MANUFACTURING: GRW's Innovative Fuel Tanker
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A new concept in fuel tanker engineering arrives on the local transport scene this month with the launch of Worcester-based GRW’s Imvubu fuel tanker.
This 50 000 litre tanker will allow fuel transporters to interchange their tankers between SPD, metered delivery and bridging vehicles through a few minor adjustments in plug and play style.
The Imvubu will therefore bring unprecedented flexibility and interchangeability to tanker fleets. It will also be the country’s first branded fuel tanker, a move that is hoped to position it as the industry’s most recognised fuel tanker model.
As the latest addition to the company’s standard product range, the Imvubu is basically a combination of existing configurations. Customers will initially order their preferred configuration, but the design was done in such a way that only a few adjustments could effectively mean a newly purposed vehicle.
Creating this multipurpose vessel was mainly made possible thanks to a manifold pipe system, which made it feasible to install and uninstall components in a relatively uncomplicated process.
This, in turn, results in a significant saving in cost and increase in tanker availability, says Ivan Terblanche, engineering executive at GRW, who adds that the substantially reduced cost of ownership, taking into account its residual value, might be the biggest benefit of the new design.
The flexibility allows for tankers to be adapted as the needs within businesses change, while re-sale possibilities, especially in an economic environment where second-hand is in demand, are increased significantly.
Through taking a second look at the shell configuration, Terblanche says, engineers managed to reduce the number of operational components (and therefore the production costs), to standardise compartment sizes and to ease loading and off-loading.
Furthermore a lower centre of gravity means improved safety on the road.
Turnaround times on maintenance services and repairs will also be reduced as critical components were placed with accessibility and serviceability always in mind. The result is an innovative new pneumatic pipe and electric cable routing and clamping system that allows direct access for improved ease during diagnostic testing and replacement.
According to Terblanche a particular challenge was to achieve improved drainage even with this new layout, but the GRW engineers found a way and report that excellent product drainage is guaranteed.
Other minor but significant changes include consistency in the parts and operating systems from configuration to configuration, a homogeneous control panel on all the individual units.
“It is important to emphasise, however,” says Terblanche “that we are still using our proven, structurally sound concepts and technology; tried and tested construction methods in the manufacturing process.”
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