An Introduction to Remote Tank Monitoring
By SkyBitz • Published January 29, 2019 • 4 minute read
Remote Tank Monitoring, commonly referred to as “RTM”, is a highly competitive market with over 100 global solution providers offering a multitude of systems, software and hardware options today.
According to a new research report from the M2M/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the global installed base of active remote tank monitoring solutions is estimated to reach 8.6 million units worldwide in 2022. At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.2%, this is up from almost 1.8 million units globally at the end of 2017.
This is significant because real-time visibility through remote tank level monitoring platforms can improve an organization’s workflow, which definitely impacts our daily lives.
What is Remote Tank Monitoring?
The solution encompasses the entire serviceable tank base, from fuel to crude and lubes, gasoline, propane, additives and other petroleum industry chemicals. There are robust technologies in place to monitor everything from fill levels (milk run) to temperature and even pressure.
Solution providers install wireless communication hardware on the physical tank and an attached sensor probe then dropped inside through a small cylindrical opening into the material to be monitored. The sensors vary and are dependent on many factors including the size and shape of the tank and the type of material being monitored.
For example, a lube tank at your local car dealership will have a very different hardware solution compared to a highly corrosive methanol tank located an oil field that also requires a special intrinsically safe engineering design. It is important to ensure that the right solution is implemented to preserve the reliability, accuracy, and overall safety.
Accessing Tank Monitoring Solutions
The next solution component is a web portal that is connected to the cloud, so customers can gain real-time visibility into their network of tanks through software that integrates with a range of back-office management systems. Dashboards, for example, can offer robust reporting and data analytics providing visibility to your tank network.
Setting up customizable notifications, actionable alerts, and alarms ensure there is a communication loop and areas of concern are addressed quickly. Remote tank monitoring solutions provide detailed reports for delivery information with valuable data such as e-tickets that show totalizer readings, date/time, GPS coordinates, delivered gallons, and even record customer signatures.
All of this data is collected and generated in the cloud for accounting purposes to access, which prompts easier revenue reconciliation, provides transparency when it comes to customer support, and increases delivery and driver accountability.
In a nutshell, remote tank monitoring solutions allow organizations the ability to accurately identify when a tank needs attention, which is helpful across the entire supply chain. But this is only one reason to deploy a monitoring solution.
Automation between deliveries and the back office is also beneficial to an organization as it aids in eliminating paperwork and improves accuracy. Connecting these dots through digital technologies that meet your specific business needs will prove to be a healthy return on your investment down the road.