A new wireless fuel management system based
on Israeli military technology is giving United States fleet managers a new tool to combat mistakes, waste, and fraud at company fuel pumps.
SmartFuel, introduced by SCI International of Clearwater, Fla., employs tiny radio signal transmitters fastened to vehicle gas tanks and fuel pumps to ensure that fuel will flow only when the correct fuel nozzle is inserted into the correct tank by the correct driver.
The SmartFuel system, which is controlled via a wireless RF (radio frequency) modem connected to the fleet manager's office computer, can be installed on both electronic and older mechanical fuel pumps.
Because the new RF-based system cannot be affected by voltage fluctuations or lightning storms (these disturbances typically crash cable-connected fuel management systems), SCI International guarantees the SmartFuel system
to be free of all after-installation maintenance costs.
"The first benefit SmartFuel customers notice is the immediate reduction in fleet fuel costs," said SCI International's founder, Meir Ezra. "The second benefit they see is that the system is virtually maintenance free with no downtime. The third benefit they see is that computerized reports can be generated which list fueling details for any and every vehicle
in the fleet."
The SmartFuel wireless management system evolved from technology developed by the Israeli Air Force to control fuel flow during in-flight refueling of aircraft.
The system is currently being used to regulate fuel usage for dozens of municipal and commercial fleet owners around the world, including the Red Cross and the United Nations.
Ezra said that customers routinely see a reduction in fleet fueling costs of 10 to 25 percent after installing the SmartFuel system.
"It's not uncommon for employees to make second incomes by reselling company fuel to friends or other businesses," Ezra said. "One South African company cut its fleet's fuel bill by 32 percent by installing SmartFuel. The system
completely eliminates fraud at the company fuel pump."
Ezra said customers also realize savings from SmartFuel's ability to ensure the proper fuel is dispensed into the proper tank. A Florida dairy manufacturer, Velda Farms, provides its drivers with two refueling pumps; one containing $.70-per-gallon off-road diesel fuel for the Thermo King refrigeration units on their delivery trucks, and the second containing
$1.35-per-gallon on-road diesel fuel for the delivery trucks themselves. Because operating one pump was easier than operating two, drivers were filling both tanks with the $1.35-per-gallon fuel.
"We installed SmartFuel, and suddenly $1.35-per-gallon fuel pump would not release fuel into the Thermo King fuel tanks -- drivers were forced to put the proper fuels into the proper tanks. Velda Farms contacted us and enthusiastically reported a 25 percent reduction in fleet fuel costs after SmartFuel stopped this misuse of fuels."
In addition to cutting fueling costs, Ezra said customers who install the SmartFuel system are able to easily enhance their fleet management
capability through the installation of SCI's Smart-Co-Driver, a Global Positioning System (GPS) which is capable of supplying critical user-defined information, like vehicle location and route taken, speed, engine data, door openings, as well as a host of other data relating to vehicle and driver behavior.
"Smart-Co-Driver is similar to an airplane's 'black box'," Ezra said. "It records and holds all information unless needed, whereupon it makes contact with the fleet manager's computer with a short data transmission via cell phone connection."
Vehicle data not transmitted during the day is automatically downloaded to the fleet manager's computer via RF when the vehicle returns to the station. "It's not an 'always online' system," said Ezra. "Data is transferred at the 'appropriate' time, and that reduces costs and eliminates needless data overload," he said.
While other companies provide GPS fleet management systems, Ezra said SCI's system is unique. "SCI is the only company to incorporate fuel management with GPS vehicle management into a fully integrated system," Ezra said. "Our technology gives fleet owners everything they need, A to Z."
About SCI International, Inc.
SCI (Smart Consumer Interface) International, Inc., is a Clearwater, Fla.-based provider of wireless solutions for fuel and fleet managment.
SCI's systems have been used in Israel, South Africa, and Europe since 1996, and were introduced to United States consumers in 1998.
For more information, call (727) 461-9799.