This is an exciting picture indeed. Downstream automation in the oil and gas industry’s overall value chain-comprising processes around how refined fuel reaches the end customer-works on thin margins since there is very little value addition at this stage. Automated fuel stations present an opportunity to do more and monetize better. Operational technology and the Internet of Things(IoT) are integral to most aspects of a Smart Retail Outlet (Smart RO).
Logistics Planning: Based on the type of fuel, and demand-supply trends, a system for automatic reordering can perform dynamic planning for entire fleets. Fuel stations can reorder based on this, to avoid running out of stock. This wet stock management can be an efficient, automatic replenishment of fuel without any manual intervention.
Asset Management and Maintenance: If a fuel station is out of function for a few hours during peak time, it can lead to huge losses. With most stations being Wi-Fi-enabled, one doesn’t need to have engineers on-site for asset management. Sensors and tags constantly capture information from assets. All the planning for spare parts and servicing can be done and this data can be maintained at a cross-central command, so that the cost of preventive maintenance is low and there are no sudden breakdowns.
Journey Risk Management: A lot of the ongoing automation through digital technologies is toward establishing safety measures, in the fuel truck’s journey from the refinery to the petrol pumps. This includes safeguards against theft, adulteration, and accidents.
What these new developments translate to are reduced operational costs through better planning, automation, and plugging of gaps; and increased efficiency by saving time and streamlining processes. A better performing fuel station can guarantee a better experience to customers-quality fuel, superior service, and minimal or zero waiting time.