How Installing an Automatic Tank Gauge System Can Save Your Fleet Time and Money
Automatic tank gauge systems, or ATG’s are excellent additions to your fleet’s maintenance program. An ATG is an electronic component placed within an above or below ground tank that monitors fuel or lubricant volume over time to assess whether the tank is leaking fluid. Besides monitoring for leakage, Automatic tank monitoring systems are also instrumental in gauging fluid levels, usage based on volume, tank temperature and can alert operators with warnings when tank volumes are too high or have reached a critical low. Additional functionality of an automatic tank gauge system allows for measurements of any gaps existing within the connections between tanks, pipes and hose lines, as well as the monitoring of system pressurization. Modern ATG’s are sophisticated monitoring systems that can be either wired or remotely accessed via a wireless modem.
How Does an Automatic Tank Gauge Work
Automatic tank monitoring gauges operate by either using a probe made up of a rod with floats and connected sensors or a pressure monitoring sensor to measure the level of fluids in a tank. The probes also come equipped with thermistors – electrical resistors used for the measurement and control of temperature within the tank. Both wired and wireless ATG systems transmit data to a centralized console where information is stored and printed and where an internal alarm system is activated when fluid levels reach a critical volume or temperature fluctuates to undesirable levels.
Continuous and Periodic Testing
To monitor results within a tank system, ATG’s can be programmed to follow either a continuous or periodic testing schedule. Continuous testing allows for the ongoing testing of tank levels based on data collection during intervals of time that the tank is not being used for fuel or fluid dispensation. In these interim periods of inactivity the automatic tank gauge gathers information and creates an average data analysis to determine whether or not a tank is intact or leaking. For periodic testing a tank system must be shut down and removed from operations for a period of several hours, generally throughout the course of a night. During this time there can be no fuel delivery or dispensation and fluctuations in tank volume determine whether or not the tank is leaking or intact.
Problems with ATG Systems and Testing
Like so many other problems in life, human error is to blame for the bulk of malfunctions associated with ATG testing. With sensors designed to alert operators by way of specific alarms that go off when the tank volume or temperature fluctuates beyond indicated levels, ignoring or disregarding alarms is a big problem. With the sounding of an alarm, the ATG is communicating that there is a problem in one of the designated areas of analysis and by not investigating or remedying the situation, facility operators run the risk of overflowing, overheating, running out of or freezing their fluids and fuel. While ATG’s are instrumental in detecting leaking tanks, not all alarms are the result of a leak, but by ignoring an alarm or light sensor, you eliminate the effectiveness of your ATG system.
The Benefits of Installing an ATG
With ongoing measurement of tank levels and temperature you can insure the integrity of your product while also preventing costly inventory loss and the environmental costs associated with cleanup from a leak. ATG’s are sophisticated monitoring systems that can detect fluctuations in tank volume and alert operators when there is a minimal or substantial leak. Temperature measurements monitor the integrity of fluids like gasoline, which pressurizes in response to an increase or drop in temperature as it expands and contracts. Because of the expanding and contracting nature of certain fluids, ATG testing requires a window of time post-delivery to allow for the stabilization of temperature within the tank. Another key benefit to installing an automatic tank gauge system is reassurance that you will always have enough fuel on hand to satisfy your inventory needs. With an ATG system you will be alerted when it’s time to re-order and refill, and deliveries can even be setup to be automated, freeing up your facility manager and warehouse operators for other tasks.
As ATG technology continues to evolve, SCL remains steadfast in ATG software solutions to help maximize Just-In-Time deliveries and inventory transparency with our customers. Having an ATG solution that focuses specifically on your fluid inventory needs provides peace of mind you need so you can focus on your customers and your business needs.
Contact an SCL Consultant Today
In a wide range of industrial sectors, SCL is committed to being the number one logistics and solutions provider for the products that protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. We pride ourselves on remaining at the forefront of industry trends and technological innovations, and as the market continues to evolve, we are committed to providing extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers. For information on how we can assist your fleet in choosing the optimal products at a competitive price, contact an SCL consultant today.