Top up telemetry – what’s on offer?

In the December issue, fuel oil news covered the subject of tank top up services. Whilst concerns were raised about the reliability of some products, Melanie Noel, WP Group’s fuel sales manager commented: “Although there have been a few issues with older systems, mainly the battery, new telemetry has improved.”

In this issue we take a closer look at available telemetry – its features, benefits and reliability.

Logistics management

Kingspan Environmental’s SonicSignalman is a one-part device that uses the latest ultrasonic and GSM technology to remotely monitor oil levels.

The device has an SMS facility, enabling distributors to send updates to their customers about promotions, planned delivery runs, offers on other oil related products etc. These messages can be broadcast to all customers or sent to those in specific locations. The information can be used to improve logistics management, reducing the number of wasted deliveries and spreading periods of peak demand.

Additionally, customers will have access to a consumer services portal, bespoke to their distributor, where they can purchase a wide range of services including theft alerts and an iPhone app.

Data to save you money

Powelectrics design and manufacture remote monitoring solutions. “As consumption can vary it’s hard for distributors to predict when a tank needs a top up and every trip to a customer costs money. Before the use of telemetry, 86% of deliveries were inefficient. The use of remote tank level monitoring has increased the average amount of product delivered to a customer per visit by 34%,” says sales director, Dave Oakes.

“The cost savings are significant and of course there’s a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions, but the benefits don’t stop there. Users can integrate the data into their computing systems and interface with sales order processing and routing/planning software.”

“To ensure our solutions are very reliable, devices have been designed to work with different types of sensors,” adds Dave. “In heating oil tanks we would recommend a submersible pressure sensor with compensation for changes in atmospheric pressure.

“Our units are manufactured using the latest pick and place automated systems, with components being placed to within 30 um. This leads to exceptional reliability and is supported by innovative power management technology that maximises battery life and signal strength, ensuring communication is as efficient as possible. The use of multi-network sim cards further enhances communications reliability, especially when devices are deployed in rural locations.”