AN AUSTRALIAN manufacturer is using the Internet of Things to tackle fuel theft across the globe.
Fluid Management Technology (FMT), based in Adelaide, South Australia, has developed a high-tech system that allows companies to remotely monitor gasoline consumption.
The devices, which are being used in more than 10 countries, are designed for fleets of mining, transport, civil construction and municipal vehicles that regularly undertake long trips.
FMT’s SmartFill GEN2 devices use driver and vehicle specific identification keys to unlock the fuel tank. The device then records how much fuel is put it into the vehicle’s tank. It also accesses the vehicles odometer readings and cargo types to calculate fuel requirements.
FMT Managing Director Bob Thomas said the system, which was fitted to bowsers at fuelling stations, could be programmed to lock fuel tanks if too much fuel or if an unscheduled transaction occurred.
“Depending on the key used, things like odometer statistics, the amount of fuel used, the name of driver and other data are sent to a client’s web-based account where they can track movement in real-time,” he said.
“In places like the UAE, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, people are buying our products because of fuel theft, which could increase depending on the fuel prices there.
“The ultimate solution is that every key is registered, so if a driver is involved then they will get pulled up but we are working on additional features to create a more comprehensive process.”
FMT’s success grew with the implementation of a diesel fuel rebate in Australia, which allowed businesses to claim exemptions or rebates on fuel excise tax.
The SmartFill allowed businesses to accurately document fuel consumption to maximise tax credits.
It has since expanded internationally to include clients in Indonesia, United States, Vietnam, New Zealand, Kenya, New Caledonia, Mongolia and Oman.
Last year it began selling the devices to the United States Government for use at its embassy in Nepal and is set to install another system at its Guatemalan embassy in the coming months.
FMT has also set up its first US operational base in Michigan to help service North America and provide full-time assistance to customers in the region.
Thomas said because of the 14-hour time difference between North America and Australia, it meant there was almost always an FMT employee available to assist customers.
“We are really focused on increasing our exports and are hoping our move into the US continues to expand quite quickly,” he said.
“Our products are a step above the rest and only require a fifth of the time to install.”
Thomas said the company was now working on a new nozzle-based identifier that would lock down the tank if it did not recognise the vehicle taking on fuel.