TWO UK leaders in fuel management technology have launched the elusive “missing piece”, which enables users to replace dated and unreliable fuel management equipment without the expense of buying new access devices
Commercial vehicle refuelling equipment specialists, Cameron Forecourt Ltd and partners Jigsaw, manufacturers of fourth generation fuel management systems, have solved the puzzle by developing a “one-fits-all” reader that accepts the majority of existing access devices — keys, cards, fobs and permanently fixed on board devices such as those frequently used by bus operators.
Many large commercial fleet operators have made significant investment in secure access devices, often running into thousands of pounds.
With cards, keys and fobs, individually worth between £5 to more than £20 and permanently fixed on-board devices often costing in excess of £150 each, it is clear that whilst the cost of replacing just an individual key or card reader terminal can initially seem reasonable, the added cost of purchasing hundreds or even thousands of replacement access devices can be daunting.
Cameron Forecourt and Jigsaw have invested considerable time and effort to understand the commonly used communication standards and coding methods and are now offering replacement systems which can read the majority of devices in their original format
This allows customers the benefit of upgrading to fourth generation fuel management systems, which provide real-time access to fuel usage and stock records from any web enabled PC, without facing a substantial additional bill for replacing their existing access devices.
In many cases the original key or card reader terminal can be simply retrofitted with a new “Front Door”, therefore minimising site works and equipment down time.
Under normal circumstances, site work can be completed within a few hours, with the system up and running the same day. Because the original housing or enclosure is being reused, together with items such as the power supply, motor switching and associated electrical wiring, there are considerable financial savings to be made over complete replacement. Where it is necessary to replace the equipment in total, the new system can be simply installed to existing electrical wiring at competitive rates.
The system uses GPRS communications which allows the user to log on to the fuelling web site using a standard web browser and their unique username and password, so they can see and manage their fleet fuelling from anywhere.
Communication costs and software licensing, including all necessary updates, are included as part of the overall package, therefore significantly reducing the cost of equipment ownership and maintenance to levels not previously associated with traditional fuel management systems.
Martyn Gent, Sales & Marketing Manager, for Cameron Forecourt explains: “Imagine you have fitted a Chubb or Yale lock to your front door, you would then expect to be able to buy replacement keys from any proprietary high street locksmith who has invested in the necessary technology rather than apply to the original lock manufacturer for a factory replacement.
“It’s the same here. We have made the investment to understand the technology and engineering principles involved and therefore are able to offer the appropriate levels of support.”
One further “missing piece” which has been developed and can be readily provided by Cameron Forecourt is the ability to fully integrate tank contents data from the Gilbarco Veeder Root TLS range of electronic gauges with the Jigsaw fuel management system. This final link ensures all fuel data is available from a single source, therefore giving true “Wet Stock” reconciliation rather than the theoretical “Book Stock” figures offered by most systems. Because fuel transactions are monitored and reported in real time, any sudden and unexplained losses of fuel are immediately recognised as a leak or possibly theft and can be reported immediately by SMS or email.
Further investment has been made by Cameron Forecourt in expanding their electronic test and repair facility at their Barnsley headquarters to allow quality repairs of fuel management systems not readily supported by the original manufactures.
Technical Services Manager, Mike Hobson, says many existing customers felt let down by some manufacturers who had effectively “pulled the plug” on supporting equipment which in some cases was only two or three years old.
Mike continues: “We are able to offer full support for almost every make and model of fuel management system, and even where spares are difficult to source, we can still offer a best endeavours approach to try to get system working again, effectively buying customers time to evaluate the options for replacement.”
CAMERON FORECOURT IS EXHIBITING at FPS Expo 2011, Harrogate International Centre, April 13 & 14 and at the CV Show 2011, NEC, Birmingham, April 12-14.
Eclipse 1: The Cameron Forecourt Eclipse system will now accept most types of ID media.
Eclipse 2: The Eclipse is offered for new installations and as a retro-fit solution.