Interview with Elena Turanskaya, CEO, ADD GRUP
What do you think has been the secret of ADD GRUP’s success?
Next year ADD GRUP will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Since the beginning we understood that the business we are involved in is constantly evolving, therefore, instead of creating a universal product, we decided to tailor each of our solutions to the individual customer/project/market. Such an approach gives us the possibility to stay in touch with the ever changing world of technology.
One of the reasons for our success is the meticulous approach to the development of the relationship with our partners. As we lack expertise on some markets, due either to different cultures, customs and traditions, or just because we lack knowledge of the specifics of the local business, we carefully select our distributors in order to be able to completely rely on them for the development of our brand in their markets.
What recent projects/accomplishments are you most proud of?
The previous year was a busy one for us. Our partners on the Polish market, Action, T-Matic, BMCG, and ARCUS, have recently signed a frame agreement with ENERGA Operator S.A. The agreement concerns one of the largest projects in the area of intelligent networks and advanced meter management in Poland. The contract for delivery and implementation of the metering infrastructure has a term of 8 years and a budget of PLN890 million (€204 million). It is estimated that the implementation of smart meters in Poland will lead to at least 10 percent energy saving in the short term compared to the present consumption level. ADD GRUP will supply data concentrators and meters.
Our partner in the Bulgarian market, ADD Bulgaria, has been awarded a contract from E.ON Bulgaria for supply of smart meters and routers. The equipment to be installed is based on ADDAX IMS suite of hardware and software designed for an advanced management of electrical metering infrastructure. The data exchange network is built on open PLC communication (based on S-FSK modulation). The award procedure goes in line with E.ON’s plan to optimize the current grid to a smart one – 830,000 smart meters by 2020.
Matritsa Ltd, our partner in the Russian market, is participating in the federal project “Count.Save.Pay”, an initiative of the federal government for infrastructure optimization. The pilot is taking place in the city of Perm in the Ural region, and consists of implementation of 50,000 metering points during 2011-2012. The results of this project will serve as a basis for the development of legislation and technical specifications for upcoming rollouts in Russia.
How do you see the trends in PLC developing?
The trends in PLC development are highly influenced by the evolution of AMR systems in smart grids. The growing demand of PLC performance required by the increasing data flow determines that PLC developers look into the new generations of communication technologies. Another trend is the use of MV networks for data transmission. The "no-new-wire" approach becomes very popular when it comes to cost calculation. Smart homes may be seen as another trend in PLC development. Here some integration activity of RF and PLC technologies may be noted.
What would you say are the biggest challenges in this industry, and for Europe in particular?
One of the biggest challenges for the PLC solution is to select from the range of technologies offered on the market, the solution that would best fit customers’ needs. That includes all aspects like performance, cost, openness, interoperability, future proofing, etc. The efforts to get a unique PLC solution for Europe didn’t succeed much. That is the big challenge for PLC solution developers, especially for Europe, to come up with the maximum performance within CENELEC limitations.
Another challenge would be the outdated PLC standards and the development of new ones on the go, along with solution deployment. That requires a high degree of flexibility from solution providers. Security issues and privacy guaranteeing are also big challenges for “open” channels like powerlines.
What is next for ADD GRUP?
For the first time, this year, we attended the Metering Asia exhibition. The participation in this event goes in line with our plans to expand into the Asian market. Our recently developed product, CMS (Centralized Metering System), is designed specifically for the markets like the Asian one, which are characterized by issues like high non-technical losses and poor payment collection.
Regarding R&D, we are actively working on the development of OFDM modulation and are launching OFDM on MV PLC. At this moment, we have fully functional projects based on S-FSK modulation in Bulgaria, Czech Republic and an upcoming project in Poland.
What is your vision for the Group?
In the long run, we see ourselves as leaders in providing AMI solutions in the CEE region and among the first places in the world. Contrary to the popular trend of outsourcing production, we are doing quite the opposite – investing in procurement of equipment in order to move most of the production process to our factories in Moldova. Such a strategy will allow us total control over the quality, lessen the dependence on suppliers and will allow us to have an increased control over the whole production process, lowering both the operating costs and the delivery times of our products.
What do you expect from Metering Europe 2011?
Metering Europe is the biggest event in the smart metering business, therefore we believe that in order to keep in touch with the latest trends of the market it is mandatory that we participate, moreover, ADD GRUP sponsors the event because we want to benefit from every single opportunity that might arise.
ADD GRUP is at booth E50 at the Metering Europe exhibition.