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Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) refers to the ability to remotely read meters without the need to physically collect readings/data from the meters themselves. This saves time and money and makes it possible to install meters in convenient locations (such as inside apartments) without the need for intrusive access into units.

Some meters come with AMR components built into the meter and certain meters come without integrated AMR. The details of each metering application will dictate which options are available and which products fits your situation.

When deciding on the right AMR solution, it is prudent to consider whether or not additional metering is needed on your site and what types of meters are needed to accomplish your goals. Many times we see different AMR solutions installed at sites because metering decisions were made in phases or by different groups without consideration for the downfalls of having multiple systems installed.

Having multiple AMR solutions installed on a property can create headaches and supportability issues down the road. Here are a few downfalls of having multiple AMR solutions on the same site:

  • Maintenance Costs - Different systems require different technical training, software, tools and support, which can drive up the cost of installation and service down the road. Having one AMR solution installed on all meters makes for a smooth maintenance plan.
  • Data costs - Different AMR solutions have different costs associated with ongoing data collection. We prefer to use one trusted solution, with non-proprietary software and free data access.
  • Infrastructure Costs - While the cost for supporting one AMR network (Cellular or Ethernet charges along with 110v outlets for the RF network), can be minimal, by adding multiple systems you can quickly drive up the upfront and ongoing costs of having these systems in place.

At Cannon Metering, our goal is to offer a flexible solution that works with various meter types under one AMR network. The Next Century AMR solution accomplishes this, as well as offering outstanding analytics and installation/service tools.

Next Century AMR Solutions

The Next Century product is a Radio Frequency (RF) solution which works with a wide range of water, gas, electric and BTU meters on the market. The system works with non-proprietary software, meaning anyone can work with the system without the need of expensive software, tools or long term contracts.

How it Works - Hardware

The RF network consists of a Gateway, which serves as the central data collection point, and Repeaters, which are installed throughout the site to help support the transmission of readings back to the Gateway.

  1. The Gateway is installed in a secure area using either Ethernet, wifi or built-in Cellular (cellular charges apply) options and 110v power.
  2. Repeaters are installed throughout the site using standard 110v power (typically with existing outlets).
  3. A transmitter is installed on each meter to transmit data from the meter back to the Gateway via the Repeater network.
  4. Utilize smartphone app to scan devices on the fly for simple programming and service

The Gateway, Repeater and Transceivers all work to transmit the reading back to the Gateway for data collection purposes.

NextCentury Submetering Systems

How it Works - Software

The Next Century web-based software solution is second to none in usability and functionality. Access data, schedule reports and troubleshoot all from one portal without the need for software licences - all you need is web access.

  1. Access Web Portal
  2. Set up Notifications (leak detection, freeze detection, low battery, power loss, etc)
  3. Schedule Automated Reports
  4. Customize and store custom Report Templates

Want to test drive the system? Click here to visit the Next Century website and use the following credentials to access our demonstration site:

Username: example.admin
Password: testing

You can view meter consumption, meter info, signal strength, alerts, temperature data, run reports, etc. Feel free to walk through the easy to use tutorials to learn more about the system as well.

Conclusion

By utilizing the Next Century solution, Cannon Metering is able to install a wide range of meter types under one network, eliminating headaches and making service and support simple. Click here to request more information on how to integrate the Next Century system into your submetering plans.