Partnerships, Mergers and Alliances
Intersat, a Calgary, Canada-based satellite service provider, and Process Systems (PSI), a Siemens company, announced a teaming effort to integrate remote meter reading and satellite communication. PSI will integrate its PSI QUAD4 Plus and PSI MAXsys meters with the Intersat Intercomm hardware for point-to-point communications of real-time data via satellite. The decision to jointly market the abilities of both companies` technologies was reached after a successful trial program was conducted at Ontario Hydro. “We were able to read remote distribution sites where standard phone lines or cellular communications could not be effective,” said Eric Larson, Intersat`s sales manager.
Itron and Duquesne Enterprises announced the formation of EnSite Communications to provide automation products and services through the use of wireless communications. Its product offerings will include advanced metering for utilities in the region, security and energy management products and services, and other transaction-based data collection applications that can be enhanced with wireless technology.
Itron also recently agreed to acquire Design Concepts Inc. (DCI), a supplier of telephone-based AMR systems to electric utilities, which include features for outage detection, power quality monitoring and time-of-use and hourly consumption reads. DCI`s primary product has been the Sentry family of products designed to provide comprehensive power quality information including power outages and under/over voltage conditions. “It is becoming increasingly clear that most AMR deployments will include a mixture of technologies,” said Johnny Humphreys, Itron`s president and CEO. “This acquisition of DCI`s telephone-based technology for electric meters further broadens and strengthens our AMR technology and product portfolio.”
CellNet Data Systems Inc. recently announced that it has signed a technology license with Badger Meter to incorporate CellNet`s patented radio technology in its water meter-reading technology product lines. As part of the agreement, CellNet will provide technical assistance to Badger to build CellNet compatible radio technology into its future products. The communication modules produced under this license agreement will transmit consumption data from Badger water meters over CellNet`s network.
SCT Utility Systems and FormMaker Software Inc. has signed a co-marketing agreement for SCT`s BANNER CIS and FormMakers Document Automation Platform (DAP). Formmaker`s DAP is used internationally to solve complex document automation requirements and has the ability to handle high-volume statement production, integrated correspondence and electronic document archival and retrieval. SCT`s CIS, when combined with Formmaker`s DAP, permits utilities to support complex and sophisticated billing requirements.