Optimization of fleet costs
by installing fuel monitoring sensors
- The company Transporte Colonia is an Argentine company engaged in automobile cargo transportation.
- Yamana Gold is a division of a large Canadian company that produces copper, gold, silver and molybdenum in Argentina.
- Cerro Negro, founded in 1896, is a pioneer-company in its industry, engaged in the extraction of minerals and the leader in the production of building materials.
- Estelar Resurce is a large company operating in the field of metallurgy and mining of minerals (including silver).
- Yamana Gold is a company specializing in the extraction of copper and gold.
Equipment: implementation history
All companies have a common feature-a large number of vehicles on the balance sheet. The fleet of each company has more than 70 transport units. At the same time the headquarters of the firms are located far from the regions where the main production activities are carried out, what complicates the control of fuel consumption and creates the ground for potential abuse.
The task set by the client companies
Once in a certain number of days a representative of the fuel supplier company comes and refuels the fuel station.
It was important for each of the customers to remotely monitor the level of fuel stored in the tanks and to do this in real time. This is necessary in order to avoid losses associated with theft, as well as overuse during the purchase and refueling of fuel.
The enterprises use stationary fuel tanks (tanks with a volume of 30-50 thousand litres), so the sensors were selected for this type of tanks. The work was carried out at different times. The analysis of financial results was implemented over a certain period of time.
For reference: the price of fuel in Argentina, June 2021 - 0.94 USD/litre (in rubles 69,26 rubles)
The proposed solution
Initially, to solve the task of fuel control the integrator used three-metre TD-600 fuel level sensors (FLS) that meet all the necessary requirements and have an RS-232 connection interface (this interface is used abroad including Latin American countries).
Then, when the TD-BLE wireless FLS appeared on the market, the integrator gave its preference in favor of this sensor, the installation of which significantly saves time. Also to transfer data to the sensor, due to the lack of Bluetooth connectivity, a BLE-base was required.
For the successful functioning of the fuel monitoring system the following chain was built: the TD-BLE fuel level sensor + the Escort adapter (BLE-base) + the manufacturer's adapter (since the controller has neither a Bluetooth interface nor a 485 interface) + the controller.
Since the sensor is wireless and there is no need for laying cables, this allowed the integrator to significantly reduce the time and cost of installation: at such facilities while using a wired sensor, according to local safety standards, it was necessary to use only a special explosion-proof cable channel.
Sensors Escort TD-BLE
- Measurements are carried out every 10 seconds, data is transmitted every 3 seconds;
- They can be located at a distance of 100 metres from the receiver, which is very convenient for enterprises with a large territory and an appropriate organization of the production process;
- Quickly installed – one hour is enough for installation;
- Transmit data to different types of devices with Bluetooth, including smartphones, it is also possible to configure sensors through a special mobile application Sensor Configurator Escort;
- They work from a battery, the charge of which lasts on average up to 7 years of active work;
- The sensor can even detect micro-drains, it reacts to any actions with fuel;
For 3 years the integrator has sold and installed to its customers more than 40 gas stations/tanks.
One sensor was installed on each container.
The integrator implemented a special solution – a local program that displays the fuel level according to the receipt from the fuel supplier company and the fuel level that the sensor shows.
The program compares the data from the receipt with the data that the sensor shows. The software screen displays data such as the amount of fuel in the tank, how much it was refueled, who, when on which car did the refueling , who started the system that authorizes the fuel. Each employee has his or her own RFID key that allows / prohibits the unloading of fuel.
In all companies there is resistance from the personnel responsible for fuel consumption, since they will no longer have the opportunity to drain fuel – the installation of sensors eliminates any attempts to drain fuel and falsify data.
In all cases the reduction in fuel consumption compared to the same previous periods is 20%.
If before that, on average, the company spent up to 110 thousand litres of fuel per month, then with the introduction of a system that allows preventing both common mistakes and overuse, the consumption was gradually reduced to 85-90 thousand litres per month.
At the same time, the cost of installing equipment per unit for each client was $ 1200. There is no need to pay a subscription fee. Therefore, only one-time costs for the purchase and installation of equipment on a monthly basis are considered. The savings are about 20-30 thousand dollars monthly (based on the average fuel prices in Argentina). With a monthly saving of $ 23 500, the system paid off in less than a month.
The installation of fuel sensors allows to record the slightest changes in the fuel level, which means that it blocks the way for any overuse, including collusion with employees of gas stations – this gives a significant reduction in costs, so the installation of equipment pays off already in the first months and allows to completely eliminate the possibility of fuels and lubricants theft in the future.