Reed Switch for Beer Dispensing

Company Name: Qualflow Systems Ltd

Location: Donabate, Co. Dublin, Ireland

Eclipse Product Installed: Neodymium block magnets and neodymium disc magnets

Industry Process Type: Fast beer dispensing and beer-line cleaning

Application Background

Qualflow Systems Ltd is a leading provider of automated beer-line cleaning equipment and high-speed beer dispense solutions to brewers, stadium operators and the hospitality industry. Based in Donabate, Co. Dublin, Ireland, Qualflow Systems’ range of beer-line cleaning equipment is used by major brewers, pub groups, venues and stadium operators throughout Europe.

The company have designed and developed the Verify-LineClean app which enables customers to monitor and check that every beer-line is cleaned to the highest standard. This real-time data monitoring is essential to standardising the beer-line cleaning process, and is key to excellent beer quality. As a result, beer sales increase, as well as keg yields and customer’s profitability.

Qualflow Systems also offer the swift tap Velx as a stadium dispense solution, which boasts metered pour speeds of 500ml in just four seconds. When combined with its automatic keg changer and beer saver technology, Velx has positioned Qualflow Systems as the only provider of a complete dispense solution for the global stadium market.

The Challenge

Through extensive product research and development, Qualflow Systems’ products and dispense solutions have enabled its customers to improve their operating margins by reducing waste, reducing the cost of operating and maintaining drink dispense systems, and improving dispense speed and serve quality.

Reed switch activation is employed in Qualflow System’s Auto-Keg Changer high speed beer dispense system to detect when the beer kegs are empty, and also to activate an alarm on the Portable and Fixed Beer Line Cleaning Systems. In order for Qualflow Systems’ products and dispense solutions to work efficiently and effectively, the company needed to source quality neodymium magnets to enable the reed switch activation required in these systems.

Reed switches are electromagnetic switches that are used to control the flow of electricity in a circuit. In a typical reed switch, the two contacts are made from a ferromagnetic material, and sealed inside a thin glass envelope filled with an unreactive gas, typically nitrogen, to keep them free from contaminants such as dirt and dust.

The reeds become magnetised and move together or separate when a magnetic field is moved towards the switch. The switch effectively works like a gate in an electric circuit, so that when the two reeds are in contact, electricity can flow around the circuit operating a device. Unlike mechanical switches, they don’t need someone to physically turn them on or off; they are controlled completely by invisible magnetic fields.

The Solution

Eclipse Magnetics supplied Qualflow Systems with several neodymium block magnets and neodymium disc magnets, both for use in reed switch activation. The magnets are used in reed switches for the Auto-Keg Changer high speed beer dispense system to detect when the beer kegs are empty.

During this process, beer is dispensed by the gas pressure which is applied to the top of the beer keg, pushing the beer out of the top through a tube that reaches the bottom of the keg. When the beer keg is empty, the gas will naturally go up the tube and fill the beer line. This results in a lot of beer being wasted when the next keg is connected because the foam that has collected in the beer line must be disposed of.

Qualflow Systems’ Auto Keg-Changer stops this collection of foam by using a Foam on Beer (FOB) detector. These are essentially liquid chambers containing a float that floats on top of the beer. Beer enters at the top of the chamber and exits at the bottom. Qualflow Systems use an electronic system; whereby when the float falls, a reed sensor detects the gas in the chamber, and signals to the automatic dispense system to stop serving.

These reed switches are particularly important for high speed dispense applications because they allow the beer dispense system to remains pressurised all the time. The reed switches are also used to activate an alarm on the beer line cleaning equipment.


Justin Lawler Ph.D. MBA, Chief Technology Officer at Qualflow Systems Ltd said: “The magnets that we order from Eclipse Magnetics are a key component in the reed switches used in our high speed beer dispense systems and beer line cleaning equipment.

Here at Qualflow, we base our business on a philosophy of “make the product simple to use, reliable and cost-effective”. Eclipse Magnetics’ neodymium magnets offer the strongest magnetic performance, and are nickel plated, making them a cost effective and reliable choice.”

Find out more about Bespoke Magnets or contact us for more details.