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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.
The trucks deliver fuel to about 300 gas stations in Romania and 150 in Bulgaria, Blue says. If a seal is opened before it is in the interrogator's vicinity at the appropriate gas station, the reader queries a GPS device on the truck regarding the vehicle's location, then transmits an alert via a GSM cellular connection that can be received once the truck arrives at the station, indicating when and where a seal was breached.
Most of the gas stations, located in remote areas, are fully automated and have no employees present. At those unmanned stations, customers fill up their own tanks, using prepaid or credit cards to pay for fuel. Each station's gas tank is equipped with its own Hi-G-Lock, which transmits at 433 MHz to an RFID reader installed at the station.
Before delivery drivers can refill a gas tank, the station's RFID interrogator receives unique ID numbers encoded to the active tags embedded in the truck's and station's Hi-G-Locks. The reader then sends that data to Rompetrol's back-end system, where Hi-G-Tek software translates the information and issues alerts in the event of a seal breach or improper fueling at the station. If a driver is about to make a mistake—for instance, if a particular tank that person is about to fill requires a different grade of fuel—the truck's RFID reader sends out an alert.
All data is stored in an Internet-based server using Hi-G-Tek enterprise software, hosted by Hi-G-Tek. Rompetrol expects the system to reduce excess inventory by 25 percent, Blue says, adding, "Now they know where everything is" since the truck's interrogator transmits its location and its seals' status via a GSM signal.
Not only is the system helping Rompetrol prevent excess fuel from being delivered to stations, Blue says, but it also enables the oil company to reduce the number of trucks and train cars carrying that fuel by 25 percent. In addition, the firm has reduced the amount of data entry and manual tracking previously performed by employees.
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