Academia
27 June 2019

The use and necessity of fluid management

These days, many more types of fluids are used in the garage than in the past: lubricants, brake fluids, antifreeze, transmission oil, coolants, AdBlue, and additives. Specific Eurol products are required for different brands and types of cars. This raises both logistical and administrative issues, and this in turn requires the efficient management of all these products. Eurol explains what fluid management is and the benefits for you.

Fluid Management is a fairly new term in the garage world. Previously, the number of types of fluids was limited – just enough to keep a garage running. Times have changed, and car manufacturers demand different fluids for different brands and types. To this end, Eurol is continuously developing specific fluids that ensure optimum performance, lower fuel consumption, and lower emission values.

Management and control
This development has a direct impact on the garage owner, who has to keep all these different fluids in stock in various quantities. There is still plenty of room for improvement. There is often a lack of physical space, knowledge, and the right tools. As a result, the risk of errors – i.e. the use of the wrong fluid – increases, and the work efficiency decreases. This situation can be prevented through the good management of all the necessary fluids in a garage. This involves not only controlling the use of the fluids, but also purchasing, storing, and disposing of them.

How broadly and professionally garages tackle this problem depends on various factors, including the size and type of garage. All-round garages have to deal with a multitude of products because of the large number of different cars they maintain. Generally speaking, there are two main aspects of fluid management: on the one hand, there’s the physical storage of the various products; on the other hand, there’s the administration that goes with it.

Storage

There are a few different systems for storing and using the large number of different fluids in a well-ordered manner. Eurol has several workshop materials: a handy 20-litre can with an accompanying compact metal display. With this system, up to 12 different fluids can be stored per square metre. The sturdy can has a vent valve to allow the drawing off of fluid to run smoothly. In addition, accessories such as a sturdy pouring jug and robust draw-off taps are available. Should spills nevertheless occur, the large drip tray catches the spilled fluid. Eurol has magnetic strips available to ensure the correct coding. For 60-litre drums, Eurol has a similar metal display for the storage of six drums per square metre.

Administration
Administration can often be a problem. Which fluids are coming in, how much is used of what, for which customer, and when does each product need to be reordered? A fluid management system offers a solution to these issues. This is special software linked to sensors that measure the levels in the various bulk tanks in which the fluids are stored.

Automation
Eurol offers in the Netherlands a solution including the remote monitoring of the level in your bulk tank. In practice, it is difficult to keep track of how much of a fluid is left in each bulk tank. In the worst-case scenario, employees ‘suddenly’ discover that a tank is empty, which means that certain customers cannot be served until the stock has been replenished. Because sensors monitor the level, they can indicate in good time when fluids need to be reordered. You will receive a signal when the lower limit is reached. In consultation, new stock is then delivered, ensuring that you never run out of the necessary fluids.

There are also usage meters that assist you in drawing off a specific quantity from a tank. The desired quantity can be set; this prevents unnecessarily large quantities of a fluid being drawn off. The software provides you with data to keep track of who has used a fluid, when, in what quantities, and for what purpose. The user is also able to set up the software according to his or her own requirements and wishes.

Purchasing
The data can also be used to improve your workshop efficiency. Good insight into the volumes of fluids used is useful when determining the volumes and pack sizes to be purchased. This in turn has a positive impact on the purchase price. In addition, good comparisons can be made between the quantity of a fluid that is ultimately charged to a customer – as this can then be based on the actual quantity used – and the volume that is ordered. Large differences in readings may indicate leakage, theft, or inefficient use.

Extra returns
Lastly, the system can offer a solution for purchasing additional products in order to serve customers even better, such as Eurol oil and fuel additives. These additional products can provide significant technical and commercial benefits. Additives can prevent and resolve certain technical problems which are becoming more and more common due to the use of bio-components in fuels and more sophisticated engine technologies. If the benefits are explained well, the customer is willing to pay more for this. Eurol supplies additives in one-shot packaging to ensure nothing is left over or wasted.

Expand your knowledge
It makes sense for everyone who identifies a need for better fluid management in the workplace to expand their knowledge. Eurol can help you by providing advice and support. We also offer workshop materials that can help optimize the management and control of your fluids.