the values obtained compared with manual table implementation, and solve reliability problems. The article published in July 2015 in the OIML Bulletin (https://www.oiml.org/en/
This publication, which is very important for Labox, gives legitimacy to alcohol and volume conversions as a function of temperature, while maintaining conversion tables that comply with legislation, i.e. the international legal metrology recommendation R22-1975.
Since then, Labox has continued to develop with new functionalities and a stable, scalable architecture.
IV) How do I join Labox?
A) Account creation and subscription
All you need to do is create an account on the Labox website https://alcoholometry.labox-apps.com/subscriptions and you'll immediately be offered 20 credits to try out all the boxettes.
You can then subscribe by choosing the quantity of credits. Use the link below to go directly to the subscription page:
As a reminder, each calculation is associated with a number of credits, and the subscription price evolves according to the number of credits purchased (valid for 1 year). It is possible to increase the number of credits during the year, but only the difference will be billed.
B) Labox X My Spirit Factory coupon = double your number of credits for each subscription!
To celebrate the release of the Labox special report, use promo code MSF2023 to activate your subscription. You'll automatically double the number of credits you buy!
Editing without AI: Jérôme Savoye
Thanks to Evelyne Chanson, Pierre Chanson & Remi Delassus for their advice and contribution. Contact them directly for the Digi Tank part: https://gc.digitank.labox-apps.com/signin