In this live studio interview at European Utility Week, Philipp Gruner, President/CEO, KG Technologies discusses European smart meter rollouts and the importance of supplying a quality product, especially when it comes to metering components such as high powered latching relays which the company designs and manufactures.
Gruner explains that when volumes increase, people generally expect costs to dip but standards are becoming more stringent. He says that utilities should take it upon themselves to stipulate requirements so that the product they purchase meets their customers’ needs. “While meter rollouts are increasing, standards are becoming more difficult to meet and that makes it difficult to reduce the price.”
Product relevance, quality and safety
Product quality and safety is critical, says Gruner. “While some companies are finding innovative ways to meet price pressures, the raw materials should not be tampered with.” Products should be tested under stringent conditions to ensure their long-term safety and quality.
It is also the responsibility of the supplier to find out what the end user needs the product for. Many aspects such as electrical specifications, lifetime expectations, and grid set up have to be taken into account before a product can be sold. “It is the responsibility of the supplier to recommend products that will offer more capabilities appropriate to that need. Customers must have a good understanding of what the various products can offer.”
Gruner points out that the smart metering market is finally getting some traction and recognition. He adds that as a result, more innovative services will be introduced and customers will begin to see the real value behind the smart meter.