Liberty Lake, WA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — February 15, 2008 – Itron Inc. has shipped its 25th million gas AMR module from its Waseca, Minnesota, manufacturing plant, representing 78 percent of all gas AMR modules shipped by the industry to date according to the 2007 Scott Report, an annual independent research report on automated meter reading (AMR) deployments.
Itron’s leading market position in the gas segment has been bolstered by successive years of record gas meter module shipments for the company. In 2006, Itron shipped nearly 3.2 million gas meter modules, followed by more than 3.7 million gas meter modules in 2007.
Itron shipped its first module or ERT (encoder, receiver transmitter) in 1986 from its Waseca plant. AMR emerged from a need for utilities to obtain meter reads from indoor gas meters through automation. It took 18 years, from 1986 to 2004, for Itron to ship the first 15 million gas AMR modules, but thanks to the accelerated growth of automation among gas utilities, it has only taken three years, from 2004 to 2007, to ship the next 10 million.
“In the past 2½ years, we have taken production from 40,000 to more than 70,000 gas modules per week in Waseca,” said Bob Whitney, general manager of Itron manufacturing in Waseca. “Recent automation improvements such as our automated optical inspection and computer-aided process enforcement tools have enabled us to ramp up production capacity and efficiency while also assuring continuous improvement in quality. As a result, we are able to manufacture large volumes of world-class product at a very competitive cost, right here in the USA.”