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RFID Fuels Gas Tank Security
Hi-G-Tek seals allow an Eastern European oil company to ensure that the correct type and amount of gas is delivered to stations, and that the fuel is not stolen en route from depots.
Apr 25, 2008—Eastern European oil company Rompetrol is employing RFID seals known as Hi-G-Locks as part of the Hi-G-Tek Tanker Truck Monitoring Solution (TTMS) used on 80 company fuel trucks to protect and manage its product. Trucks transport fuel from gas depots to gas stations in remote areas of Romania and Bulgaria.
The company ships crude oil from Russia and Saudi Arabia to its refinery on the Black Sea. From there, the refined gasoline is shipped by rail and truck to oil depots in Eastern Europe. Rompetrol stores the fuel in such depots until it is shipped by truck to gas stations. It is this secondary distribution chain—from depot to gas station—that the oil company is tracking with Hi-G-Tek seals.
The company is now using a monitoring solution provided by Hi-G-Tek. The system includes RFID-based seals on trucks, as well as RFID interrogators deployed at depots and gas stations and on trucks. With this solution, the company can now track when its trucks and fuel arrive at a station, as well as when they leave and return to a depot. Thanks to a built-in alerting system, Rompetrol can ensure that the wrong fuel is not pumped into the incorrect tank, says Hi-G-Tek's president and CEO, Larry Blue.
With the RFID system, each truck is equipped with several Hi-G-Locks. Some are used to seal hatches located on the top of the tank for inspection of the tank's interior, while another slightly different variation is utilized to seal the valves through which fuel is loaded and then dispensed into gas station tanks. A truck typically has a total of five Hi-G-Locks. Each seal includes both a 433 MHz active tag and 125 kHz passive RFID tag. The 125 kHz version stores a unique ID number, and as the vehicle is loaded with fuel at a depot, its driver can use a handheld Hi-G-Tek interrogator to encode the tag with data, such as the shipment manifest, the specific product being delivered and where it is headed. Approximately 10 Rompetrol depots in Romania and Bulgaria presently use the system.
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