Reliability, Long Battery Life, Compatibility with Various Meters And Simplicity Were Primary Concerns
OCALA, Florida - July-2006 - MARS Company of Ocala, Florida, is a company with a reputation for offering many options to our customers.
OCALA, Florida - July-2006 - MARS Company of Ocala, Florida, is a company with a reputation for offering many options to our customers. In addition to the large line of water meter testing equipment we also manufacture the MARS line of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) equipment known as SmartRadio. The purpose of this article is to help clear up several myths that come from the manufacturers who find it in their best interest to limit the options you have as a buyer of AMR equipment.
Myth number 1
Once you decide to buy a particular brand of AMR equipment, you are stuck with them exclusively and cannot buy other brands regardless of price and performance advantages other manufacturers may offer.
This is completely a myth of the first order. First, all modern AMR systems offer software designed to communicate with your billing system. This being true, the database you own of your customers is really the data in the billing system. Assume you have 20 AMR routes within your service area and each meter reader is responsible for reading 5 routes each. The important thing is to be sure that meter readers can read all meters within their zone. Therefore, so long as the reading system can communicate with each meter, and each reading system can communicate with the billing system, it is not necessary for all reading systems to be the same. It is only important that all data within the billing system is correct.
The advantages of this are many. First, if a supplier should exit the U. S. Market for any reason, you are not stranded without a compatible system since, MARS Company and several others can directly replace the transmitters and even use the existing equipment you have already purchased to minimize any impact on your operation. Second, if the system you wish to buy does not offer compatibility with the meters within your system, it is probably a risky investment, since the real plan is to eliminate the competition and trap you with only one supplier.
Myth number 2
Once you choose a meter manufacturer, you must use their AMR system. This is also not true and all manufacturers know that AMR systems are available from MARS Company and others that are designed to read several different brands of meters. Question; what do they expect you to do? Recently, one manufacturer suggested to their customer that they should scrap all other meters and buy only their brand. Nice trick, if it works.
Myth number 3
Some people think that the meter and the AMR equipment is part of a system. The real fact is that Meters, AMR devices and their receivers, software, and other items, are all separate components and can be purchased separately to insure your competitive advantage, and allow you options if performance is substandard.
Facts you need to know
• Water meters can last many years and metering technology makes major changes every 15 to 20 years.
• AMR technologies are moving at light speed and major technology advancements occur every 3 to 5 years.
• The greatest disadvantage buyers face is the absence of good information to assist them with decision-making. It is important to make sure the existing products you are considering are reliable. But it is equally important to make sure the products you are considering are using the latest technology and capable of migrating to more advanced system in the future.
Please give MARS Company a call or look us up on the web at www.marswater.com. We promise to leave out the myths and offer you highly competitive and reliable options.
Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) Systems
Floyd S. Salser, Jr.