WHAT WERE THE THREE BEST propane safety technologies in the propane industry globally? This year the World LPG Association (WLPGA) set out to discover the answer to that question and, at the September World Propane Trade Show, the winners would be unveiled.The WLPGA did a year long search, evaluation, and review of the safety technologies available on the market around the planet, inviting every safety technology to enter the competition. PERC, NPGA, and every propane association searched for the best from their membership and entered them in the competition.
In the end they had more than 40 of the world’s best safety technologies entered into the competition. Those companies submitted videos to explain the solutions, submitted pages of documentation, lengthy written answers, technology proofs, and the founders were interviewed. Finally, the best three safety were selected.
These technologies had to be judged as something that would truly make a difference for our propane industry – for each individual company, each propane user and for the industry worldwide. Some of the suggested areas of focus were:
1. Newer technologies to improve and expand training in the propane industry;
2. Enhanced leak detection & provision of a faster or automated response;
3. Improvements to processes to conduct inspection and repairs;
4. IoT (Internet of Things) to integrate LPG accessories with appliances and home safety solutions/detectors (e.g. smart home devices); and
5. A radical approach to refresh the culture of safety in organizations to make it more interesting and appealing
To say that the best tech in propane portion of the show was exciting is an understatement. In the packed-out theatre, the
Bill Stomp is a partner along with 5 other consultants in PropaneQuarterback.com, who specialize in the propane industry, as well as a partner with TankSpotter.com, this sector’s first and only complete propane app
Deemed as the best three technologies for the propane industry that can help improve safety from a world-wide search – the winners are—in no particular orderTechnology #1 – This was the best technology from North America (beating out all other North American technologies) and is aptly found on the site PropaneSafetyApp.com. This app was designed to replace all paper forms, inspections, and documents and automatically verifies them while an employee fills them, sends them back to the office in real time for automatic storage, reporting, and data analytics. It eliminates paperwork and clerical costs while enabling instant incident reporting. It also provides a complete safety
training platform to train, track, and remind field employees of critical safety requirements. This app can reduce more than 50 per cent of training costs, double safety awareness and knowledge of the team eliminating risk, and improve safety and compliance, while reducing costs.
The Propane Safety App, from Philadelphia, is based on the belief that profitable companies are safer companies, so the app also includes a complete sales rep module, service tech and scheduling module, safety training module, safety inspection documentation module, and a driver module. This way a company can, via just one app, supply the needs of every employee in the company. Each employee can do more selling, installing, or deliveries while also equipping them each to quickly and easily document any safety related issue. Because safety starts with employees, this solution was designed to allow propane companies to do more profit generating activities in a day and eliminate time wasting activities. The founders’ hope is to help the propane industry identify every safety issue and equip the industry with a tool that helps them fix more, sell more, and be more profitable.
The PropaneSafetyApp.com is also known as TankSpotter.com is already used in several North American countries. One judge said, “More than anything else we looked at, this app seemed like it checked off every area of safety that we wanted the winning technology to do.”
Technology #2 – This technology specializes in augmented reality and imaging. Augmentaio, from Germany, did a fantastic job explaining their technology, used both inside and outside the propane industry. It allows drivers, techs, or sales reps to use a smartphone or tablet to show a customer what each size tank would look like beside their home or business. By aiming the smartphone or tablet at a space beside a building, it shows on the screen the camera view of that property with an image of the preselected tank there. This helps confirm if the space is adequate and located at a safe distance from ignition sources, etc.
It’s a very helpful software that was clearly best in class for augmented reality and is already used by a company to document
that tanks and cylinders were in fact installed within the required distances from ignition sources. In addition to augmented reality, Augmentaio builds software used in shopping malls that allows shoppers with smartphones to instantly and automatically pinpoint their exact location (to the inch) and report it so they can receive information about products, services, and special offers from the store and mall. This and their augmented reality software development take them from the propane fields to the electricity grid maintenance, and on to shopping malls in Europe and the Middle East.The best augmented reality solution for the propane industry can be reached at augmentaio.com. Technology #3 – The third company, from both Germany and Netherlands, is named DeepSight AI Labs. DeepSighlabs. com created a software program (residing on a server) that receives all CCTV camera feeds so its AI algorithm can analyze all feeds simultaneously looking for threats to a company.
Many large propane companies have CCTV systems recording video but who is watching them? Imagine taking all the camera feeds from all facilities and sending them to one cloud server equipped with the Deep Sight Labs solution so it could automatically be searching for threat anomalies like fires, trucks entering at undesignated times, or hooded or masked and suspicious people. The AI algorithm can be programmed to either notify management, the fire department, or the authorities depending on what the threat assessment is.
DeepSightlabs.com uses the CCTV equipment that is already installed so there is no additional new equipment needed. Their super secure platform adds superpowers to any CCTV system. Able to be used for security, surveillance, compliance, automation, and more. This session at the World Trade Show in Amsterdam was worth the trip. It shows the growing power and influence that technology has in and for our industry so we can have a safer, stronger and better propane industry now and for years to come.