Executive Briefings

RFID-Enabled Fuel-Monitoring System Connects to Internet of Things

Fluid Management Technology Pty Ltd. (FMT), a specialist in fuel tank management, has developed an RFID- and Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled solution for clients that need to accurately monitor their fuel consumption. The backbone of the system is a device that the company calls the SmartFill GEN 2, which helps prevent theft by restricting fuel dispensal only to authorized users.

Waving a card or fob with an embedded Near Field Communication (NFC) tag over the SmartFill unit (which contains a custom-made reader that uses NXP Semiconductors' PN532 chip set) activates the pump. The tags are sourced from a Chinese manufacturer and comply with the ISO 14443A (MiFare) standard. A magnetic swipe card reader is also an available option, allowing for an alternate method for the pump to be activated.

There are two ways in which the SmartFill unit can be attached to the fuel pump. It can be directly connected to the flow meter's pulse output, thereby controlling the power to the pump via a relay in the unit, or a vendor-specific two-wire serial data connection can be used instead. Once it is installed, the only way to activate the pump is through the SmartFill, effectively eliminating the risk of fuel theft.

When the pump is used, the precise amount of removed fuel is stored in the unit. If a client desires, drivers can also be prompted to enter a PIN, creating a comprehensive record of who has been using the pump, what vehicle was fueled, how much fuel was used and so on. In addition, FMT offers an IoT-based module called the SmartDip, which is wired to a pressure sensor to determine the height of the fluid remaining in the tank that feeds the fuel pump. This data is stored in the unit and can be uploaded to a secure website, allowing it to be accessed remotely via a smartphone.

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Waving a card or fob with an embedded Near Field Communication (NFC) tag over the SmartFill unit (which contains a custom-made reader that uses NXP Semiconductors' PN532 chip set) activates the pump. The tags are sourced from a Chinese manufacturer and comply with the ISO 14443A (MiFare) standard. A magnetic swipe card reader is also an available option, allowing for an alternate method for the pump to be activated.

There are two ways in which the SmartFill unit can be attached to the fuel pump. It can be directly connected to the flow meter's pulse output, thereby controlling the power to the pump via a relay in the unit, or a vendor-specific two-wire serial data connection can be used instead. Once it is installed, the only way to activate the pump is through the SmartFill, effectively eliminating the risk of fuel theft.

When the pump is used, the precise amount of removed fuel is stored in the unit. If a client desires, drivers can also be prompted to enter a PIN, creating a comprehensive record of who has been using the pump, what vehicle was fueled, how much fuel was used and so on. In addition, FMT offers an IoT-based module called the SmartDip, which is wired to a pressure sensor to determine the height of the fluid remaining in the tank that feeds the fuel pump. This data is stored in the unit and can be uploaded to a secure website, allowing it to be accessed remotely via a smartphone.

Read Full Article