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Gilbarco: The People behind the High-Tech Service Station Fuel Pumps


The automobile not only changed the way Americans live, work, and travel, but it also created new industries, including fuel pumps and service stations. Old-time fuel pumps are now collectors’ items and command a pretty penny at antique stores and auctions.

But today’s ultra-modern versions of the device do much more than pump gasoline. They determine the price, collect payment on a secure basis, and offer consumers options such as paying for a car wash, buying lottery tickets, or purchasing a fuel additive, which the pumps deliver on demand. Modern fuel pumps also include media components that deliver video entertainment, stereo sound music, and digital advertising messages.

One of the two primary manufacturers of today’s sleek fuel pumps is Gilbarco Veeder-Root, whose parent company is Danaher. Gilbarco is based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Gilbarco saw so much potential for the video display applications that they purchased a California-based video-display company in early 2014. Gilbarco pumps can be synchronized with security cameras that enable store personnel to monitor a transaction in progress and match it to video footage to help prevent fraud or correct any errors.

In addition to gasoline pumps, Gilbarco makes compressed natural gas (CNG) dispensers with fast fill rates and advanced safety features. These new machines are helping pave the way for the growing use of natural gas vehicles, which offer the promise of reduced emissions and cleaner air.  

Gilbarco also manufactures the Insite360, which is a cloud-based platform that allows retailers to monitor and control all of their Gilbarco pumps from a single remote web dashboard, enterprise-wide.

Gilbarco’s primary competitor is Wayne, which is a General Electric company. It was formerly known as Dresser-Wayne. Wayne manufactured its first fuel pumps, which dispensed kerosene, in 1891, and has been making gasoline pumps since 1907. The company introduced its first blending pumps in 1956. Their manufacturing facility is in Round Rock, Texas, where they employ several hundred workers, and also offer a broad variety of technological innovations for their customers around the country and around the world.