Newfangled Gas Station Tire Air Machine

Posted on March 29, 2012 | in Defects, Ergonomics, Error-Proofing, Lean Wastes, Maintenance, Small Business, SMED/Setup Reduction, Time Savings | by

Behold! This is easily one of my favorite newest discoveries out in the world. It’s a gas station tire air machine…but it’s so much more than that.

It’s a gigantic upgrade from the old non-digitized style. You know, drop in a quarter or two or three, a big loud air pump kicks on, you drag the black hose with cracked rubber around to each tire, the pressure gauge is a brass stick that pushes out to the observed pressure reading…

Well this machine sends that style out the way of the dodo bird. Why and how?

First, payment can be done via quarters or by credit card. I don’t always have coins on me (let alone three quarters), but often have cash and always have credit cards. Now I don’t have to get change from the gas station attendant, which saves me time.

Next, the pressure gauge is all digitized on the base unit itself…the machine can measure pressure in the tire by giving a digital numerical readout instead of having to examine the brass rod with a scale etched into it. It’s more accurate and prevents errors.

BUT!! You can also set the outlet pressure on the machine to what pressure you want your tires to have and the machine will pump the tires to the proper pressure. No more press-check-press-check-press-check of the lever and the etched brass stem – this machine will verify and correct the pressure in the tire as needed. Boom – fewer errors. It will beep or tell you when it’s time to move to the next tire. Very efficient.

Finally, that black cracked hose you usually get to use? The unit I visited had a non-insulated curled plastic hose that is in good condition and can be easily replaced in the event of damage. It can stretch to each tire and prevents tangles or getting knotted. When finished, it just recoils back into place.

I loved this machine so much I now only go to stations that have them (if I know in advance the station is equipped in advance or if I can see the air station as I drive past). Is there a cost savings associated with the machine for gas stations? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps maintenance costs are lower, and maybe there are some folks out there like me that love the machine and have now been spoiled into not using anything less than this new standard.

So how is this machine lean?

  • It helps save time
  • It reduces errors
  • It’s far more accurate
  • It’s more convenient by way of multiple payment options
  • It’s easy to customize
  • It’s easy to use
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2 Responses to “Newfangled Gas Station Tire Air Machine”

  1. Mark Graban says:

    You’re right that there are many elements of error proofing and waste reduction in that machine. Not to mention it makes it easier and more likely that you’d top up the air on your tires, which improves driving safety and fuel economy.

    I’m sure that machine is a big expense to the gas station, but if it helps bring people to them instead of a competitor, they can make more profit on the convenience store (which probably makes more profits than gas pumping).

  2. Roger says:

    Thank you Chad for your post. My name is Roger and Excel Tire Gauge is the manufacturer of that equipment. I am glad that you like the product. We manufacturer out of Rhode Island and the New England has had this technology for a few years now. Unfortunately it is taking the rest of the country a little longer. Glad you enjoyed you customer service. Keep in mind that this machine will actually deflate an over-inflated tire as well as inflate. The pressure gauge is accurate to 1/2 psi. Making this product a much more green product by promoting proper tire pressure. Have a great day

    Roger Audette

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