NACS Show Petroleum Equipment Roundup
Self-containment, alternative fuel solutions featured on show floor
ATLANTA -- Driven by changing fuel composition and pressure to show returns on investment at the forecourt, manufacturers of petroleum-related equipment exhibited new pump designs, increased use of stainless-steel parts and new fuel-control devices at the recent NACS Show in Atlanta.
Some brought redesigned compressed natural gas (CNG) pumps to the show floor, while other suppliers focused on changing ethanol blends, introducing spill-containment buckets made of stainless steel--apparently a better way to address new blends than previous metals.
To address efficiency concerns, some companies focused on better operational and management solutions, reworking fuel-control devices or creating economical retrofit solutions.
Here are a few developments that stood out:
- American Petroleum Institute (API), Washington. While also a research and information group, API licenses engine oils. In that respect, API was promoting its "Motor Oil Matters" or "MOM" campaign, designed to inform consumers about the quality of motor oil stored in bulk facilities. Kevin Ferrick, manager of global industry services, said it has seen an increase in sub-par product going into the market in recent years and said the public at large needs to better understand the issue.
- Bennett Pump, Spring Lake, Mich. Representatives for Bennett showed dispensers for a variety of fuels including liquefied and compressed natural gas, ethanol and biodiesel. Bo Sasnett, the company’s vice president of business development, said the Pacific series is the company's most energy-efficient dispenser, saving up to 70% in electricity operating costs.
- Emco Wheaton Retail Corp., Wilson, N.C. For retailers reviewing their fuel-delivery systems, a big hope is to find retrofit devices that will retain some of the value of their legacy systems. Emco Wheaton had some of those solutions on the trade show floor, with many made from stainless steel as a way to address new ethanol-based fuel formulations. "With new alcohol fuels, stainless steel was an obvious move," said James Lawrence, president and CEO for Emco Wheaton.
- FuelQuest, Houston. The company uses "big data" to help retailers make the best fuel purchases, with a focus on margin management at the NACS Show. Fuel-price volatility is an ever-increasing norm, said David Zahn, vice president of marketing for FuelQuest, with swings of three cents per gallon a day happening 50% of the time and five cents 25% of the time. "It can be crushing for a retailer," he said, noting how decisions like taking fuel later in the day can shave pennies per gallon off of a delivery. "And with fuel demand declining and the competition already using best practices, the old way of using spreadsheets is just not the best way."
- Gilbarco Veeder-Root, Greensboro, N.C. Addressing CNG, Gilbarco exhibited a new pump designed to maximize flow rates for the alternative fuel. The pump uses three different pressure levels to achieve flow rates comparable to gasoline pumps.
- NCR Corp., Duluth, Ga. Among other retail-focused solutions, NCR showed mobile-payment solutions at the pump alongside an operational application for in-field managers. Resembling many commonly used icon and Facebook-style visuals, the app is capable of real-time reporting of site activities, including fuel levels and tying video to register transaction data.
- OPW Fueling Components, A Dover Company, Hamilton, Ohio. On the show floor, OPW focused on systems that will allow for easy access to parts in the event of need for replacement. It developed updates to avoid the need to break concrete. The company also featured an automated monitoring system designed to handle a range of fuel dispensers. Finally, the company announced that it had purchased two companies in separate acquisitions. One was a composite access cover and containment system company called Fibrelite, based in the United Kingdom, while the other was a Swedish company called Kungsors Plast AB (KPS), which does piping systems. Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed.
- Wayne, A GE Energy Business, Austin, Texas. Talking about its newly redesigned Ovation pump series, Russ Haecker, product manager for Wayne, spoke of the dual areas of coated plastic and stainless steel, glass displays vs. clear plastic and a move to white font on black background for onscreen digits. To address growing complexities on the forecourt, Wayne introduced its Fusion 6000 fuel controller, designed to link to a growing number of devices on the pump island as well as for internal, heat-reducing efficiencies within device itself, according to Tom Chittenden, global product manager for Wayne. The company also displayed a new CNG pump.
- WEX, Portland, Maine. The fleet-fueling company approaches a three-tiered customer landscape of fleet operators, drivers and retailers, according to Bill Cooper, vice president of over-the-road sales. He spoke to tools retailers can use to better attract professional drivers to sites that can handle their vehicles as well as provide them with the kinds of goods and services that they prefer.