Automated Meter Reading
A Toughbook® laptop with mobile broadband wireless provides utility companies with Automated Meter Reading (AMR) capabilities and makes manual meter reading a thing of the past. This results in operational efficiencies, including time, safety and expenses.
Paper-based meter readings are time and labor-intensive, and often increase the likelihood of errors. Technicians must walk from house to house to record the meter readings by hand on a clipboard, and often require multiple attempts to gain access to meters. These readings must then be entered into the utility's database, wasting more time and further increasing total overhead.
Automated Meter Reading (AMR) saves time and reduces effort by allowing technicians to conduct wireless meter readings as they walk or drive by homes without having to access the meters directly. With rugged Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers, specialized software and external antennas installed on vehicles, readings from meters equipped with register transmitters are collected automatically. An optional magstripe reader is also available, allowing technicians to collect credit card payments from customers whose service is about to be discontinued due to non-payment. Both the meter reading and credit card payment data are sent wirelessly to the office where it is automatically updated in the utility's database for accurate and timely billing—eliminating the time, errors and labor expenses associated with entering data manually. AMR and the ability to accept payments in the field help improve customer service by virtually eliminating estimated billing and the inquiries associated with them.