Title
Electronic Water Meter AQUABUS
Intelligent remote readable meter using microcontroller technology
Technologies used

Microcontroller

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    332 Instrumentation for measurement
Abstract

ABB Iberconta, S.A. is a Spanish company from ABB group which manufactures domestic and industrial water meters supplying to public and private water distribution companies. The company had a turnover of 20,8 MEUR during 1999, with 307 employees of which 1 is electronic engineer. ABB Iberconta is specialising in the design, manufacture, marketing and through the life service support of water meters, selling their products mainly to the domestic market.

The product improved during this AE is the company's high precision mechanical water meter. It's a class "C" single-jet mechanical water meter for domestic use and represents about 10% of company turnover. The evolution of the market for water meters is demanding higher degrees of control and data collection, demanding more complex or "intelligent" meters. During the last years more and more billing companies demand remote reading and measurement features to be included in household water meters in order to simplify billing operation.

A solution including a specific designed microcontroller board has been used to develop the new AQUABUS electronic water meter. AQUABUS water meter is a battery powered component with 9 years of autonomy guarantee thanks to the low current consumption electronic components used. The new electronic water meter incorporates remote reading capabilities using a standard communications protocol. A more reliable and precise meter device has been obtained, reducing the number of mechanical moving parts and incorporating important additional functionality (leakage detection, reading storage, self-testing functions, ..).

Before the AE the company had no experience in electronics with no knowledge of microcontroller based system design.

The project has been developed over 12 months with a total investment of app. 150 KEUR (including industrialisation) of which 50 KEUR was founded by FUSE. The objective of the company is to start volume production at the beginning of 2.001 and achieve sales of more than 10.000 units during this year. It's expected to recover the total investment including industrialisation costs during the first year. The return of Investment (ROI) after the five years of the estimated product life is around 190%.

Company
ABB IBERCONTA, S.A.
Carretera a Ventas de Astigarraga s/n
E-20100 RENTERIA - Guipuzcoa
Spain

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Microcontroller technology provided ABB IBERCONTA, S.A. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
COTEC
C/Marques De Urquijo 26, 1 C, Izq.
E-28008 Madrid
Spain