Meter reading has always been the ‘mission-critical’ aspect in the utility revenue collection process and has proved to be a labor-intensive activity. While the use of automated meter reading technologies is experiencing an exponential rise, the utility sector still relies on manual processes, leading to delays in billing customers. Citing a similar instance, Andy Schechter, VP of PrimeStone, asserts, “It was in 1990 that many South American countries made major changes to manual meter reading. This led to hiring a group of consultants who helped to quickly automate meter data collection.” Following the successful deployment that consultant group began providing software products in the utility arena and PrimeStone was formed. The Alpharetta, GA based firm has the ability to combine data collection and analytics in a single platform, providing utilities with timely information, improved quality and control, and operational reliability.

The company’s PrimeRead application is a powerful and inexpensive data collection and analysis tool that supports over 200 different meter models and helps utilities with meter data collection, managing that collected information efficiently, and conducting both automated reporting and meter data verification. “Our PrimeRead application is used by over 200 utilities in 27 countries, and the key principal behind opting for the software is its interoperable capability in reading all different meter types, enabling utilities to lower operational costs,” says Schechter. “We also provide a mobile version of PrimeRead called PrimeMobile, which facilitates on-site readings for exceptions or missed reads,” adds Schechter.

To further utilize the data captured from the meters, utilities working with PrimeStone can implement the PrimeGuard module along with their PrimeRead application enabling alerts and notifications. This tool allows the utility to take action based on the meter data events that are recorded. PrimeGrid, a distribution analysis system, collects data from meters and other sources (SCADA, Head Ends, and more) to report vulnerabilities in a utility’s distribution system. This allows utilities to minimize technical losses and proactively maintain their distribution system.

In addition, PrimeStone offers a demand response application called PrimeDR, which monitors, communicates and sends signals to end devices. It helps utilities gain control over their customer load by offering visibility into near real-time reporting of actual usage.

Our PrimeRead application is used by over 200 utilities in 27 countries, and the key principal behind opting for the software is its interoperable capability

“Our development team designed and coded a flexible web based application using .Net framework called PrimeDR which allows high end commercial meters to be read in near real-time, by harnessing our specialized caller service.”

The company has also built an analytics product called PrimeAnalytics that helps utilities identify a number of business use cases such as theft. Leveraging this software, users can identify the meters that are not operating correctly. Dashboards can also be configured so that operators can see theft or other issues as they occur. Using PrimeAnalytics utility operators can quickly narrow down suspected meters from millions, to specific meters exhibiting unusual behavior requiring further investigation. “Our dashboard includes a GPS element providing the user with a mapping component which uses a satellite view to see the actual image of the residential home or building with the suspicious meter,” explains Schechter.

“A key differentiator for PrimeStone is our flexibility and interoperability of our software products. Our development team has been working with meters, network communications, and data, so we have deep expertise in these areas and can help any utility in the market,” remarks Schechter. To effectively serve its customers, PrimeStone continues to enhance their solutions with specific attention on the monitoring and analytical capability of their offerings.