An automatic tank gauge (ATG) is an electronic device, whose function is to monitor the fuel level in the tank over a period of time to see if the tank is leaking. It can also tell the facility operator what is going on inside the tank (e.g: fuel level, volume and temperature, water level and volume, high and low fuel level warnings).
Other features can be added to the ATG so that it can perform useful functions such as monitoring the interstitial spaces in tanks and piping, monitoring pressurized piping, or communicating remotely.
With Automatic Tank Gauging (ATG) technologies, heavy machine operators can manage their fuel stock prudently and minimize contamination.
Like any industry that relies heavily on both mobile and fixed machinery, the control and monitoring of fuel consumption is an important aspect of the business. In the fuel-intensive operations, stock management challenges always arise. These include quantifying precise fuel consumption, gaining clarity on remaining stocks, detecting accidental fuel contamination, etc. Handily, Automatic Tank Gauging (ATG) technology, simplifies what is always a convoluted task when carried out using conventional (dipstick) method of measurement.
The unreliability of dipstick measurement
Conventional (dipstick) method of measuring fuel stocks are susceptible to inaccuracies due to its reliance on the skill of persons making comparisons.
Additionally, the daily opening of storage facilities to account for stocks could contaminate fuel, which can cause serious asset damage – modern diesel engines cannot tolerate bad quality or water contaminated fuel.
Automatic Tank Gauging systems
Considering the benefits they offer in comparison with dipstick measurement, Automatic Tank Gauging (ATG) systems should be an integral part of an organization’s fuel supply chain management.
ATG systems form the backbone of the reconciliation process by ensuring that product losses are minimized, and that stocks are accounted for and reconciled by shift, day or even hourly if required.
The ATG system employs various methods and technologies to monitor and track fuel inventories, purchases, deliveries and consumption. This information is then stored and managed in a central system where specialized software uses the data to deliver real-time information and generate reports that can help management make informed decisions.
Tank levels can be read centrally at the procurement office, eliminating the need for people to drive across the operations to obtain tank levels using manual dipping methods.
ATG systems can also be configured to automatically send out warnings when certain levels have been reached. This includes low level and delivery needed warnings. When the procurement team receives such notices, they can automatically place the required orders with the Oil Company to deliver.
ATG can optimize fuel management in terms of cost savings and machine maintenance in the following ways:
Wet stock Management
- Higher accuracy over manual reconciliation methods
- Eliminate dipstick reading errors
- Eliminate data transcription error
- Avoid manual reconciliation errors to more quickly understand variances caused by temperature, delivery shortages and leaks.
- Systems use probes, sensors and advanced software solutions to deliver accurate wetstock and forecourt information.
- Remote connectivity offers anytime, anywhere access via devices to monitor site performance, providing peace-of-mind by delivering real-time alerts, detailed reports and inventory data
- Improved health and safety standards – ATG’s eliminate manual tank dipping, reducing site staff’s exposure to harmful fumes and traffic hazards
- ATG’s provide premier inventory control. It delivers accurate, crucial information, including:
- Temperature compensated volume – sophisticated algorithms compensate for the impact of temperature on product volume, delivering a precise inventory picture
- Advanced sensor technology – compatible with probes and sensors
- Standard delivery report – provides real-time details of delivery start and end times, temperature, volume, height and water
- Inventory level – real-time access to inventory data and alarms anytime, anywhere or via serial commands to a back-office system.
Preventing cumulative losses
While heavy machinery operators may not control the rising costs of fuel, when equipped with the ATG systems they can efficiently manage and control their fuel stock supply chain. What they might miss is that, unaccounted milliliters of fuel lost in the supply chain could cumulatively add up to thousands of liters.