Forecourt technology, equipment keep pace despite market, environmental uncertainties.
“For 10 years, we’ve witnessed the success of the [Ovation] dispenser,” says Neil Thomas, president of Wayne. “And during that time, we’ve learned many things about how it’s used and how we can improve to make it even better for our customers.”
The new design is essentially a “refreshed, updated” look, says Patrick Jeitler, product manager for Wayne. It allows for increased “branding” or visual design space; sleeker lines; a change to glass over a clear composite on the main pricing and gallon display, as well as the price-per-gallon displays for a “crisper” look; and a shift to white font on a black background for increased readability both day and night.
Much in the way design evolves with other common devices such as kitchen appliances or cellphones, the company’s dispenser is evolving “to be more than just a functional piece,” he says. “We’re taking it to the next level.”
In an effort to keep ahead of pending environmental rules, which are due for a revision in the coming year, manufacturers have been refining different elements of the fuel-delivery system.
One of the latest developments at OPW Fueling Container Systems, Smithfield, N.C., is a single-wall spill container that allows for accessible inspection and parts replacement, with much of the system housed within an outer shell. For many fuel operators, the prospect of having to replace anything already buried in concrete can be a costly undertaking, according to product manager Charles Liebal.
In addition, OPW’s tank-gauging solution has evolved, with the computing capability and physical room to tie in new devices that today may not be required. “People are building today but getting ready for tomorrow, if regulatory [bodies] were to do anything in the future,” Liebal says.
Containment, of course, is an issue throughout the on-site fuel-delivery system, as James Lawrence, president, of EMCO Wheaton Retail, Wilson, N.C., points out. With the formulation of fuel in question, a trend in equipment is to make components out of stainless steel. To that end, the company has produced stainless-steel buckets that surround UST fuel-nozzle receptacles. They retrofit into established units. Typically needing two man hours for installation, the retrofit will not require breaking concrete, Lawrence says.
“With new alcohol fuels and [other diesel] requirements, having more components with stainless steel was an obvious move,” he says.
And as the industry progresses through its numerous uncertainties, the business case for upgrades increase, leaving marketers and retailers continually looking to manufacturers to provide guidance and options.