Personal Small Business Enterprise

Efficient Tank Monitoring in the Age of IoT

Posted May 8, 2017 in Business, English by 0

Companies that lack a precise remote view of their customers’ tank levels are hard pressed to know who on any given day needs a refill. These companies must instead rely on memory, guesswork and, if especially prepared, a schedule. This can result in inefficiencies and profit loss as high as 45 per cent.

Until recently, companies who distribute bulk fluids monitored remote tanks manually, checking them one by one to make sure they were not empty or almost empty. Over time, companies determined that this old, clumsy method of “topping up” tanks and making code-red fuel deliveries at a moment’s notice was costing them a great deal of money. Turns out it was money they did not need to be spending.

The solution came via iTank. Data that came in from iTank tank sensors across the network gave these distributors the ability to determine at-a-glance which tanks (customers) needed to be refilled and which did not. This innovation was a game-changer, eliminating guesswork in the field and saving a great deal of money.

Real-time tank data also gave distributors the ability to pick out anomalies across the system and order maintenance calls when and where appropriate. This “new method” of performing tank maintenance on an as-needed basis resulted in a dramatic reduction in the incidence of major, large-scale equipment repairs.

HOW IoT TANK MONITORING WORKS

Companies with sensor-embedded tanks connected to the right mobile network enjoy benefits such as:

  • More and better data, which provides sharp insights and allows for better decision-making in real time
  • Data-empowerment, for smarter and quicker response to customer needs
  • Better inventory tracking and resource management, which often results in significant cost reductions
  • Vision through data, which allows companies to fix small issues before they become major problems
  • Knowledgeable, data-empowered companies can provide outstanding customer service
  • No need to manually check tank fluid levels and make sure tanks are in good working order

Through the Internet of Things (IoT), a vast network of interconnected devices that now includes billions of units worldwide, a liquid distribution service such as iTank allows companies to remotely monitor their customers’ tank fill levels. Here’s how it works:

  1. iTank telemetry is installed on each tank or manhole for monitoring.
  2. Tank-level measurements are sent wirelessly to the cloud and processed.
  3. Fill levels, usage, and other tank-level data is displayed in the management portal.

Having access to rich data sets makes it much easier for companies to detect anomalies, and to proactively perform maintenance or make fixes. Companies with the ability to remotely monitor tanks and assets, stay on top of inventory, and adjust machine settings in real-time can cut down considerably on the number of service calls they have to make. This represents an enormous cost savings, and is a vast improvement on the old method of having to create and maintain service and maintenance schedules. Altogether, a solution like iTank gives distributors the ability to harness the power of the IoT.

INVESTING IN KNOWLEDGE

The American statesman Benjamin Franklin once said that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” While it is a safe bet that Franklin didn’t have tank monitoring in mind when he came up with this adage, there is a lot to the idea of a direct link between knowledge and success in the fuel delivery market. Companies that monitor, manage and/or distribute fuel, water or other bulk lubes and fluids using an end-to-end, cloud-based “knowledge solution” such as iTank are enjoying impressive cost savings.

With billions of devices now connected to the IoT, it is important to be backed by the right network, one that delivers speed, coverage, and reliability. Bell is a world-class IoT provider and provides access to Canada’s best national network. To learn more about Bell’s IoT platform solutions, click here.

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