With an investment in a new test center, Kamstrup sends the clear message that radio communication is the future and a strong core competence of the company.

Denmark,Skanderborg, September 11, 2014

When Kamstrup’s managing director Per Asmussen in June 2014 published the plans for a new test center for radio communication, the background for the decision was obvious:

”Radio communication must be a core competence in Kamstrup, and we must always provide our customers with solutions having the best possible performance”.

Back in 2007, Kamstrup made the strategic decision that the company should choose to focus on Radio Frequency (RF) instead of Power Line Communication (PLC) within smart grid solutions for the electricity sector.

Until then, the company focused on both cabled and wireless technologies. With an expectation of an increased reading frequency and an increased number of electrical household appliances creating interference in the fixed network, the management of Kamstrup assessed that RF is the most cost-effective solution which at the same time ensures the highest performance in the high-frequency network. In particular, the interference in the fixed network posed some challenges for the customers in the form of disturbances between the electronic household components and the installed PLC system.

– Our analysis clearly pointed out that our customers can reap more benefits from Radio Frequency. A remote reading system based on radio communication provides a higher reading performance of Automated Meter Management, among other things. Thereby, the utility can perform technical measurements and offer functions such as fast immediate reading and measurements down to hourly values, Anders Skallebæk, Technical manager of hardware at Kamstrup, says.

Anders Skallebæk points out several areas which have influenced the decision of Kamstrup significantly. Among other things, the customer can very easily extend a radio network. Likewise the cables-carried interferences from e.g. switch mode power supplies in consumer electronics will increase from now on while the PLC filterings will only increase slowly in the future. In addition, Kamstrup finds that Radio Frequency has a greater market potential than Power Line Communication. All key issues that are important arguments for focusing on radio communication.

The new test center creates fast response time
Kamstrup introduced the first radio system back in 2002. Since then, Kamstrup has installed approx. 4 million remotely read energy and water meters all over the world and is today considered as one of the absolute leading producers of electronic consumption meters communicating via RF technology. Today, Kamstrup has two radio network systems, Radio Mesh and Radio Link, which cover solutions within AMR, AMM and AMI. Radio communication is used for data collection for billing purposes and analysis data for the operations optimization of the utilities. It requires many resources to develop. Both with regard to employees and facilities.

Therefore, the technical manager also looks forward to the investment of approx. DKK 10 million  in a new radio communication test center. On the one hand Kamstrup can perform the running iterations during product development, on the other hand a test center provides a far quicker project lead time.

– With expansions to several new markets requesting high-quality smart metering solutions, it is important that we have a fast response time to develop new frequencies. This is what our new laboratory gives us, Anders Skallebæk says.

RF with political momentum
The construction of the new test center has just begun and will be completed in December 2014. The investment is expected to amount  to a little more than DKK 10 million and emphasizes that Kamstrup will consider RF to be the best technology choice now and in the future. RF is thus the most used technology outside of Europe, and Kamstrup expects that RF will also be the most widespread technology within the EU.

– We believe that radio communication will become more and more widespread. There is political momentum for harmonizing the area of radio communication within the EU, and in general, an enormous technology development takes place within radio communication.

– At the same time we also anticipate that ever greater demands will be imposed to documentation, the more globalized we become, Anders Skallebæk says.

The technical manager mentions water meters as a global growth area for Kamstrup. And in particular the water area focuses significantly on radio as the leading communication technology.

– This is a market which we of course would like to get hold of. This requires fast country adaptations, and here integrated development at Kamstrup will, when all comes to all, also give us a competitive advantage, Anders Skallebæk points out.

Facts: Benefits of RF technology

  • Long range with integrated antenna
  • High reading performance, in average 99.7 percent success rate per reading
  • Reading of electricity, water, heat and gas meters in the same network
  • An RF network needs fewer concentrators compared to cabled networks

For further information, please contact:
Anders Skallebæk, Technical manager of hardware, Kamstrup A/S, phone +45 8993 1000 / mail as@kamstrup.dk

About Kamstrup
Kamstrup delivers innovative meter solutions to energy and utilities worldwide. Kamstrup’s solutions include consumption meters for electricity, water, heat and cooling as well as remote reading systems and smart grid applications. Kamstrup was founded in Denmark in 1946 and is today an international company with offices in 24 countries and more than 60 distributors worldwide.