Manufacturing hub to create technology that runs Internet of Things
The city of Covington, La., already the engineering center for Sensus communications and metering solutions, will soon also be a manufacturing location for smart city infrastructure. Sensus is expanding its footprint in St. Tammany Parish to provide its utility partners with a reliable, storm-hardened, two-way communication solution. The new facility will design and manufacture a range of utility solutions including the recently released M400 FlexNet base station.
In order to improve lead times and drive six sigma quality initiatives, Sensus decided to bring M400 manufacturing in-house. Additional design engineers and operations and production staff will be hired. The manufacturing facility is expected to open in early 2016. The 6,000-sq-ft space is large enough to meet future expansion needs
“Wirelessly and securely transporting critical data for electric, water and gas utilities provides the basis for smart infrastructure,” said Sensus President Randy Bays. “We have extended these capabilities to all types of sensors such as distribution automation, lighting controls and [Internet of Things] devices. The speed, latency and operational effectiveness of two-way communication are critical to successfully implementing a reliable network infrastructure.”
The locally produced M400 offers utilities a smaller size and more computing capabilities. It supports multiple applications and helps utilities save significant operating cost by utilizing the point-to-multipoint technology to isolate and restore outages faster than other network systems.
Louisiana is the birthplace of FlexNet, which became part of the Sensus technology portfolio in 2006. The long-range radio network provides a scalable two-way communications infrastructure. Working with smart meters and sensors, the system securely transmits and receives data that improves the efficiency of utility operations.