HomeTop StoriesA new view on AMR

A new view on AMR

In the past AMR systems and meters were separated – and this prevented all the potential communication opportunities between the meter and the utility from being realised. ADD GRUP has been able to combine accurate metering and information transmission into one device, and as a result has developed a system with high performance capabilities at a competitive cost.

ADD GRUP started working on its first AMR project in 1998. After only four years the company has grown to become a leader in AMR installations, resolving utility problems by providing smart solutions, new technologies and products that meet international requirements.

More than 350 people work on our team – developers and programmers, designers and economists, adjusters and mounters. Despite the fact that they are young, they are all well-educated and have a lot of work experience – and they are full of new ideas that can change the metering world.

ADD GRUP has already completed many projects, the biggest one being the installation of 200,000 metering points in the Ukraine. By the end of this year this number will have grown to about 500, 000 points. Our company is also working on pilot projects in Sweden, Malaysia, Russia and Brazil.

What is smart IMS?

The system developed by our company offers many features. It solves the problem of reading meters in remote areas, as well as other problems like remote consumer disconnection, tampering, power control and balance control. In addition utilities have the option to use the devices as pre-paid or credit meters. Many non-traditional solutions have been applied in Smart IMS, which allow for a flexible electric energy metering process.

Since installing our meters utilities have found that they are able to operate more efficiently and effectively. For example, after the implementation of the Smart IMS system in the Ukraine, non-technical losses were reduced from 40% to 5% – and we believe can be even further reduced in future. It was a dramatic turnaround in the Ukrainian power sector when utilities which had formerly been unprofitable began to show a profit.

Our latest developments are changing the traditional view of AMR systems. These solutions, using the power lines as the data transmission medium, have allowed us to give up such notions as terminals and PLC-modems. We provide an integrated solution where all the functionality resides inside the meter, allowing utilities to perform a range of tasks from one device. At the same time the meters meet all the IEC 1036 standards. 

Why PLC technology?

It is well known that several communication technologies for AMR systems exist – radio, telephone lines, PLC and so on. After working with all of them, we chose PLC technology. In the past PLC technology was incomplete, expensive and worked erratically. The development work that has been done by ADD GRUP has resolved all these problems, and we believe that PLC is the best technology, for the following reasons:

  • Because communication channels already exist, you don’t have to think about buying frequencies, telephone lines or GSM numbers. Utility companies have all they need for data transmission.
  • AMR deployment using PLC does not require any additional equipment; therefore the costs are reduced. In addition you don’t have to waste time on difficult installations. The only equipment you have to install is the meters at the metering points and inexpensive devices at the LV/MV transformer.
  • The PLC technology used by our company allows stable data exchange between the management centre and the meters, without interference from the weather or noise.
  • The cost per metering point is several times less using PLC when compared to other technologies.

Systems like ours used to be exotics – there were no examples actually installed in the field. Right now we have real projects which can resolve many problems in the power sectors all over the world.