NEWS FROM THE US
NEWS FROM THE UNITED STATES
BY KRISTEN WRIGHT
EDITOR IN CHIEF, PEI
The Fuel Equipment & Services expo show-cased
221 exhibitors in 700 booths. Attend-ees
and members managing booths said
show floor traffic remained busy throughout
the week. Several PEI members invited me
to their booths to tell me more about their
companies and products.
Employees at S. Bravo Systems Inc. shared
their plans for expansion east of the Missis-sippi
River. The California-based manufac-turer
of secondary containment systems has
grown from 12 employees to 170 under the
leadership of President Paola Bravo.
Reed Leighton, CEO of Leighton O’Brien,
said his company is changing the industry.
“We describe ourselves as disruptors in the
industry,” Leighton said.
The company demonstrated its enhanced
Pre Bury Post Bury UST integrity test at its
booth. Leighton said the test is extremely
accurate and will save the industry signifi-cant
money by preventing the need to bust
through concrete after leaks.
The Source North America booth attracted
a stream of people into its booth, too, with
an interactive service station design virtual
reality station. Joe O’Brien, vice president
of marketing at Source, said the company’s
augmented reality will be ready for the show
next year in Las Vegas.
The OPW booth celebrated the company’s
125th anniversary with a timeline tunnel that
listed the company’s distributor partners
throughout the years.
PDQ Vehicle Wash Systems featured a
carwash that can be wall-mounted or free-standing;
Gilbarco demonstrated its new
Insite360 suite of products and Verifone
teamed with PayPal to walk through mobile
pay at the forecourt.
State of the Industry
PEI Executive Vice President and General
Counsel Rick Long presented the annual
Chicago drew 1,532 paid registrants to the 2017 PEI Convention at the NACS
Show — that’s 7.9 percent more than 2016 in Atlanta and 12.8 percent more
than 2011, the most recent year the show was in Chicago. This year’s show
ran from Oct. 17-20.
In addition, 2017 was the show’s first time to translate presentations into
Spanish. Sessions included vapor recovery, diesel exhaust fluid and key
market metrics in Latin America. More than 90 Spanish-speaking attendees
packed the Latin American session.
State of the Industry, which included results
from a survey of PEI distributer and manu-facturer
On a scale of 1-10, distributors ranked cur-rent
business conditions a 7.3, with service
work and equipment upgrades performing
well. Diversification into non-retail fueling
activities also scored high. Manufacturers
rated 2017 a 6.87, citing strong economic
conditions, new products and international
sales the year’s bright spots.
Eighty-five percent of distributors described
themselves as extremely or moderately op-timistic
about their businesses during the
next three years. Nearly 97 percent of man-ufacturers
said they are extremely or moder-ately
I sat in on several education sessions, and I
moderated the session on cybersecurity les-sons
from the utility industry and perspec-tives
from the fueling industry.
John D. McDonald, smart grid business
development leader for North America at
GE, explained how cyberhackers have
breached electric utilities and what the fue-ling
industry should be prepared to defend
against. One instance involved a GE indus-trial
“You can upgrade and patch, but it’s really
difficult to upgrade a legacy device,” Mc-
Donald said. He said that hackers exchange
information on blogs and at conferences..
“These are very smart people,” he added.
In another case, hackers brought down
three regional electric grids in the Ukraine
through a phishing email to grid employees.
He said the utility industry decided if it can’t
beat the hackers, it can at least hire them.
Melissa Washington, vice president of ex-ternal
affairs and large customer services
at Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd),
said she recently fell for a phishing test from
her IT department. Her company is an elec-tric
utility that serves 3.8 million customers
across northern Illinois. Washington advised
employees to slow down when checking
emails and follow all company protocols.
She also said a need exists to collaborate
across industries to determine best cyber-security
Jonathan R. Weinberger, vice president of
technology and innovation at the Alliance
of Automobile Manufacturers, coordinates
programming on autos and the internet of
things. He said defining “autonomy” was a
big deal in the U.S. conversation about au-tonomous,
or self-driving, vehicles, and four
dynamics will affect the automotive econo-my:
autonomy, vehicle sharing, electric ve-hicles,
and connectivity and cybersecurity.
Weinberger said connectivity among devic-es
introduces cybersecurity intrusion points.
He mentioned that already a Jeep, a Tesla
and a Corvette have been hacked.
Rajeev Kumar, director of system solutions
at Wayne Fueling Systems, outlined the reg-ulations,
certifications, new encryption and
security involved in the fueling industry.
Thomas Park, vice president of global prod-uct
management at Gilbarco, shared threat
vectors for the fueling industry and said the
industry must change the rules and build
a new business based on them.“The bad
guys are really bad, they’re really smart, and
they’ll find the weakest link,” Park said.
The next PEI Convention at the NACS Show
will be Oct. 7-10, 2018, in Las Vegas. More
information will be posted at www.pei.org.
Kristen Wright is editor in chief of the PEI
Journal. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. The
Petroleum Equipment Institute is a trade as-sociation
whose more than 1,600 member
companies in 80-plus countries manufac-ture,
distribute and service petroleum mar-keting
and liquid handling equipment.
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