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Reliable Monitoring of Refueling Processes with Intrinsically Safe Mobile Devices


The mobile solution works as an infrastructure to manage 3,000 filling stations and 400 trucks.

The Application

Since 1932, the Italian L'Istituto di Vigilanza dell'Urbe (IVU) has designed integrated safety strategies to protect employees and assets at public institutions, international organizations, and companies—even in hazardous areas. A large Italian oil company commissioned the renowned institute to optimize and increase the safety of the process used to refuel tanks at gas stations. As a result, mobile solutions—consisting of smartphones, tablets, and applications—have been developed in collaboration with the system integrator Pontiradio and the Pepperl+Fuchs brand ecom.


The Goal

The safety of employees who work in hazardous areas, including around fuel tanks at gas stations, is a top priority. The refueling process is regulated by strict safety standards. For instance, tanks can only be delivered and filled by specialized carriers, under the supervision of a qualified person. Until now, every truck driver had to be accompanied by a supervisor who could provide help quickly in case of an emergency—a good precaution, but not efficient. For this reason, tank fill monitoring should be centralized in a control center, and a comprehensive lone worker protection system should be implemented to ensure the safety and communication needs of mobile workers.   


The Solution

Smart-Ex® 01 can be operated with gloves.
Smart-Ex® 01 can be operated with gloves.

A complete, all-in-one solution with intrinsically safe mobile devices from Pepperl+Fuchs' ecom portfolio is the technological basis for the networked applications. As a specialist for radio communication and control rooms, the IVU built on the strengths of system integrator Pontiradio. The mobile solution is connected to the control center and serves as the infrastructure for managing 3,000 filling stations and 400 trucks, with up to 500 fill-ups per day and 40 simultaneous filling operations. The entire process is monitored by six operators in the control center. The ATEX-certified smartphone Smart-Ex® 01 supports mobile workers and enables the use of push-to-talk via LTE and Wi-Fi networks. This ensures the widest possible network coverage in all areas and situations—at low network latency, excellent data transfer rates, and the best voice quality. Because the Smart-Ex® 01 features buttons, it can be operated with gloves, too. No additional interaction with the smartphone is needed.


The Benefits

Intrinsically safe mobile devices from Pepperl+Fuchs' ecom portfolio, equipped with professional partner software, offer a wide range of benefits. In addition to improved safety due to cost-effective, efficient, and seamlessly implemented lone worker protection, high cost savings and ROI are achieved after just a few months. Supervisors do not have to be on site and can instead focus on other responsibilities due to continuous monitoring of the devices (GPS position, battery charge, signal quality, connection status) and automated notification of the entries and exits at filling stations. Within seconds, a supervisor can determine from the control room whether an alarm is real and alert the emergency service. It is also possible to document an emergency situation by using recorded voice communication, video streaming, GPS position, and event logs. Documentation of the entire rescue chain makes the process evaluable and provides a foundation for optimization of alert processes and legal compliance. Intelligent management helps achieve optimization and improved planning.


All-in-One Mobile Solution at a Glance

  • Zone 1/21 and Division 1 certified, explosion-proof 4G/LTE Android Smart-Ex® 01 smartphone with front and rear camera and dedicated, easy-to-operate side buttons
  • Lone worker protection for immediate notification of rescue workers in case of an emergency
  • Push-to-Talk-over-Cellular Application (PTToC) from ecom partner TASSTA for real-time communication and lone worker protection
  • A cloud video surveillance application from IVIDEON enables video streaming in real time from the control room and saves the videos to a server
  • A mobile device management solution from MOBILOCK for setting user-specific permissions and blocking unnecessary applications and features
  • Detection of the mobile worker’s GPS-position via geofencing

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