As a result of extensive laboratory and field analysis, and of three years of research and development in Mâcon (France), Actaris has recently launched a completely new volumetric residential water meter called the Aquadis+. Offering exceptional performance – robustness associated with outstanding accuracy – Actaris believes it is a product that will define a new standard for volumetric metering. Colin Walsby, Actaris Director of Marketing for the Water & Heat Division, answers some questions.
Why did Actaris choose to develop a new residential water meter, rather than updating its well-established product line?
Our customers were looking for a water meter that has the best initial metrological performance possible, and also one which maintains this performance throughout its entire lifetime. We felt that we had gone to the limits of performance with our existing volumetric product, and therefore chose to invest in a completely new piston-type measuring chamber designed to fully meet market expectations. The Aquadis+ is also the first meter developed by Actaris to take advantage of the enhanced performance that can be demonstrated with the new MID regulations and supporting international standards.
Compared to other volumetric water meters, what are the real differences in terms of performance?
The Aquadis+ has been designed to have an outstanding metrological performance in ‘real’ operating conditions, not only for the test bench. A major factor during the development was to ensure we created a product that can maintain its performance in all conditions. This means it is a product which will keep its accuracy even when there is particulate in the water or when the meter has been subjected to some random network event, such as one which would normally cause the meter to temporarily stop.
To ensure we could really simulate what happens in water networks, Actaris invested in a new test laboratory at our facility in Mâcon, specifically designed to simulate real field conditions. We consulted our key customers, who helped us tremendously in defining the test protocols that we should use. Finally we removed several thousand meters from the field and subjected them to significant testing so that we could understand what causes under-registration.
Does this meter create new applications / new markets?
Traditionally volumetric water meters have only been used in mature markets where water is normally of the best quality, without particulates that can be damaging to this technology. Other markets have used less accurate velocity water meters, such as single-jet or multi-jet technology, which are less prone to wear and tear from particulates. The Aquadis+ has been designed to operate in all markets and therefore it means that for the first time the most accurate technology is available for all markets.
How does this product fit in with the current Actaris portfolio?
One of the core values of the Actaris portfolio of water meters is that our products are compatible for the communication needs of today and tomorrow. The Aquadis+ incorporates our patented Cyble register technology – as does our entire range of water meters – ensuring it is ‘communications ready’. It can easily be equipped with any of our current Cyble AMR portfolio.
The Aquadis+ volumetric water meter is more than a commitment to our customers in terms of quality and performance. Developing water meters that are more accurate over time allows for more precise measurement of a precious resource, and helps with conservation. We believe that the metering industry is a dynamic actor offering sustainable growth, helping to manage and protect water for future generations.