One of the first questions Maplefields considers when buying equipment surrounds the total cost of ownership. The lower the total cost of ownership, the faster it is to make back your investment. For Maplefields’ IT Director, Skip Potter, that’s the key to his purchasing decisions.
“There are a lot of cheap dispensers out there, companies that you may not have ever heard of, some may not even have experience in the petroleum industry at all,” said Skip. “But what type of support do they offer? What backing do they give you?”
Gilbarco achieves the lowest cost of ownership, in part, through the rigorous testing conducted in its state-of-the-art labs at its North American headquarters in North Carolina.
The Reliability Lab, as it’s known, runs dispensers and other Gilbarco solutions through more than 30 real-world categories to ensure quality and performance over the life of the equipment.
Many of the tests use automated robots programmed with one mission – to break the dispenser by using it over, and over, and over. Tests are done indoors and outdoors to get a full understanding of the environmental extremes the product can withstand.
“We have a ‘shake/drop’ test to simulate transportation to the field. We want to make sure nothing rattles loose,” said Jason Wright, Director of Global Engineering, Reliability, Gilbarco Veeder-Root.
The shake/drop test consists of setting an entire fuel dispenser on a platform that shakes and rattles, simulating the vibrations from a truck that will eventually transport the dispensers to their fuel island destinations.
Fuel dispensers begin a fierce battle with Mother Nature the moment they’re installed. Every element is considered, down to the insects that tend to call fuel dispensers home.
Once a product is shaken, poked, prodded, and otherwise put through the wringer – and survives, it’s ready to go to work for customers like Maplefields.
“Those are the things that make me think of Gilbarco as a leader in the industry. Because you get it, you do all that testing, meanwhile there other companies that don’t,” said Skip.
Click here to learn more about the tests we perform on our products to ensure consistent quality and the lowest total cost of ownership.