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Analysis and Scheduling of Maintenance Operations for a Chain of Gas Stations

Abstract

Maintenance is one of the central issues in operational activities, which involve any type of equipment.

In this paper we have considered analysis, modeling, and scheduling of preventive maintenance
operations for fuel dispensers in a chain of gas stations. A gas station company with more than 570
dispensers in more than 40 stations is considered and the maintenance problem is studied in detail.
Operations research tools, including maintenance models and linear programming, were used to establish
optimum schedules for preventive maintenance operations. Detailed cost analyses were carried out to
determine feasibility of the proposed preventive maintenance schedules. Models and procedures
presented in this paper could guide operation engineers and maintenance managers in solving similar
problems for operational improvements.

1. Introduction

Complex equipment and devices used in any system constitute majority of the capital invested in
industry. Equipment is subject to deterioration with usage and time and deterioration is often reflected in
higher operation costs and lower service quality. In order to keep operational costs down while
maintaining good service quality, preventive maintenance (PM) is often performed on a scheduled basis.
The cost of maintenance-related activities in industrial facilities has been estimated by Mobley [1] as 15–
40% of total operation costs and the trend toward increased automation has forced managers to pay even
more attention to maintain complex equipment and keep them in available state.

If the equipment is maintained only when it fails, it is called corrective maintenance (CM), while
preplanned maintenance is called preventive maintenance (PM).

Traditionally it is known that the probability of failure would increase as equipment is aged, and that it
would sharply decrease after a planned preventive maintenance (PM) is implemented. However, as
indicated by Savsar [2], the amount of reduction in failure rate due to introduction of a preventive
maintenance has not been fully studied. In particular, it would be desirable to know the performance of a
system before and after the introduction of PM. It is also desired to know the type and the rate at which a
preventive maintenance should be scheduled or the maintenance policy to be implemented.

A gas station includes several facilities and equipment that need to be maintained. In particular,
dispensers (gasoline pumps), storage tanks, car wash equipment, and other ancillary equipment need to be
kept in operational condition for effective performance and profitable service. The first gasoline pumps
were developed in 1885 in Indiana by S. F. Bowser to be used for kerosene lamps and stoves. Later,
when the automobiles were invented, these pumps were improved and used by adding a hose and several
other safety measures.
A modern fuel dispenser is divided into two main parts, including

 an electronic head and


 a mechanical section.

Electronic head contains an embedded computer, which controls the action of the pump, drives the
pump’s displays, and communicates with an indoor sales system.

The mechanical section, which is in a self-contained unit, has an electric motor, pumping unit, meters,
pulsers, and valves to physically pump and control the fuel flow.

There are many different variations of fuel dispensers in use today. The term “gas pump” is usually used
as an informal way to refer to a fuel dispenser.

In order to maintain functionality of a gas station, all equipment has to be maintained by preventive
maintenance at scheduled times or repairs when failures occur. Every fuel dispenser is a combination of
various small components and it is essential to ensure the appropriate performance of each component for
profitable and high quality service in a gas station. Typical maintenance activities in a gas station include

1. Mechanical pumps, meters, and lubrication equipment repair,


2. Electronic dispenser and electronic control console repair,
3. Automated system repair including automatic tank gauging, release detection systems, and Point-
of-Sale systems,
4. (POS), price scanners, card readers, and communication links,
5. Tank system repair including: tanks, pumps, leak detectors, piping, hoses, and nozzles,
6. Car wash system and ancillary equipment maintenance and repairs.

Preventive maintenance (PM) programs are implemented to reduce annual repair costs and costs
associated with equipment downtime. While preventive maintenance and repair instructions of major
equipments at gas stations are specified by the manufacturers, it is difficult to find specific studies related
to maintenance analysis of such systems. However, extensive studies have been carried out in the areas of
reliability and maintenance management in general. The existing body of theory on general system
reliability and maintenance is scattered over a large number of scholarly journals belonging to a diverse
variety of disciplines. In particular, mathematical sophistication of preventive maintenance models has
increased in parallel to the growth in the complexity of modern manufacturing systems. Research work
has been published in the areas of maintenance modeling, optimization, and management.

It is well known that equipment failures occur due to wearouts and random causes. Therefore, in the most
general way, maintenance operations are classified as corrective maintenance (CM) and preventive
maintenance (PM). There are some other variations of these maintenances. However, CM and PM are the
most general procedures in industry. Causes of random failures, which result in CM, are not known and
cannot be predicted. These types of failures occur even in new systems. However, wear out failures occur
by the usage of the equipment and as the time passes. These failures can be predicted and mean time to
failure can be estimated. PM operations are carried out before the expected failures. For example, time to
failure of a gear or a belt due to usage can be estimated and the time to change the component can be
specified.

Fault: It is a condition that causes the software/component/combination of components to fail to perform


its required function. Deviation from the desired output.

Error: Refers to difference between Actual Output and Expected output.

Failure: It is the inability of a system or component to perform required function according to its
specification.

While random failures cannot be eliminated totally, wear out failures can be eliminated by PM operations
and thus a reduction in CM can be achieved. The exact effects of PM operations in reducing CM
frequency are modeled and applied to various components in the selected system. System down time and
productivity are estimated before and after the introduction of PM.

2. Analysis of Preventive Maintenance Operations for Fuel Dispensers

It is well known that performing preventive maintenance at scheduled points in time before an asset loses
optimum performance can help in providing acceptable levels of operability in efficient and cost-effective
manners. As the preventive maintenance is increased, the need for corrective maintenance is reduced and
subsequently, the down time of the equipments will be reduced too. A study of rescheduling the
preventive maintenance was performed by analyzing the effect of increasing the preventive maintenance
on the mean time between failures.

The study was applied on the dispenser area for the three categories of high-, medium-, and low-failure
stations. The compound mean time between maintenance activities, MTBMmt, must be obtained by
combining the rates for corrective maintenance (CM) and preventive maintenance (PM) activities.
Assuming that the CM and PM activities are independent, the compound maintenance rate for CM and
PM activities is obtained by the adding the related rates. The following notations are used for the
calculations:

 corrective maintenance rate,


 preventive maintenance rate,
 mean time between corrective maintenance (this is also referred to as MTBF),
 Mean time between preventive maintenance.

Combined maintenance rate is obtained from and compound mean time between all maintenances is
calculated from, which can also be expressed as

This equation shows the relation between mean time between maintenance activities and the maintenance
rates. It does not depend on the distribution of failures. Time between failures can follow gamma
distribution and its special form, which is exponential distribution.

Mean rate of compound maintenance is defined as.


Failure rate can be expressed as a function of combined maintenance rate and the preventive maintenance
rate by manipulating (1) as follows:

Where. Since increasing preventive maintenance decreases the need for corrective maintenance, it is
possible to alter the PM rate in order recalculate the estimated corrective maintenance. In this case,
combined maintenance rate is kept constant and CM rate is estimated based on a given PM rate.
Maintenance analysis is carried out for dispensers in each group of stations. Value of and can be easily
estimated in a real system. Time between failures of a component can be recorded over time and the mean
time between failures can be estimated from the data. Failure rate can be estimated for the component or
the system under consideration by. Maintenance rate, can also be easily estimated based on mean time
between preventive maintenances of the component or the system considered based on the expected
MTBMs specified by the manufacturer.

2.1. High Failure Stations

Table 1 summarizes the MTBMct for different preventive maintenance schedules. From the results in the
table, it can be shown that for the high failure stations, MTBFct increases slightly when performing the
preventive maintenance once every two months, but it increases highly when performing preventive
maintenance once every month. Effectively, failure rate decreases significantly as PM is performed more
frequently, such as every month.

Table 1

Increasing MTBMct as a result of decreasing MTBMpt for high failure stations.

2.2. Medium Failure Stations

Medium failure stations category consists of 17 gas stations with a total of 248 dispensers. The average
failure rate was found to be failure/hour/dispenser which equals 4204 failures per year. Currently,
MTBMpt equals 4 months and the preventive maintenance rate was calculated as follows:

By utilizing the failure rate and the preventive maintenance rate, combined maintenance rate, MTBMmt,
was calculated using (1) and found to be 438.212 hours. Finally, by utilizing this value and different
values for PM schedules, a set of possible corrective maintenance rates were estimated using the equation
below and tabulated in Table 2. From Table 2, it can be shown that for the medium failure stations, the
MTBMct increases slightly when performing the preventive maintenance once every two months, but it
again increases sharply when performing the preventive maintenance once every month:

Table 2
Increasing MTBMct as a result of decreasing MTBMpt for medium failure stations.

2.3. Low Failure Stations

Low failure category of stations consists of 17 gas stations with a total of 196 dispensers. The average
failure rate was found to be 0.00122 failure/hour/dispenser which equals 2095 failures per year.
Currently, MTBMpt equals 4 months and the preventive maintenance rate was determined as follows:

By utilizing failure rate and preventive maintenance rate, combined maintenance rate, MTBMmt, was
calculated using (1) again and found to be 638.162 hours. Finally, failure rates were recalculated based on
various values of preventive maintenances using the equation below:

Table 3 summarizes the MTBFct for different PMs. From Table 3, it can be seen that for the low failure
stations, MTBFct increases slightly when performing the PM up to once every two months, but it
increases again sharply when performing PM once every month. These results will be used in the next
section to optimize PM schedules for the dispensers in three categories of stations.

Table 3

MTBMct based on MTBMpt for low failure group of stations.

3. Preventive Maintenance Scheduling for Fuel Dispensers Using LP Model

From the previous analysis, we found that the MTBFct for CM increases as the mean time between PM is
decreased. But, we have some constraints that prevent us from performing the PM once every month for
the 41 gas stations. In particular, numbers of technicians are limited and the PM cannot be performed on
more than one station per day; also it is not preferred to perform the PM monthly for the dispenser area.
As a result, by comparing different situations for the three categories, it was found that the high failure
stations have the lowest mean time between failures and the highest number of failures. Consequently, it
was suggested to give them higher priority than the other stations.

4. Maintenance Cost Analysis

Preventive maintenance involves a basic tradeoff between the costs of conducting maintenance activities
and the savings achieved by reducing the overall rate of occurrence of system failures. Although the gas
company is paying a fixed amount of money per month regardless of the number of failures occurring per
month, a study of the effects of changing the PM schedule on the total maintenance cost was performed to
make sure that the new PM schedule will not cause them to pay more money. The total maintenance cost
was found using:

Where TMC is total maintenance cost per year

  CMC is corrective maintenance cost per year calculated by


  PMC is preventive maintenance cost per year calculated by

  DTC is down time cost per year calculated by:

Table 5

Various parameters and maintenance cost comparisons for 3 categories of dispensers.

4.2. Medium Failure Stations

For the medium failure stations, it was proposed to have a PM once every 3 months, that is, 4 times per
year. Currently, PM is performed once every 4 months or 3 times per year. Thus, the maintenance costs
for the current and proposed schedules are calculated as for high failure stations using (13) based on the
parameters given in Table 5. The final cost results are also listed in the table. Note that 3.4 KD/failure and
13.85 KD/PM are common parameters for all cases. The cost results are compared in Table 5. PM costs
are justified for this category also since total maintenance costs are reduced from 7.394 KD/year to 5.076 
KD/year.

4.3. Low Failure Stations

As it was mentioned earlier, PM was proposed to be performed once every 4 months, which is the same
as the current schedule. Therefore, the costs would be the same for the current and the proposed
schedules.

5. Conclusions

Maintenance is one of the major operational activities in industrial systems. In particular, implementation
of a PM program requires detailed and careful analysis to justify the related costs since maintenance costs
are a significant part of operational costs. Implementing a PM has to be justified by analyzing its effect on
reducing CM costs. In this paper, a gas station company with a chain of 41 stations is considered and
detailed procedures are presented for maintenance analysis. After analyzing the current system, a linear
programming model is used to determine optimum PM activities to be performed for each category of gas
stations. Furthermore, detailed cost analyses are performed for the dispensers to establish cost-saving PM
schedules. LP model and the economic cost analysis procedures proved to be effective for the company
considered. The models and procedures utilized in this paper could be used by operational engineers in
maintenance analysis in other industrial settings in order to improve productivity and to reduce related
operational costs.
Why STPs have an Edge over Suction Pumps Today: The Role of Line Leak
Detection

Technically Speaking

Since the 1970s, submersible turbine pumps (STPs) have become the primary means of pumping motor
fuels at retail service stations in the United States. Before that time, most U.S. stations used suction
sumps, the other pump option available. Today, in many other countries, the use of suction sumps
remains high. The purpose of this article is to discuss the primary differences of these two pumping
systems and to describe the market factors that favor the use of STPs

How STPs work

Remote pump (or remote dispenser) Systems

In this type of system, fuel is pressurized and propelled toward the dispenser by a pumping unit located at
or in the storage tank. The basic components of the pumping system are:

• a motor and pump assembly and discharge head,

• an emergency shut-off valve, located in each dispenser, and


• a control valve, also located at each dispenser.

In rare cases remote pumping systems employ a rotary vane pump like that used in self-contained
systems, which sits atop the storage tank. However most remote systems employ a submerged pump. As
its name suggests, the pump and motor assembly are completely submerged in the storage tank. As you
can see in Figure 3-5, the pump—usually a multi-stage vertical turbine—is at the very bottom of the
assembly. The intake of the submerged pump is located approximately four inches from the bottom of
the storage tank to reduce the possibility of pumping water or sediment into the fuel system.

FIGURE 3-5. SUBMERGED PUMP AND DISCHARGE HEAD

Fuel is drawn into it through a metal strainer and flows from the turbine around the outside of the motor
casing and through a section of pipe to the discharge manifold (head), which usually sits on top of the
tank. The system check valve and the air eliminator are located inside the discharge head (manifold).
The air eliminator functions in much the same way as its counterpart in a self-contained unit: air and
vapor, along with a small quantity of fuel, are separated from the main body of fuel and drawn through an
orifice. But in this type of system, the gases and fuel drain directly back into the storage tank; the tank
itself functions as the atmospheric chamber or sump does in a self-contained unit.

In remote systems, several dispensers are often served by the same pump. When the on-off switch at any
of these dispensers is placed in the on position, the pumping unit is activated, and all pipelines connected
to the pump are pressurized (to 24-28 psi for a typical unit). To prevent the discharge nozzles of all the
dispensers from being pressurized, each dispenser is equipped with its own control valve.

This control valve must not be confused with the control valve in a self-contained system: its design and
function are quite different. The control valve in a remote system is not automatic: it is actuated by the
dispenser's on-off switch, or is controlled by the electronic computer system. Figure 3-6 illustrates how a
typical control valve works.

The control valve itself usually consists of a piston and cylinder (or diaphragm) and a spring, as shown in
the cutaway drawing. A removable filter/strainer at the inlet to the valve (or at the fuel inlet to the
dispenser) traps solid contaminants in the fuel flow before they enter the valve. When the piston is
retracted, the valve is open and product flows through it toward the meter; when the piston is seated,
product cannot pass through the valve.
STPs, as most readers are aware, are installed directly into the underground storage tank (UST). The
pump intake is set a few inches off the tank bottom. The pump itself is a centrifugal type that pressurizes
the fuel through the pump motor, up through the riser and the STP control head. The pump motor pushes
the fuel under pressure through the piping system to the dispensers. Generally, one STP is used per
product grade.
Blending systems are those in which two product grades are blended into a variety of grades at the
dispenser. These blending systems have reduced the number of STPs required per station to only two—
one for regular and one for premium product grade. Blend systems are becoming more and more popular
since they require fewer STPs, tanks and nozzles, and less underground piping. Entire stations offering
multiple gasoline grades can now be operated with as few as two STPs.

How suction pumps work

By contrast, suction pumps are generally rotary vane-type positive displacement pumps that are located
inside each dispenser cabinet. They operate on the principle of reducing atmospheric pressure at the pump
inlet. This allows atmospheric pressure to push the product from the underground tank into the pump
where it is then pushed through the air eliminator, meter, hose and nozzle.

One suction pump is needed per hose, except in the case of six-hose multiple product pumps (MPPs),
which are equipped with three suction systems—one per product. For example, a station with four MPPs
has 12 suction pumps, each with a motor, air eliminator, pumping unit and pressure relief valve.

A modern U.S. retail station typically employs STP pressure systems to provide multiple fueling
lanes with high volume dispensers.

Pumping up fuel

With STPs, there is a lot less pumping equipment to purchase, install and maintain over the life of the
station. However, long before multiple product dispensers (MPDs) and MPPs were available, STPs were
taking over as the pumping system of choice in the United States. This is mainly because of the physical
properties of the fuel being pumped and the size of the stations.

Gasoline can vaporize when pulled from the underground tank by a suction pump. Gasoline boils (that is,
converts from liquid to vapor) when its absolute vapor pressure approaches absolute atmospheric
pressure. In a suction system, this can result in vapor-lock, causing the pump to either stop pumping or
slow severely.

This occurs when the suction force required to lift the gasoline from the bottom of the UST up to the
suction pump exceeds the vapor pressure of the gasoline being pumped. The sidebar on page 53 details
factors leading to the vaporizing of gasoline in suction systems.
When STPs are used, the length of piping run and tank diameters are not major factors. USTs can be a
considerable distance away from the dispenser islands, where the USTs can be filled without blocking
traffic at the dispenser islands.

In addition to vaporization problems, flexibility is restricted for both the station layout and tank diameters
when using suction pumps. While the use of remote fills in suction systems can resolve this issue, remote
fill locations add to the cost of constructing the site and complicate overfill protection.

Suction selling points

Traditionally, suction pumping systems have two perceived advantages over STPs:

1. An STP pump failure results in a complete loss of that product grade for sale until the pump is
repaired. Since a suction system typically has several pumps for each product grade, a single pump
failure simply means one or two nozzles are out of service. STPs, however, have proven to be very
reliable pieces of equipment; and it is not unusual for them to operate years without any service
interruptions; and

2. In theory, leaks in suction systems will be smaller than those in STP systems because piping to suction
pumps operates under negative pressure, and piping to STPs operates under positive pressure. However,
environmental laws are in place in the U.S. and many other countries that make it necessary or at least
desirable for leaks of any size to be detected and contained. The incidence and seriousness of leaks from
STP systems have been greatly reduced with the help of leak detection and secondary containment
technologies.

Variable speed STPs with telescoping risers allow different tank diameters. Distributors only need to
stock a single model.

Line leak detection

Both mechanical and electronic line leak detection are used very effectively with STPs. Mechanical line
leak detection has been used with STPs since the early 1960s. These devices are installed directly into the
STP, and are designed to detect leaks as small as 3.0 gph at 10 psi in pressurized piping systems. When
the symptoms of leaks are detected, the mechanical leak detector temporarily restricts fuel flow to three
gallons per minute, alerting the operator to an abnormal condition which should be investigated.
Electronic line leak detection that can detect leaks as small as 0.1 gallon per hour are offered by several
manufacturers. Some have the capability of interrupting power to the STP until the problem is corrected.
The widespread use of mechanical and electric line leak detection technologies has satisfied marketers
and government fire safety and environmental bodies that leaks in STPs can be detected and therefore
controlled before they cause a fire or environmental hazard. But detecting leaks is not the same as
containing them.

Secondary containment

Enter secondary containment. It, of course, involves both the tank and the piping system. When a leak
occurs, the fuel escapes from the primary pipe or tank; the fuel is then contained in the secondary system
and detected through hydrocarbon sensors mounted in the secondary containment interstice.

Secondary containment piping can be installed for both STP and suction systems; however, suction
systems tend to require far more piping than STP systems since a separate suction pipe is required from
each pump to the UST. Thus, secondary containment piping tends to cost more for suction systems than
for STP systems.

The larger picture

Many market-driven factors have led to the popularity of STPs. It all began with high speed freeways,
encouraging car manufacturers to build high horsepower engines that require higher octane fuels, which
often have higher vapor pressure. More cars have led to larger and larger stations, which also favor STPs
because they push the fuel into the dispenser, whereas suction pumps pull the fuel into it. Fuel can be
pushed longer distances than it can be pulled, or suctioned, and the need for fuel to be piped longer
distances becomes increasingly important at larger stations.

High volume stations require dispensing points that can handle the increased system flow rates needed to
keep fueling times at a minimum. Variable speed STPs have now been on the market for the past 15
months (shown on page 53). Depending on its size, a variable speed submersible can provide substantially
greater flow rates for high volume stations. These submersibles also provide features such as the ability to
obey the EPA-mandated “10 GPM Spitback Rule”; dry run protection; system diagnostics; and the
capacity to operate with either electronic or mechanical line leak detection.

The evidence is in. Based on many factors, STP systems are a better option than suction pump systems
for marketers today.

Causes of Gasoline Vaporization in Suction Systems


Fuel Chemistry Higher octane fuel may have a higher vapor pressure, depending on the method by which
the octane is raised. Fuel with a higher vapor pressure vaporizes (boils) more readily than fuel with lower
vapor pressure. New oxygenated fuels and unleaded fuels—particularly premium grade unleaded—have
higher vapor pressures. Vapor pressures are regulated by U.S. EPA air quality regulations.

Burial Depth Underground piping must be sloped back to the tank to ensure the proper operation of
check valves and to facilitate testing. Piping must also be buried deeply enough to prevent it from being
damaged by traffic above it. Suction piping runs are generally limited to 60 feet or less to permit sloping
without either requiring increased burial depth of the tank or having the piping buried less than 18 inches
below the paving surface. Larger diameter underground tanks add to the problem.

Temperature Heating gasoline increases its vapor pressure. Vapor-lock is most prevalent on hot
summer days and at sites with a shallow piping burial depth.

Station elevation Atmospheric pressure also affects the point at which gasoline vaporizes. The
higher the station elevation, the more easily the gasoline vaporizes.

The Meter

Metering devices in most gasoline and diesel retail fuel-dispensing systems are positive-displacement
meters, so called after the basic principle of their operation. In a positive displacement meter finite
quantities of fuel are separated into compartments of known volume. These compartments may be
cylinders within a piston meter, segments between two vanes in a vane type meter, or the space between
rotors in other meters. The most popular type meter in retail fuel-dispensing systems is the piston meter.
This discussion will concentrate on piston meter type of positive displacement meters.
A piston moving through a cylinder filled with liquid will displace a quantity of liquid ahead of it. The
amount of this displacement is determined by the bore of the cylinder (its inside diameter) and the stroke
of the piston (the maximum distance that it travels in one direction). The positive displacement method
of metering is employed in fuel dispensers because it is capable of highly accurate measurement.

The meter itself consists of two or more (but usually no more than four) reciprocating pistons (each in its
own cylinder), intake and outlet ports, and fluid channels. The pistons are connected to a crankshaft, or
other stroke-regulating mechanism, so that one cylinder is discharging fuel during its piston's forward
(discharge) stroke while another is being filled during the backward (intake) stroke of its piston. This
provides a continuous flow of fuel through the meter. Figure 3-8 depicts meters from several
manufacturers . In some piston type meters the pistons operate in the horizontal plane. In some systems
the pistons are in the vertical plane and convert their to reciprocating action to a rotary shaft output to
drive either the pulser or the mechanical computer.

FIGURE 3-8. TYPICAL POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT METERS

The pistons are driven by fluid pressure supplied by the system pump. The cutouts on the piston heads
function as valves, alternately opening and closing channels in such a way as to allow fuel to enter the
cylinder during its intake stroke only from the inlet (pump side) and allowing it to exit the meter on the
discharge stroke only through the meter outlet (nozzle side).

Other positive displacement metering concepts, as mentioned previously, are used, primarily for high
speed dispensers in truck stop applications. In these metering systems a precise quantity of fuel is
isolated between vanes or rotor blades in the metering chamber. The result is the same, highly accurate
measurement is accomplished and the dynamic movement of the fuel converts the fluid motion to a rotary
shaft motion to drive the computer, either mechanically or electronically.

The meter units are calibrated at the factory, and are designed to meter fuel accurately and reliably.
However, recalibration will be necessary if the meter is found to be the source of over- or under-
registration, so an adjustment mechanism is built into the unit. Adjustment may be accomplished by
increasing or decreasing the throw of the pistons or by changing the size of the meter chamber. Changing
the throw has the effect of increasing or decreasing the pistons' stroke, and thereby increasing or
decreasing their displacement. These adjustments can be made in very small increments, changing the
meter's discharge by as little as 1/3 cubic inch per 5 gallons indicated (or an average of less than 3/10,000
of a gallon per gallon indicated).

The adjusting mechanism may be located on the top of the meter or on one of the piston caps. It may be a
knurled knob, keyed disk, or calibrated wheel (as in Figure 3-9), or have some different design. But it
should be immediately identifiable by one feature: the adjusting mechanism must be designed to be
protected with a security seal. This seal, if broken, may indicate someone has tampered with the meter, or
has made a needed calibration adjustment. Without this assurance, an unscrupulous retailer could adjust
the meter to deliver less than a gallon for each gallon registered, and thereby charge customers for fuel
that they are not actually receiving. So, as part of your inspection procedure, you will check this seal.
With some of the high capacity systems, there may be no adjustment mechanism on the meter. In these
cases the adjustment may be made electronically, you will need to refer to the Certificate of Conformance
for the specific model to determine how to access the adjustment mechanism and the method of sealing
used to protect the adjustment mechanism. Figure 3-10 shows the adjuster portion of several meters,
which will be encountered in the course of field inspections.
The Meter

Metering devices in most gasoline and diesel retail fuel-dispensing systems are positive-displacement
meters, so called after the basic principle of their operation. In a positive displacement meter finite
quantities of fuel are separated into compartments of known volume. These compartments may be
cylinders within a piston meter, segments between two vanes in a vane type meter, or the space between
rotors in other meters. The most popular type meter in retail fuel-dispensing systems is the piston meter.
This discussion will concentrate on piston meter type of positive displacement meters.

A piston moving through a cylinder filled with liquid will displace a quantity of liquid ahead of it. The
Amount of this displacement is determined by the bore of the cylinder (
It’s inside diameter) and the stroke of the piston (the maximum distance that it travels in one direction).
The positive displacement method of metering is employed in fuel dispensers because it is capable of
highly accurate measurement.

The meter itself consists of two or more (but usually no more than four) reciprocating pistons (each in its
own cylinder), intake and outlet ports, and fluid channels. The pistons are connected to a crankshaft, or
other stroke-regulating mechanism, so that one cylinder is discharging fuel during its piston's forward
(discharge) stroke while another is being filled during the backward (intake) stroke of its piston. This
provides continuous flow of fuel through the meter. Figure 3-8 depicts meters from several
manufacturers. In some piston type meters the pistons operate in the horizontal plane. In some systems
the pistons are in the vertical plane and convert their to reciprocating action to a rotary shaft output to
drive either the pulser or the mechanical computer.
RMFD (Rev-7-03) Chapter 3 Page 3-9

FIGURE 3-8. TYPICAL POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT METERS

The pistons are driven by fluid pressure supplied by the system pump. The cutouts on the piston heads

function as valves, alternately opening and closing channels in such a way as to allow fuel to enter the

cylinder during its intake stroke only from the inlet (pump side) and allowing it to exit the meter on the

discharge stroke only through the meter outlet (nozzle side).

Other positive displacement metering concepts, as mentioned previously, are used, primarily for high
speed dispensers in truck stop applications. In these metering systems a precise quantity of fuel is isolated
between vanes or rotor blades in the metering chamber. The result is the same, highly accurate
measurement is accomplished and the dynamic movement of the fuel converts the fluid motion to a rotary
shaft motion to drive the computer, either mechanically or electronically.

The meter units are calibrated at the factory, and are designed to meter fuel accurately and reliably.
However, recalibration will be necessary if the meter is found to be the source of over- or under-
registration, so an adjustment mechanism is built into the unit. Adjustment may be accomplished by
increasing or decreasing the throw of the pistons or by changing the size of the meter chamber. Changing
the throw has the effect of increasing or decreasing the pistons' stroke, and thereby increasing or
decreasing their displacement. These adjustments can be made in very small increments, changing the
meter's discharge by as little as 1/3 cubic inch per 5 gallons indicated (or an average of less than 3/10,000
of a gallon per gallon indicated).

RMFD (Rev-7-03) Chapter 3 Page 3-10

The adjusting mechanism may be located on the top of the meter or on one of the piston caps. It may be a
knurled knob, keyed disk, or calibrated wheel (as in Figure 3-9), or have some different design. But it
should be immediately identifiable by one feature: the adjusting mechanism must be designed to be
protected with a security seal. This seal, if broken, may indicate someone has tampered with the meter, or
has made a needed calibration adjustment. Without this assurance, an unscrupulous retailer could adjust
the meter to deliver less than a gallon for each gallon registered, and thereby charge customers for fuel
that they are not actually receiving. So, as part of your inspection procedure, you will check this seal.
With some of the high capacity systems, there may be no adjustment mechanism on the meter. In these
cases the adjustment may be made electronically, you will need to refer to the Certificate of Conformance
for the specific model to determine how to access the adjustment mechanism and the method of sealing
used to protect the adjustment mechanism. Figure 3-10 shows the adjuster portion of several meters,
which will be encountered in the course of field inspections.
ERRORS ON TOHKIEM
QUANTUM

43:- PHOTO COUPLER

42 :- BATTERY /TRANSFORMER

31:- ELECTRIC MOTOR

35:- RELAY

58:- CAPACITOR

41:- PARTIAL CONTACT

65:- LEAKAGES

44:- SOFTWARE

HOSE ERROR

51:- NOZZLE BOOT

HOW TO COLD START QUANTUM PUMP AND THE PROGRAMMING


1. REMOVE JUMPER FROM THE ;LONG IC ,THEN DISPLAY WILL SHOW “SETUP”
2. PRESS 7 ON YOUR REMOTE OTR PRESS 8 ON THE PRESET PAD
3. PUT THE JUMPER BACK

HOW TO REPROGRAM
1. PRESS 7 ON YOUR REMOTE
2. ENTER COUNTRY CODE 1590
3. PRESS 9 TO SET ELECTRIC MOTOR TO 50 (/51FOR 2 MOTORS )
4. SET YOUR DISPLAY IF 2 SIDES TO 1-1
5. NOZZLE SIDE TO 1-1 ( 0-1 IF ITS 1 SIDE 0PRESS 9 TO SET YOUR NOZZLE TYPE ,
6. THEN PRESS 7 TO SAVE

HOW TO SET PRICE


1. PRESS 1
2. ENTER COUNTRY CODE 1590 OR 7777
3. PRESS 9 TO SET YOUR FIGURE
4. PRESS 8 TO JUMP
5. PRESS 7 TO RECORD TO THE LEFT SIDE IF ITS DOOUBLE
6. PRESS 0 OFF AND 7 TO SAVE

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