New Orleans, La. – Leveraging its acquisition of Aquacue Inc. in 2013, Brown Deer-based Badger Meter introduced BEACON Advanced Metering Analytics in January and has made the water management data software a central feature of the company’s pitch to attendees of the 2014 Water Environment Federation Exhibition and Conference this week in New Orleans.
BEACON AMA builds upon a trend in utility services that relies on advanced metering infrastructure to collect granular usage data in hourly increments. Such data can be used by utilities to identify changes in water consumption and to detect leaks or other usage anomalies.
Whereas metering systems that rely upon walk-by or drive-by technology can only detect usage fluctuations long after the fact, BEACON AMA produces customizable alerts that allow utilities to define exceptions, such as continuous flow, in order to fix problems quickly. Data delivered to the utility on an hourly basis can also be used to answer customer inquiries and to address billing issues.
“We’re putting really powerful, yet intuitive data tools into the hands of utilities that can use them to support conservation initiatives as well as to enhance their customer service,” said Kristie Anderson, product marketing manager. Information from BEACON AMA can also be shared with consumers through web-based apps to create greater understanding of and control over water use.
BEACON AMA can be deployed via existing cellular networks—a solution that saves considerable infrastructure costs—and in conjunction with traditional ORION fixed network technology.
“Water utilities are a core market for us, and so far we’ve seen a high level of interest among utilities across the country, including existing customers and those currently using competitors’ products,” Anderson said.
Badger Meter has already sold 150 starter kits which allow companies to test BEACON AMA’s analytics capabilities using cellular endpoints. The company anticipates generating even greater interest through product demonstrations performed in its tradeshow booth at WEFTEC.
Kelly Lietz is vice president of marketing and communications at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. He is writing for BizTimes from the WEFTEC conference in New Orleans this week.