Automation is good for so much more than cutting costs. In our fully automated production facility for electricity meters, our robots move more than components and meters; they have a direct impact on your bottom line. Have you considered the cost if your supplier is unable to deliver on time or if the meter's lifetime turns out to be shorter than expected? A supplier's production setup is by no means an unimportant detail.
Our electricity meters are designed and manufactured for a long product lifetime. Put simply, we aim at making a high-quality product that will serve our customers reliably for 20 years. Our fully automated production facilities are a cornerstone in reaching this goal, enabling a zero defect approach and a low failure rate. Still not sure how it works? Let's break down the benefits:
No manual assembly
When all processes are automated and handled by robots, every task is carried out in the exact same way. Every. Single. Time. That leads to lower failure rates and a consistently high product quality as a robot is much more gentle and accurate in its movements than the human hand and is able to repeat the same movement over and over again without tiring or experiencing attention slips. An additional benefit of eliminating manual handling is that it minimises the risk of leaving residue on fragile components, which is known to cause meters to fail over time.
Every single component that goes into a Kamstrup meter is registered upon entry and can be traced via the batch barcode and the barcode on the meter. This means that in case of a faulty component, we know exactly which meters are affected and can recall and exchange them quickly to ensure that our customers only get meters that live up to our high quality standards.
The focus on traceability also contributes to a smooth installation process as all meters are packed in continuous numbering, which eases the work of the installer. This is only possible because we can follow each and every meter and component throughout the manufacturing process.
100% test and verification
Test and verification is one of the pillars of a consistently high level of quality. That is why we put every single circuit board and meter through extensive inline tests and verification in accordance with IPC standards. Consequently, no meter leaves our production facility without having passed strict functionality and accuracy tests. This is well above industry standards, but it is our way of ensuring that utilities around the world only receive meters that meet our quality standards – and their expectations.
Our electricity meter production is located at the Kamstrup headquarters in Denmark. By having production and R&D within walking distance of each other, we are able to reach a high degree of agility in our product development. In other words, a new feature can go from idea to prototype to a mass-produced, customised meter in no time. Close to 10 new prototypes pass through our factory every week.
Agility in product development is of little use if the meters are not delivered on time and according to schedule. As our customers count both large multinationals and small municipal utilities, we have built an unrivalled level of flexibility and scalability into our production setup to accommodate them all. That includes multiple lines for high volumes, batches and prototypes/small volumes.
In contrast to traditional inline manufacturing, our production lines are divided into separate cells that scale individually. This allows us to increase the capacity of one cell without rebuilding or stopping the entire production line. In this way, we can quickly ramp up production volumes in case of large orders without causing a delay in delivery of smaller orders. Moreover, real-time production monitoring allows us to quickly identify and respond to any issue and solve it without affecting the other production cells. Our production setup can deliver up to 5 million electricity meters per year.
Our flexible and agile production setup allows us to customise all meter orders – no matter their size. All orders are made-to-order and in accordance with customer needs. In practice, this means that we ask our customers which features and functionalities they need from the finished meter. All utilities have unique requirements and it is our goal to accommodate those by customising the meter inside out – from component-level to finished labelling. For example, before leaving the production line, a customised label is laser printed onto the meter’s front cover; this could be a unique barcode, the utility’s logo, address and direct phone number for customer service.