By Joachim Schillgalies, ATR Industrie-Electronik GmbH & Co. KG, and Gerhard Kreiling, OPTO 22 Automation Products, GmbH
Itron has released next-generation automatic-meter-reading (AMR) technologies that make it easier to deploy enterprise-wide communications networks capable of supporting applications that go beyond AMR.
CH-Analysis is an off-the-shelf application, written in a standard language, designed to be integrateable into all GISs. Leverages existing technology by using front and back end of the utility`s GIS.
New, high-intensity, wide-angle LED lamps in red, amber and green are designed to replace the most common, slide-based incandescent bulbs used in control panels. DDP 24L4 X1 will work in the GE ET-5, ET-6 or Westinghouse Minalite sockets.
New software automates electronic distribution of mapping databases. It makes data available to mobile and office workers for utilities with automated mapping systems. Data Bridge provides tools for extracting and transferring maps and related data for distribution to desktop and mobile PC users. It is designed to access intelligent mapping systems such as FRAMME or Byers EWO on a UNIX or PC file server.
Autodesk GIS market group has introduced AutoCAD Map which integrates mapping and GIS technology into AutoCAD. It offers accurate map creation and maintenance for AutoCAD users who need to create, view, present and distribute maps.
Three new products in the ASPEN GPS line extend company`s GPS data-capture solutions for GIS and mapping. Each uses the Microsoft Windows pen computing environment and Trimble`s GPS receivers. New line uses existing GIS, CAD or other background maps so operators can see where they are in the field and navigate to specific sites or points.
Firm`s PORCHE automated outage call-handling system is now operational on an OS/2 platform and is interfaced to outage analysis and mapping systems. It is designed to handle large volumes of consumer outage calls, from as few as three incoming lines to as many as 100 or more. System provides dispatcher with information such as customer`s name and address, account number, date and time call was received, and type of problem reported.
New automatic meter-reading system can connect to existing meters and existing phone lines, dialing in to either the utility`s office or supplier`s data center at intervals from five minutes to a month. Cost is only 12 cents per read. Solution is based on applying semiconductor technology to a low-cost meter interface unit installed next to existing meter.
As the domestic and global electric utility industry moves quickly toward structural change, automation and control suppliers are also faced with new challenges and opportunities.