Energie du Mali (EDM) is upgrading the handheld units used by its meter readers, with approximately 250 DAP Technologies’ CE3240B rugged handheld computers being deployed to zone agents throughout the western African nation.
EDM is one of first utilities companies in Africa to transition to a computer-based system for reading meters and logging customer usage with DAP’s CE5000B in use since 2004. While the CE3240B packs in many of the same features as its predecessor with enhanced functionality and processing power, the overall design of the unit has been overhauled to make it smaller and lighter and thus lessen user fatigue.
With the CE3240B, data will be transmitted by WiFi over the local area network and also by GPRS real time to the back office server. From there, the integrated solution developed in conjunction with AS Consulting will automatically update the billing system. The outcome will be a faster, more efficient transfer of data that eliminates the need for zone agent to physically visit the main office to download data.
DAP has also customised a special connector for Energie du Mali that allows an automatic reading of the meter index using optical probe. Whereas zone agents could spend 10 minutes performing a manual reading, the information is transmitted in seconds using the new connector.