Electronic Petrol Pump

Electronic Petrol Pump - PEC

In 1939 Ray Williams' father agreed to loan him the money to start his own business, on one condition - that he never leave Marton.

So from a small town in the Rangitikei, PEC, as his company became known, made a variety of products over the years: armaments during the war years, ploughs, electric fences and petrol pumps. In the mid-1970s they began to get an inkling that a big change was on the way. The oil crisis pushed the prices of petrol up and up, approaching the one NZ dollar mark - and the old dial machines had only been built with 2 digits!

On top of this, the increased cost meant the dials for the cost of the petrol spun faster and faster, causing the mechanical display numbers to jam. The invention of the microprocessor had a lot of promise, and they could see a day when their mechanical petrol pumps would be a thing of the past. In true kiwi spirit they decided not to delay the inevitable, but to jump in head first, and start doing it for themselves.

PEC bought NZs first development kit for the Intel 8080 processor, and the engineers at the company taught themselves how to make the world's first electronic petrol pump - the Empec 80.