The Patented Truth: Part 1 - 1995

Audio version
Posted / Last update: 01-05-1996
Publication: Petroleum Equipment & Technology Archive
Issued: May 1996
Author: Koch Wolf H. , PhD

A review of patents issued in 1995 for dispensers and components, point-of-sale systems, vapor recovery and dispensing nozzles. Bby Wolf H. Koch, Ph.D. (first in a two part series)

This is the first of a two-part review of patents issued in 1995 for dispensers and components, point-of-sales systems, vapor recovery and dispensing nozzles. A future article will cover new technology in product tanks, secondary containment, leak detection and construction methods. PE&T will provide information on other new, relevant patents on an ongoing basis. In his search of available data bases for U.S., European and world patents on petroleum-equipment related topics, Dr. Koch has located a number of patents issued by individual countries; however, they have not been included in the side bar on page 54 because of availability and language problems. Should you find any omissions of U.S. patents, other than those issued in late December, please call or write PE&T headquarters. 1995 patents from late December will be included in future updates.

For 1995, I see no real technology show-stopppers. However, most of the patents obtained represent continuous improvements of technology already implemented or previously protected. A number of them represent interesting changes and potential improvements to today’s equipment.

Listed below are brief descriptions of several key patents for dispensers, point-of-sale systems and dispensing nozzles for last year. From each of these categories, I have selected one patent to highlight.

A sample of 1995 patents
Dispensers and components

• Scheidt-Bachmann of Germany disclosed a novel retracting hose mount in a multi-product dispenser, with all hoses mounted on a common counterbalanced retractor mechanism.

• A new product meter that uses helical worm drives has been developed by Saltzkotten of Germany. The meter appears to have the potential for miniaturization.

• Gilbarco received protection on a dispenser vapor valve that is actuated by a mechanical linkage from the nozzle boot.

• Finally, two independent inventors patented environmental devices that will minimize fuel spillage during dispenser filter cartridge changeout: one, which can be retrofitted to the filter mount; the other, a dispenser pan that allows drainage of spilled product.

Point-of-sale systems

• Gilbarco was awarded two patents covering security encryption of customer information.

• Fujitsu patented a system that converts customer information to a bar code format.

Vapor recovery technology
Eight vapor recovery patents were issued for Stage 1 (one patent), Stage 2 systems (six patents) and vehicle on-board refueling vapor recovery (ORVR) (one patent).

• Schlumberger patented two methods for determining vapor recovery efficiency by measuring air-to-liquid ratios of the dispensed fuel.

• Gilbarco disclosed a vapor recovery system using a centralized vacuum source. In this system, liquid and vapor flow sensors control the vapor return flow relative to the product dispensed. The company also protected a method for detecting vapor leaks and performance deficiencies with pressure sensors.

• Wayne Dresser also disclosed sensor-based technology for controlling and optimizing vapor-to-liquid ratios.

• Gilbarco addressed the problem of overpressuring the underground tank system by inserting a membrane device between the manifolded underground tanks and the vent.

• General Motors disclosed a ORVR vehicle system.

Dispensing nozzles
A total of ten patents were issued for dispensing nozzles and associated equipment.

• Rabinovich was awarded two patents for integrating a vapor pump into the dispensing nozzle.

• Emco Wheaton was issued four patents for assisted vapor recovery nozzles. One patent describes an innovative magnetic proportioning device that adjusts the vapor/liquid ratio in the nozzle while another provides spout symmetries other than the usual coaxial design.

• Two patents were issued to OPW, one each for balance and assisted vapor recovery nozzles.

• An independent inventor protected a check valve that prevents gasoline drip at the spout

• Gogas disclosed a locking nozzle for pressurized liquids such as LPG.

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