Smart metering is an Internet of Things (IoT) solution that responds to the need for remote and automatic measurement of utilities’ consumption. It concerns meters for electricity, water, gas, heating and other utilities, the consumption of which should be constantly monitored. The system architecture includes the concepts behind Industry 4.0 and the creation of smart cities.

By Gabriela Gil, Comarch Smart Metering

Communication

Smart metering based on a combination of a device and a cloud solution. This enables permanent access to data collected on an ongoing basis and analysis in real-time, which is the greatest value of the entire solution.

Comarch Smart Metering operates on the basis of established technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ethernet and LTE, as well as new ones such as NB-IoT, which provide better signal penetration.

We also provide Smart Metering for Industry, comprising many communication methods including WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). We always select the technology according to the individual situation of the customer and choose the best communication technology for each specific use case. Sigfox technology has its place on the market, but we believe it is not the best choice for smart metering, especially when there is a need to read data collected from the meter at high frequency.

The future

Smart metering is becoming increasingly popular and is already a standard in some countries. When used as a factory solution together with the Industry 4.0 concept, it can produce tangible business results. Thus, it fits perfectly into the smart city trend, which is revolutionizing the world today.

It’s hard to predict which way smart metering solutions will move. There are many promising technologies on the market, including new iterations of NB-IoT. We believe that adding more business value via different types of sensors (such as access hatch, pressure and temperature monitoring) can be a good direction in which to go.

There are also many factors to take into consideration when choosing between exchanging meters and retrofitting them. It depends on existing infrastructure, local legal regulations, available interfaces in already installed meters, and possible adapters.

Implementation

Smart metering enables remote reading of meters, as well as early detection of anomalies such as leaks, violations and security alerts. It allows reduced network operating costs and automates service and maintenance.

Comarch Smart Metering can be installed in an existing measuring infrastructure. Its implementation requires the installation of small devices (Comarch M-BUS/Wireless M-BUS Gateways). They periodically collect data from meters, and then, using standardized protocols, send the information to the IoT cloud platform, where it is collected, processed and analyzed.

Functions

Our device has an IP68 rating. We developed it with an awareness of possible floods. In such a case, the device will still collect the data, and send the information as soon as it regains connectivity with BTS. It is normal that a device underwater does not have communication with BTS. Some of the devices which we have already implemented are in access hatches that are often flooded.

Download our PRACTICAL GUIDE if you want to know more about:

  • Communication technologies that can be used during implementation
  • The future of smart metering
  • Differences between replacing meters and retrofitting
  • Cyber-security related to IoT solutions
  • The lifespan and specification of the gateways
  • Other features and practical information about deployments

Smart metering for industry

Industry plays a significant role in the consumption of utilities, which increases regularly from year to year. Better resource management can help to reduce the financial and environmental losses resulting from mismanagement of the available raw materials. How can this be done automatically using the data available from your company meters?

The industrial sector is currently the largest energy consumer. Buildings occupied by industrial companies consume more and more energy, and this process is very dynamic. Forecasts indicate that this situation will continue. (Energy Information Administration, International Energy Outlook 2019 https://www.eia.gov/)

Few manufacturing companies are able to indicate the real consumption of utilities per production batch and to plan optimal delivery while ensuring continuity of production without downtime and delays. At the same time, almost all of them indicate the desire to optimize and improve the efficiency of their processes.

These processes consume many resources, such as traditional utilities (water, electricity and gas) and specialist products such as technical gases, compressed air, oils or lubricants. It is difficult to talk about optimization without real-time monitoring of consumption and access to all data.

Louis Ditzler AG, a Swiss company from the FMCG sector, became Comarch’s client. After establishing cooperation in the field of Industry 4.0, they decided to expand the solution with Comarch Smart Metering for Industry. This choice was aimed at obtaining remote readings from the metering system, automation of data analysis, optimization of production costs and increased efficiency. This solution was compatible with the already installed system and made it easier to  collect and analyze data.

Download the FREE CASE STUDY “Smart Metering for Industry in an FMCG Company” and find out:

  • How the implementation looks
  • What kind of business benefits Comarch Smart Metering for Industry has brought for Louis Ditzler AG
  • How to monetize possibilities connected with monitoring utility consumption in a factory.

About Comarch
Comarch Technologies draws from the wide expertise Comarch has accumulated during 26 years of business activity in the field of delivering comprehensive IT solutions. Its main concern is to provide customers with the most reliable and secure solutions in the form of advanced software and innovative hardware infrastructure.