What happens when a company director misfuels? It is the birth of a product which saves millions!
While using company vehicles, the Slovenian company dealing in plastics production and metal processing, Arex, had to deal with the issue of misfuelling of mostly petrol fuel into diesel-fuelled cars. As the problem was not frequent, they thought it was just one of “those company troubles”. Until it happened to the company director – twice in a row. “The problem of misfuelling must be solved,” he decided finally.
A narrower nozzle does not fit a wider aperture
The basic idea was to prevent a fuel nozzle with a narrower diameter from entering the filler with a wider diameter. After a series of tests, the technology based on sensors and probes for recognizing fuel density was eliminated, because operating electronics in the vicinity of inflammable fuel poses a lot of risk. Finally, the experts concluded that a mechanical barrier is the most appropriate solution with regard to production, efficiency, and safety. One of the goals of the production process was also to create a cap, which would be well concealed and easy to use.
Initially the issue of misfuelling was solved with sophisticated stoppers, which prevented a narrower nozzle from entering a wider filler aperture. Further on, the innovators were guided by the thought that users should not have to get their hands dirty by unscrewing and screwing the cap. This issue was solved with a flap, which is removed once the nozzle is inserted and returned into a “closed” position after fuelling. Additionally, this solution also provides faster fuelling.
Within three years of development, the company manufactured 16 prototypes in order to come to the “right” SoloDiesel cap model, which reliably prevents misfuelling into diesel-fuelled cars. The installation of the cap is simple and it requires no unscrewing for fuelling purposes. Seven models of safety caps are currently available for various types of fuel apertures, which suit 95 percent of models of all car brands throughout the world. SoloDiesel turned out to be a small solution of a great problem.