FuelFACT system is innovative in approach towards forecourt automation. Other systems use wired connections to a central controller, usually at the back office. Such systems are only cost effective, to deploy, when the fueling station is newly built, as the cabling will be incorporated during laying of foundations. For existing sites, which is common in Africa, the cost of laying cables and approvals makes it imperative that a wireless system of communication is to be used. In addition, such systems are designed to support large number of pumps. This increases the per-site costs. FuelFACT uses modular/mini controllers and further reduces this cost. These controllers are most suitable (cost-wise) for vendor managed inventory (VMI) sites.
All components of FuelFACT system use wireless communication. This is also possible because of the 4th generation iOT technologies applied in the design of FuelFACT systems. FuelFACT adopts a distributed architecture, where each pump has its own controller [CNTR]. For some pumps and protocols, FuelFACT terminals [TRM] serve as controllers. For others, an external controller installed inside the pump is used.
FuelFACT System Components
For a self-service system, a payment or value authorization component is essential. Interswitch [ISW] is the base payment gateway. With Interswitch platform, the following payment methods have been achieved in FuelFACT:
- Point of Sale [POS]: Wireless and Wired, card and Paycode
- QR Code Payment
- USSD Payment
- AVIS: Automated Vehicle Identification System tied to vouchers for corporate and individual accounts and fleet management
FuelFACT also provides a robust cloud-based Retail Management Head Office System [RHS]. All controls available to the RHS is also supported on the Back Office System [BOS] but for the specific site. In addition, the Automated Tank Gauge System [ATG] is managed in FuelFACT RHS and BOS as FuelFACT system supports all ATG protocols. However, given that cost is a significant factor, where possible, controllers are eliminated as all Forecourt business functions, handled by the various controllers are already implemented in FuelFACT.