Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Gas Pumps Offer 5 Grades of Fuel from 2 Tanks/ Krown Electronics Applying Legacy of Research to Industry Needs

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Gas Pumps Offer 5 Grades of Fuel from 2 Tanks/ Krown Electronics Applying Legacy of Research to Industry Needs

Article excerpt

The gas pump nozzle was inserted properly and the little lever was up, but nothing was happening. The service island may have been a better choice. It was too cold to be standing there trying to put gas in the car.

Instead, the woman trying to fill her car's gas tank waved at the attendant to turn on the pump.

"I'm sorry, lady," he hollered from inside the station - the heated station, she thought. "We're in the middle of a shift change, and we can't pump any gas while we're doing the inventory. It'll just be a few minutes. . ."

"So, where's the nearest gas station that pumps gas?" she asked under her breath.

Considering the fact that she probably was running on fumes when she stopped at the station - and didn't want to chance a drive to another station - she rubbed her hands together and got back in the car to wait.

That scenario is not unlike those experienced often by motorists tanking up at the local not-always-so-convenient convenience store.

But an Oklahoma City fuel dispensing and control system is addressing that problem, and myriad others in the industry - problems for store owners and their customers.

Krown Electronics, headed by Don Krone, president, is headquartered in Oklahoma City. Krown is a fledgling enterprise inheriting a legacy of research and development which it is applying to a variety of industry needs.

Not the least of that legacy was provided by Krone's father, Russell Krone, an electrical engineer who, along with Jim Noyes, another electricial engineer, invented the first electronic fuel dispensing system.

Russell Krone serves on a research and development advisory council for the company.

Among other heavyweights on the committee is retired Bell Labs scientist William E. Evans, an electrical engineer who received an Academy Award Oscar for development of technicolor in motion pictures. Evans was also inventor of the computer readout for cathode ray tubes, and co-inventor of the RCA color tube. He participated in the development of optical lazer surger, weather satelites and serves as a consultant to Stanford Research Institute.

Russell Krone also participated in the development of the fuel blender system the company produces.

The result of that system is that customers - who previously had the choice of super unleaded or regular unleaded - can select from five grades of fuel at the pump, and the same two underground tanks can supply that variety.

Digitally blended gasoline is supplied to the nozzle through a concentric tube consisting of an inner super nolead hose and an outer regular nolead hose. The different blended mixtures provide for intermediate grades - five octanes ranging from regular unleaded up to super unleaded.

The customer selects the grade from a panel on the pump, and decides whether to pay cash or to charge the purchase. Where appropriate, the price changes. The nozzle is inserted, and the pump functions.

The systems are currently manufactured by sub-contractors throughout the state. But Krone is looking for a facility to do all final assembly and quality control. He is also looking for $2 million to finance that project.

In late 1987, the company hopes to be producing 10 units a day - most likely in Oklahoma - if Krone can get the venture capital, bringing from 75 to 100 jobs to the state. …

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