A Conversation about Fuel Management

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Q: What is automated fuel management?

A: Automated fuel management systems (FMS) are designed to monitor and control fuel consumption within fleets. They accurately measure and track fuel inventories, decanting, and dispensing. Data is then integrated into ERP systems and useful information is reported to management.

Q: Why is automated fuel management important?

A: Reducing operational costs is critical in any operation. On mines, for example, where using 10 – 20 million litres/month is not uncommon, savings of 5-10% on diesel usage, using an FMS, can easily translate into millions.

Q: What does an FMS consist of?

A: There are hardware components typically fitted to vehicles, equipment, tanks, bowsers, forecourts, and pumps. Then there are software components for data gathering, authentication, vehicle and driver identification, ERP interfacing, alerts, and reporting.

Q: Tell us about all the benefits of comprehensive automated fuel management.

A: Other than the direct savings through the control of usage, misuse and wastage, there are numerous important additional benefits. These include improved efficiency and productivity, extended engine life, more effective maintenance scheduling and better stock control.

Q: What is the typical return on investment period?

A: This obviously differs from operation to operation. What I can say is that payback periods are typically under 12 months.

Q: Is designing, installing, and maintaining an automated fuel management system relatively simple?

A: Again, operational sites differ, and each requires specific solutions. It is not relatively simple.

Q: Do you mean that each project has its own challenges?

A: Yes, in a sense each project is almost unique.

Q: Tell us more about the types of challenges?

A: Equipment differences, vehicle types, forms of communication and connectivity, availability of power, storage facilities, filling points, ERP system variances, and the nature of the site location all play a role in optimum FMS design.

Q: How does Ressource Solutions address these issues?

A: We conduct a complete audit and assessment of the existing infrastructure, user requirements and timeframes. We then design an optimum FMS solution including operator, and management, training, as well as maintenance protocols.

Q: Are automated fuel management systems common on sites where fleets are fuelled from home bases?

A: Well, fuel management is common. Automated fuel management systems are less common.

Q: Are you suggesting that it is often done haphazardly?

A: Unfortunately, I am. Manual, or non-integrated, fuel management practices are widespread which results in substantial financial and production losses.

Q: So, automated fuel management should it be prioritised to maximise efficiency?

A: Yes, with the average large fleet’s fuel costs accounting for approximately 40% of the fleet’s total operating costs, an automated FMS is vital to improving efficiencies and productivity.

Q: What must companies do to prioritise?

A: Two critical areas of fuel management that operations should prioritise are fuel control and fuel security.

Q: How does Ressource Solutions address these issues?

A: As an OEM, and with vast experience across Africa, we can customise our FMS solutions by utilising innovative technology to provide meticulous, real-time, measuring and reporting that allows clients to intricately control any hydrocarbon usage.

Q: What does this mean for users?

A: Our experience shows that when users prioritise fuel management and implement fully automated and comprehensive systems, they benefit from increased productivity reasonably quickly. For users this means sustained profitability.


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