Can you remotely monitor/control your transload facility activity anywhere, at any time?
In recent years, there have been numerous acquisitions among propane marketers which lead toward companies having multiple storage and transfer terminals strategically located within their marketing area. These locations are often unattended except for mornings and evenings when bobtail drivers arrive and leave. Maintaining optimum operation and safety at these terminals can be a challenge. Modernizing and standardizing the controls at these facilities offers multiple benefits for managers and maintenance staff who are located offsite.
What if you could remotely monitor your terminal activity around the clock? We design our control systems with integrated internet connectivity. We can log in from our office in Ontario at any time, day or night, to assist with electrical control issues that are being experienced onsite. Recently, we had a customer call in because a bobtail driver could not get the pump to start. By logging in to the secure system from our office, we determined that the loading rack key switch had frozen in the off position. A moment later, we were able to remotely bypass the switch, allowing the driver to load and get on his way. Due to the remote location of the site, this simple action saved the customer a 5 hour service call and kept their supply chain in operation as well. The savings from this one incident paid for the small added cost of a networked system versus a stand-alone one. Adjustments to pump time delays, programming for new equipment or messaging are able to be done quickly and easily.
Remote connections allow us to make modifications and updates to a terminal control system without having to visit the site. Obviously, it is not possible to perform all fixes offsite, however by working in conjunction with someone on the ground we are able to pinpoint issues allowing them to perform an appropriate fix or provide accurate troubleshooting information to maintenance staff. A networked control system also allows us to provide e-mail notifications and alerts regarding facility activity to offsite staff. These notifications and alerts include facility entry, safety alarms, pump and compressor faults, low nitrogen supply and maintenance alerts, etc.
When storage tanks are fitted with level sensors, values can be read at central office and provide no-cost inventory measurements at any time. Often web based level monitors require monthly subscriptions or pay-per-poll transactions that may be hours out of date. Radar sensors, although more expensive, can provide very accurate real time volume calculations (within 100 gallons in a 60,000 gallon tank).
Is remote monitoring a good fit for your operation?