Tanks are used worldwide to hold all types of substances ranging from food service gases to dry seed and various types of fuel. It’s a convenient, cheap and efficient storage method that is used across all industries.
The one potential downside is that these tanks are opaque, and the level of stored material can be a challenge to monitor. Because of this, the market for smart devices to simplify tank monitoring has boomed in recent years.
The tank monitoring industry is expected to grow from 4.8 million installed smart devices in 2020 to over 22.2 million by 2025. While this growth underlines an obvious need for this product, it has also been driven by numerous technological innovations that have made these devices much more reliable than they have ever been.
This article will review the 9 latest innovations that have made tank monitoring devices a great investment that any modern company should consider.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT refers to any network of physical devices connected to the Internet in order to relay information to the user. For tank monitors, this means that any type of data like temperature, substance level in the tank, usage and more can be relayed back using the web.
IoT integrations have made tank monitors far easier to use, ushering in numerous quality-of-life innovations. This great advancement in technology has allowed companies to manage their tanks at a distance, eliminating costly trips back and forth to read the level on the dial.
Tanks can be located in remote locations with difficult access to electricity. One of the contributing factors to the proliferation of tank monitors is the fact that they are wireless and battery-operated.
Since high-quality batteries can deliver decades of power, tank monitors have become worry-free devices within a company’s arsenal.
Coupled with an integration with an asset management software such as the Otodata Portal, communication between the monitor-on-the-tank and the "cloud" are much faster, more precise, and can provide real-time readings.
Businesses can rely on the accuracy and speed of the data they get and react faster. This is better than simply forecasting consumption based on historical data and reduces the amount of costly emergency fills when a customer’s consumption increases suddenly.
Tank Monitoring Mobile Apps
With the advent of smartphones, a number of business apps have popped up to help workers do their job more efficiently. The nature of industries that rely on tank monitors is quite mobile, especially in the fuel delivery sphere.
For that reason, mobile apps have been a great boon to the workers in those sectors, allowing them to get accurate data on the go. Like IoT, mobile apps have enabled a number of other innovations that are now mainstays of modern tank monitors.
The Nee-Vo Tech App, Otodata’s mobile app designed for technicians, can be used internally to update device firmware and troubleshoot issues on-site.
Fuel resellers can also have a fully white-labelled version to offer to their clients that displays real-time tank level data. This includes done-for-you branding, promotional materials to promote it to clientele and free technical support to get it up and running.
As tank monitors became more common, companies came to expect their data even during extreme weather conditions (sweltering heat, sub-zero temperatures, heavy wind, rain and snow, etc.). These situations have led some tank monitor manufacturers to improve their inner insulation and outer casings to protect the electrical components inside and ensure there are no hiccups in their functionality.
Otodata’s fully encapsulated electronics allow their tank monitors to keep working in any weather, even when a tank’s underground well is flooded, and the monitor is completely submerged!
One of the main reasons businesses buy tank monitors is to ensure their tanks never go dry. The substances in tanks are often business-critical, and running out can spell disaster.
Through mobile apps and web interfaces, tank monitors can send smart alarms to workers and or even automate deliveries.
Otodata tank monitors offer multiple customizable smart alarms for functions like low, critical- low, and rapid- draw detections. This level of precision in monitoring allows businesses to gain significant insight and improve their efficiency.
Automated Reporting and Analytics
For many businesses, reporting and analytics is a tedious manual task that requires hours of work for several employees. One of the aspects that makes this process so complicated is data gathering.
With a tank monitor connected to the Internet, reporting can be automated to communicate daily or upon a notable level change. This has allowed businesses to allocate their resources better and have more accurate data to forecast consumption.
Otodata has heavily invested in building a full-service online portal that allows companies to see statistics and usage graphs. This data can then be exported for further analysis or used directly in the Otodata portal to better plan daily operations.
Automated Usage-based Route Planning
Auto-dispatching has become life-changing for those businesses using third-party integrations like Cargas, ADD Systems and others. Planning and dispatching deliveries used to be the crux of fuel resellers, and one emergency request could greatly impact daily operations.
Using the data gathered through an Otodata tank monitor, resellers can leverage real-time level information to more accurately forecast a client’s future consumption and adjust to account for irregular use. Deliveries can then be automatically scheduled. This means the client pays only for what he needs and eliminates costly emergency deliveries for the reseller.
Cellular Network Connection
If data gathering is one of the main reasons businesses integrate tank monitors in their operations, it must be as reliable as possible, and thanks to advancements in SIM card technology, data-relay is secure and reliable. Since tank monitors can be deployed in locations without reliable connectivity, cellular networks are often one of the only solutions to transmitting data.
Even in locations that have access to Wi-Fi, a double SIM card able to switch between networks at will is far and beyond more reliable (and less susceptible to sudden loss of connection). Otodata’s SIM card is the only one on the market able to pivot between cellular carriers and specialized networks such as NB-IoT and CAT-M1 automatically when one option becomes suddenly unavailable.
What Tank Monitoring Can do for Your Business
As the statistic mentioned at the beginning of the article proves, the tank monitoring industry is growing at a furious pace. The reasoning is simple, as the technology to monitor tanks remotely becomes better and cheaper, these devices are simply becoming “no-brainer” investments for businesses looking to increase their ROI and grow their business.
However, not all tank monitors are made the same, and antiquated technology is still being sold as good enough. The innovations mentioned in this article haven’t only made tank monitors better; they should be considered the bare minimum. You simply can’t rely on a tank monitor that doesn’t meet the new industry standard.
Contact us today to test Otodata monitors on your tanks today.