The future of smart metering solutions
EDMI Limited is one of the leading smart metering solutions providers in the world
Writer Matt Bone
Project Manager Donovan Smith
For more than 30 years, energy companies all over the world have relied on EDMI to deliver the flexibility and reliability they need and the innovative solutions they demand. EDMI’s experience, a proven track record, and having installed millions of EDMI multi-functional smart meters installed globally, mean that EDMI’s products have met and exceeded clients’ expectations that led them to become a global energy solution leader. Founded in Australia in 1978, the company have been based in Singapore since 1997. EDMI have grown to 20 offices globally spreading throughout the region of Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australasia.
EDMI CEO Lee Kwang Mong is very pleased with just how far the company have come in recent years: “When you look at the progress the company have made over the last 5 years, you can see just how successful we have been. We have seen our meters become commonplace across Asia and now they are a staple product in the European markets, especially in the UK, where we have seen strong sales, which continue to grow monthly.”
A Smart Solution
A smart meter is an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy at intervals and is able to communicate with a central system. This secure communication is two-way: the meter provides information to the central “head-end” for monitoring and billing purposes, but it is also possible to perform remote parameterisation. Lee believes this technology is not just a simple remote recorder, but a useful automated system that can become fully integrated into a company’s network: “our smart meters are not just a system that enables you to remotely view data on energy consumption, but are considered a vital part of a company’s infrastructure due to their detailed reports and real-time readings. With advancements in technology, our meters can become fully automated needing only marginal supervision and servicing.”
European Market Metering
EDMI have been a constant presence in the UK market for several years now, having seen their smart meters installed in both homes and businesses alike. Recently, EDMI announced that they have signed a contract to provide meters and a communications hub as part of the Smart Meter Rollout Communications Service, across Scotland and northern England. The project aims to install 53 million meters in 30 million homes and small businesses across the UK by 2020.
EDMI will design, manufacture and supply the communications hub for the northern region. The hub will enable communication with electricity meters, gas meters and the In-Home Display (IHD), allowing consumers to effectively monitor and manage energy usage. Mr Lee commented: “We are dedicated to the design, development and manufacturing of innovative smart meters and systems for the global utility industry. This selection further underlines our expertise in the market and the robust, reliable product offerings which we provide.”
In order to further cement their position as a market leader in smart metering, EDMI opened a new manufacturing and R&D plant in Europe and are looking to open another one in Eastern Europe at a later date. The creation of a local distribution network has seen the company halve the average turnaround time, from manufacturing to installation, in a premises from six weeks to three weeks.
The Green Trend
With more and more businesses and homes looking to become greener and more energy efficient, EDMI have seen a large rise in the number of smart meters and communication devices being purchased globally. With the advancements in communication and automated information collection, EDMI have created more sophisticated meters that are capable of relaying large amounts of specific information to a server in real-time. “We have seen the demand for our smart meters increase rapidly over the last 18 months due to so many businesses and private homes wanting to be greener. By monitoring exactly how much electricity they are using daily and cutting down where they can, customers feel like they are more in control of their spending and helping to save the environment at the same time,” Lee explains.
In 2010, EDMI opened a new manufacturing plant in china after seeing an opportunity to engage the competitive Chinese labour market. With the new plant online, EDMI doubled the production of low-cost smart meters and have driven the company’s vision closer to reality, as Lee explains: “Singapore is no longer the manufacturing powerhouse it once was; so we made the decision to create a new manufacturing plant in China.
This enabled us to greatly increase our production of meters and because the overall manufacturing costs were lower, we were able to offer a new low-cost meter to the Asian market. This is a big goal for us: to ensure that every home in Asia has an EDMI smart meter installed in it.”
EDMI’s expansion has not stopped there. PT EDMI Indonesia have opened a new factory in Cikarang on March 5th 2014, adding half a million units to EDMI’s yearly production capacity and strengthen ties with PLN Indonesia (Indonesia’s State Electricity company). Mr. Lee said the new plant will continue the good work of factories representing the Osaki Group in the region: “Indonesia is a very competitive market, and it is a big market; we have long term plans for working with Indonesia.”
Research and development
One aspect of the company that lee is particularly proud of is the global R&D group, who constantly revisit, update and create new smart meters to utilise technological changes and advancements in the industry. “Our R&D engineers have been updating our latest smart meters to ensure that they take full advantage of new technology and changing attitudes from companies. The whole team are riding the technological wave but they always ensure they are keeping ahead of the curve and the competition,” he said.
The smart meter is fast becoming a “must have” addition to business infrastructure globally, with more and more demand for smart meters becoming apparent, Lee is confident the company is prepared to meet and exceed this need: “Our product is a worldwide product, not just something for Asia or Europe. It can be used by any company or household, no matter where they are. We will always strive to ensure that the product is country specific and can be utilised fully from day one of installation. We have worked hard to make the company what it is today, but we will not sit back, instead we will push on and make sure the company is always a market leader.”