Seeking asset management solutions that can be applied to LPG Cylinders through the value chain (inside and outside the filling plant).

Desired outcome

Here at SHV Energy, our objective is for all our LPG cylinders assets to be monitored and managed on systems that remove or reduce the manual processes. New digital systems are available but there are challenges with implementing complex and costly systems on individual systems. The scale of the task is considerable, with over 40 million individual cylinder assets under management.

It highlights the importance to stablish a cost-competitive solution with the ability to scale-up it to this level and apply to the different stages in our value chain.
The challenges are shown below.

SHV Energy

Details of the Innovation Need

The challenges and task

Inventory management manually and offline (i.e., counting, expiration date, needs of requalification etc.).

- Cylinders are lost within the value chain
- Low rotation rate
- Lack of data about customers & cylinders

The consequences of these problems in our value chain;

- Wasted man-hours
- Buying more assets to replace lost cylinders
- Inefficient transportation
- Customers cannot track deliveries
- Illegal filling
- Identification of regions where orders are low to direct sales activity.

Being able to track cylinders offers operational efficiency (automation on cylinder counting, effective monitoring in maintenance and requalification process, distribution improvements fraud detection, illegal filling, customer information acquisition etc.)

Currently there is no solution that can fully automate our asset management (i.e., our cylinders) in the LPG value chain. We are looking for solutions that can address one or more of the following:

1) Collect data about the expiration date of cylinders, requalification needs, tare (monitoring the gross weight of the cylinder as gas is used)

2) Monitor the returnable cylinder movement along the value chain (from filling plant, at the different places in the value chain, delivery final customer and the return journey).

As the solution will be used in the LPG industry, it must be adapted quickly and flexible to work with different types of cylinders, provide reliable and easily understood data under different weather and transportation conditions.

The system must be cost-effective, a low cost per cylinder is important.


  • • The proposed solution needs to be robust (resistant to different weather and transportation conditions), easy to install, and easy to read and write data; • The solution/system integrity must be secure throughout the entire value chain, it cannot be changed or detached, from cylinders, outside the filling plants; • After the pilot validation, the technology will be required to be ATEX compliant.

Discarted solutions

  • • RFID solutions are already being analysed. They are simple to install, but it needs a high investment on infrastructure for automated reading. High consuming battery solutions are also discarded due to cost and maintenance needs. From our previously experience, QR Codes and Barcodes can be easily falsified and do not have resistance to weather exposure and transportation conditions.

Possible solution areas

  • • Industries where there is a need for asset tracking: transportation, steel, beverages, shipment, etc. Places where innovative, new generation technology is used in asset tracking.

Related Keywords

  • Electronics, IT and Telecomms
  • Automation, Robotics Control Systems
  • Applications for Transport and Logistics
  • Industrial manufacturing, Material and Transport Technologies
  • Process control and logistics
  • Plant Design and Maintenance
  • Materials Handling Technology (solids, fluids, gases)
  • System and transportation
  • Industrial Technologies
  • Process Plant Engineering
  • Energy Technology
  • Sensor Technology related to measurements
  • Digitalization
  • Industrial Products
  • Industrial Automation
  • Industrial Equipment and Machinery
  • Other
  • tracking asset

About SHV Energy

SHV Energy is a leading global distributor of off-grid energy such as LPG and LNG and is active in the area of biofuels and renewable energy solutions. Our products and services are predominantly used for heating, cooking and transport. SHV Energy provides these decentralised, low-carbon and clean energy solutions to 30 million business and residential customers whose needs are not met by a supply grid.
SHV Energy consists of a group of specialised energy companies in over 24 countries across four continents and employs over 16,000 employees. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of SHV, a family-owned multinational. Our brands include Calor, Ipragaz, Liquigas, Pinnacle, Primagaz, Xiwei, Supergas and Supergasbras

We live in a fast-changing world. Trends emerge and rapidly influence the people around us. To anticipate future needs and drive the energy transition, we identify and meet customer and business challenges with innovative solutions. The way we work constantly evolves and a key change is incorporating innovation as a core capability within SHV Energy.
With a systematic approach to identify challenges, researching, and testing new solutions, we aim to improve our processes and deliver an enhanced, seamless customer experience. We support this by optimising internal and external collaborations, building partnerships with organisations and external ecosystems.
New solutions that show potential are tested and implemented in our businesses. Innovation helps us to grow our customer base, make our operation more efficient, reduces carbon emission, and improves safety. These innovation efforts benefit our customers through product and service improvements and make our operation more efficient. By increasingly incorporating innovations as a capability within the group, we continue to evolve our way of working, focusing on customer centricity and a mentality of building, testing and learning fast. This forms a crucial part of our culture on the energy transition journey of Advancing Energy Together.
This journey involves all our key stakeholders, not just our employees and customers. We believe it is in the interest of the entire industry, and wider society, that we bring other businesses with us in partnership and with collaboration.

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