Novel Clip-on Submersible Device Enables Low Cost Automatic Meter Reading


A unique battery-operated, submersible device for automatic meter reading (AMR) is now available in the UK. The device simply clips on to the existing water meter in seconds and so requires no modifications or costly re-engineering of the water meter.

Manufactured by Taiwanese company Aquas Smart Water Solutions and available in the UK through sole distributor M.A.C Solutions, the AQLOG AMR Series uses advanced Image Processing and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to provide water companies with a compact, battery-operated, wireless solution for automatic water meter reading. No separate power cabling is required and the device can be deployed remotely using GPRS or 3G wireless communications technology.

Andy Thorogood, Product Manager at M.A.C Solutions comments: "The AMR Series uses unique technology, custom-designed specifically by Sony for Aquas. A CMOS array imaging module and OCR technology provide excellent image capture capability, as well as offering low noise interference. The AMR Series can also operate in very low light environments. Image recognition technology is normally very power-hungry. Therefore, Aquas developed specific software algorithms in order to reduce the power consumption, whilst improving the accuracy of the device."

The AMR also has in-built data logging capability and alarm management, which means the water company can offer customers online access to their water bill, with the option of viewing their water usage profile. For water companies themselves, the AMR Series offers increased water bill accuracy of up to 10 per cent, as well as reduced water pipeline leakage of up to 3 per cent, as customers will be able to identify more leaks from their usage profile.

The AQLOG AMR Series is submersible and dustproof to IP68 and can operate in temperatures from -20 deg C up to 75 deg C and in extreme humidity environments. The device has integral Modbus interface for data transmission and can store up to 50,000 records over 5 years, assuming readings are logged every 15 minutes.

The AMR Series offers numerous advantages over existing meter reading methods, which normally use magnetic sensors, pulse encoders and mechanical gearing. Because it is completely self-contained, power, networking, sensor and IO cabling are eliminated. Engineering and infrastructure costs are also minimised.

The AMR Series is easy to install and requires no calibration. Connection is within seconds. The device is compatible with existing water meters and simply clips on to the face of the meter. Mounting kits are also available for non-standard water meter designs. Further benefits are low maintenance, minimal operating costs and flexibility, as the device can be transferred quickly and easily to other water meters.

Aside from automatic meter reading, typical applications for the AMR Series include water flow balance leakage analysis; minimum night flow analysis; water distribution network modelling, calibration and demand forecasting; and time-dependent water billing.

For more information on the AQLOG AMR Series, please visit the website at
www.mac-solutions.co.uk or telephone 01527 592999 or email sales@mac-solutions.co.uk

About Aquas Smart Solutions
Established in 2000, Aquas Smart Water Solutions (www.aquas.com.tw) is a leading international water SCADA solutions manufacturer. AQUAS provides innovative, reliable and simple to use solutions designed for the water industry, including wastewater, power & energy, oil & gas, heavy industry, environment, weather, smart agriculture, transportation, and machine-to-machine applications.

The product range includes smart sensors, data logging systems, communication gateways, field configuration software, automatic data acquisition and geospatial analysis software. Many of the company's products are well known within the water industry and each has been proven to deliver excellent results. For example, the company's award-winning AQLOG RTU/Data Logger has become a water industry standard in Taiwan for DMZ leak detection and pressure management and has been credited with saving millions of gallons of water per day.

About M.A.C Solutions (UK)
M.A.C Solutions (UK) Ltd (www.mac-solutions.co.uk) is a UK-based maintenance, automation and control systems provider and technical service and support company that specialises in helping customers select and source appropriate systems to help leverage their production machine and process data from existing plant control and automation systems, up to enterprise business level systems. With more than 12 years' experience in the industry, M.A.C Solutions (UK) Ltd offers a range of industrial Ethernet 'open connectivity' solutions, as well as version control software, industrial Ethernet switches, web visualisation tools, alarm management software, connectivity devices for Siemens' PLCs, Ethernet-enabled OPC servers, industrial monitors and PCs. M.A.C Solutions' clients include utility companies, food and beverage manufacturers, power generation, breweries, oil and gas, automotive, water treatment, wind farms, paper and print, electronics and pharmaceuticals.

Dean Palmer, Director,
SilverBullet PR Ltd
The Grey House, 3 Broad Street, Stamford,
Lincolnshire PE9 1PG
Tel Office: 01780 753 000
Mobile: 07703 023771
Email: dean@silverbulletpr.co.uk
Website: www.silverbulletpr.co.uk

Andy Thorogood, Product Manager Aquas Smart Water Solutions,
M.A.C Solutions (UK) Ltd,
Unit 5, Oak Tree Park, Burnt Meadow Road,
Moons Moat Industrial Estate, Redditch, Worcs B98 9NW
Tel: +44 (0) 1527 592 999
Fax: +44 (0) 1527 592 666
Email: sales@mac-solutions.co.uk
Website: www.mac-solutions.co.uk

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