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Terminal Automation > Benefits of TA/STM

Problems Faced

When terminals are operated manually, companies face multiple problems. The two most prominent concerns are:

Product Losses

  • Not only are companies concerned about direct product losses, but also about the costs involved in recovering losses. They face uncertainty about the actual scale of product losses, and are unable to distinguish between real losses (actual loss of product) and apparent losses (changes in volume due to temperature). On top of this, companies are also concerned about potential pilferage and misappropriation.

  • Manpower Costs

  • Manually operated terminals are inefficient and labour-intensive, leading to human errors and duplication. Inefficient loading operations mean long queues and vehicle congestion. Safety risks are also a matter for concern, due to the lack of in-built safety protection equipment.

  • Benefits of Automation

  • The optimal solution for these problems was to automate the terminals, as well as the processes associated with them. Terminal Automation has several benefits over a manually operated terminal :

  • Increased Efficiency

  • Faster loading, higher throughput and greatly reduced workforce.

  • Allows pre-scheduling of trips.

  • Documents and reports are generated automatically.

  • Inventory and accounting data available in a timely and accurate manner to the host's accounting computers.

  • Increased Flexibility

  • Changes in system configuration - products, tanks, loading arms, additives, bays, motor operated valves, pumps, and other components can be quickly and easily added or deleted.

  • Increased Security and Accuracy

  • Minimises pilferage and misappropriation

  • Secured product loading

  • Secured facility access

  • Trip Advice Notes and Bills of Lading are generated automatically for the products actually loaded.

  • Better Accountability

  • Automated batch control minimises and identifies losses by using high accuracy flow measurement and temperature compensation

  • Computer monitoring of every significant event and transaction in the terminal is recorded on a dedicated audit-trail printer and stored on disk for future reference

  • Provides for unauthorised flow accounting and detection with frequent reconciliations between loaded, metered and gauged volumes

  • Allows co-mingling of stock and product translations

  • Increased Safety

  • Interlocks prevent loading from taking place under potentially dangerous conditions.

  • Improved Environment

  • Can manage vapour recovery units (VRUs) and minimise spillage by overfill protection.

  • Compartment size checking ensures a cleaner and safer environment

  • System records data that help satisfy environmental reporting requirements frequently demanded by governments.

  • Improved Customer Service and Reliability

  • Operates every hour of every day.

  • Automated blending and additive injection allows customers to market new customised product variants.

  • Improved Cash Flow

  • Improved inventory control allows stock optimisation by reducing the time between order placement and delivery.