PWM introduces new ‘TRACK’ System
By Wolfgang Manz, President & CEO, PWM Electronic Price Signs
The fuel industry is no stranger to adopting state-of-the-art technology. Gas station owners have been using cloud-based software to run in-store and back-office operations for years. And the Internet of Things (IoT) has earned an important place in the oil & gas industry from exploration and production activities all the way to fuel delivery. Now, the pairing of cloud and IoT solutions has also penetrated the price sign industry. By meshing modern SMD-LED-based signage with embedded, cloud-connected sensors, PWM’s newest TRACK System now supports critical two-way communication between station owners and their price signs.
Smart Connectivity Allows Complete Control
“With this new technology we can not only control and update signs remotely,” says PWM President & CEO Wolfgang Manz, “the signs will also be able to communicate with us.”
Here is how it works: The sign itself schedules routine and preventive maintenance as needed, alerting the operator that it is time to check the sign. The smart tracking system is also able to notify owners and operators of technical issues before the sign reaches a point where it is unable to function. Technicians can access the sign remotely and understand what needs to be fixed before they make a service call. This insight into what’s wrong allows for fast, efficient, and cost-effective sign maintenance with a minimum of sign outage.
“It is our goal to not only reduce the service support trips but also that spare parts will be sent automatically. The technician or the contractor will already have the right spare parts in his truck because TRACK can tell him beforehand what will be needed. That way the sign can be fixed during the first visit.” says Manz.
Less downtime for price signs saves money, reduces frustration, and helps keep a steady stream of customers visiting the station.
A little about the technology:
· The sign display contains smart tech, and configuration can be controlled down to the level of the individual SMD LEDs through a convenient web-based portal inside the gas station.
· The connection between the sign and the station can be made via radio signal or cable.
· The system allows reception and control of data via intranet or internet, and users can be set up in the system with varying levels of access control based on their roles and responsibilities.
· Despite the advanced and complex technology involved, installing the sign and training new users on the software is surprisingly quick and simple. To see a German installation in action, go here.
TRACK Tech Already Global
PWM brought this well-tested TRACK technology to its U.S. and German customer base first, and signs have been installed successfully in both countries. With the trend toward greater automation and the need for centralized control over multiple gas station locations, this system is likely to become a popular alternative to traditional digital signs.