Based in Cardiff, FuelActive is renowned for its innovative technology solutions for diesel engines, in particular, the design of the revolutionary ‘fuel pick-up unit’, which solves fuel contamination issues at its source – within the fuel tank.
Construction Worx Lite talks to Claire Bentley, FuelActive’s head of marketing & operations about the company and how it’s helping diesel engines live their best life!
Q: When was FuelActive established and why?
A: FuelActive began in 1998 through the vision of Founder Mike James, an engineer with over 40 years’ experience. Having worked extensively in the equipment repair and maintenance industry, Mike witnessed first-hand the huge impact breakdowns are having on the UK Construction Industry – 85% of which are caused by fuel contamination. The ‘light bulb moment’ came about while Mike was working in conjunction with Hydrainer Pumps, where a major new customer had experienced equipment failure after just 10 minutes from delivery to the site. Fuel contamination was the culprit. Equipment failure of this kind was a regular occurrence and a solution needed to be sought.
Q: How did Mike James discover/invent the FuelActive Pick-Up Unit?
A: After designing a proven solution to fuel contamination, an extensive period of R&D followed in conjunction with Universities, Government funding and investment from Adjuvo.
Mike then went about engineering a possible solution, going through several iterations before finally completing a working prototype. Hydrainer Pumps were keen to try it and installed the FuelActive unit. Mike produced more, all were installed, making subtle changes to become easier to manufacture and install. This initial unit proved highly successful and more in-depth trials were arranged for further testing. An extensive period of research and development followed in conjunction with local Universities and with funding support from local Government. FuelActive was born.
Q: How does the Pick-Up Unit work and how is it installed?
A: Contamination – water, rust, dirt, metal, sediments – settles through gravity to the bottom of the fuel tank and accumulates over time. Fuel in the tank is stratified meaning the cleanest is at the top and dirtiest (and densest) at the bottom. Conventional fuel pick-up draws from the bottom of the tank, close to the contamination. The patented FuelActive unit replaces the standard pick-up pipe and only picks up the cleanest fuel available from the fuel level at the top of the tank.
This is achieved by utilising a floating pick-up pipe to draw fuel from the upper level, leaving the contamination behind at the bottom of the tank.
Installation is relatively non-intrusive and can normally take place while the tank remains on the machine. All that is required is a simple replacement of the current fuel pick-up pipe which takes no more than 60 minutes in most instances. The unit can be fitted in the tank as a factory-fit or retro-fit in the field and can be mounted from the top or bottom of the tank. FuelActive fuel pick-up units are maintenance-free with long-life and begins working from day one.
FuelActive is the first-line protection for the fuel filters and fuel injectors, and through operating with the cleanest fuel available enables the engine to stay closest to the manufacturers specification for longer, thereby keeping to planned maintenance intervals, saving on replacement parts, optimising fuel consumption and helping compliance with emissions regulations.
Q: Who should use the Pick-Up Unit?
A: Fuel contamination is a recognised problem costing operators £Billions per year in increased maintenance and reduced operating efficiency. It is the single largest cause of machine downtime and is a global issue, with all regions and sectors impacted.
FuelActive works particularly well where an operator has had reliability issues due to contaminated fuel in old or infrequently used equipment, as well as in a machinery which has suffered catastrophic breakdown. Newer engines are designed for higher performance to meet emissions legislation and are significantly less tolerant of contaminants. FuelActive performs exceptionally in both new and old diesel engines.
In short – all diesel engine operators and manufacturers can and should benefit from FuelActive’s cost-effective solution.
Q: What sectors do FuelActive work within?
A: FuelActive can be fitted in any application where diesel fuel is used, which opens up a broad array of sectors – Engines, Construction, Storage Fuel Tanks, Transportation, Mining, Power Generation, Marine, Agricultural, Military – and is global in scope.
Q: Explain some of the advantages of FuelActive?
A: FuelActive supplies the fuel lines with the highest quality fuel available and is able to protect the fuel filters, pumps and injectors by significantly reducing the problems of contaminated fuel.
Q: What percentage of your business is exported?
A: 80% of business conducted at FuelActive is attributed to exports.
Q: Where do you export to?
A: FuelActive operates internationally, with the majority of orders being exported across Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.
Q: Who are your customers?
A: FuelActive is being used successfully in equipment by leading global manufacturers such as: Volvo, Terex, Atlas Copco, Komatsu, CAT, Loxam and Liebherr.
Q: Can you share with Construction Worx Lite readers an example of a success story where you have provided a solution to a fuel problem?
A: Caterpillar dealers, Finning, were suffering from highly challenging circumstances within a mine situated deep inside a mountain at altitude in South America. The operation of diesel-powered equipment underground can have a significant impact on emissions within the mine and cause operational issues when equipment fails with the tunnel network. Machines were constantly failing due to premature fuel filter blockage causing major operational problems and increasing Health and Safety risks. A local mine operator and Finning, the CAT dealer in the region, commissioned the installation of FuelActive to be installed into an underground mining machine to improve the reliability of the equipment. Using FuelActive, the life of the fuel filter was extended by more than 200%, with improved fuel economy, lowered emissions and increased power on the machines involved. The Field Test was carried out in conjunction with a 12-month laboratory test by the Finning Laboratory. Laboratory findings were consistent with the field tests and demonstrated that in a like-for-like situation when FuelActive is fitted a c. 1,000% decrease in contamination is fed to the injectors.
Q: What’s FuelActives future vision?
A: The world needs diesel power for the foreseeable future, but it doesn’t need excess emissions, inefficient fossil fuel use, capital equipment worn before its time or consumables and contamination going to landfill.
Our vision is that no commercial diesel engine operator should take the risk of running without the protection of FuelActive.
Visit https://fuelactive.com/ for further information.