Azbil Kimmon Co, Ltd (Azbil) is a leading gas and water meter manufacturer in Japan. X2M, through its Japanese subsidiary, won a competitive tender to licence its software for integration with Azbil’s gas meters.
Azbil sought a platform provider that supported a data collection, predictive demand and logistics management solution to integrate into its gas meter hardware for marketing to its utility customers.
(a) Residential and commercial bottled gas in Japan is metered. However, without knowledge of how much gas is left in the bottle, customers can run out of gas.
(b) Just-in-case replacement incurs inefficiencies as gas bottles that are partially full are in transit.
(c) Drivers typically don’t use the most efficient route, resulting in larger number of fleet vehicles required and overtime pay.
Created centralised platform to act as point of coordination to remotely monitor usage and residual levels of gas over LTE-M networks.
(d) This usage and residual gas level information shall be available for use by a predictive algorithm to determine when the gas bottle will run out.
(e) Dynamic task lists for the drivers can be generated that minimise time taken to replace and kilometres travelled without the customer ever having to run out of gas.
An initial trial by Azbil at a large Japanese gas company showed up to 20% logistics cost savings
(f) X2M won the contract in December 2018 to deploy a production meter data management system within Azbil by June 2019 to form the basis of their gas bottle logistics solution.
(g) SaaS license and services contract executed in March 2020.
(h) The rollout under the SaaS licensing contract now exceeds 200,000 devices.
Taiwan has 25 regional gas companies supplying gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers.
Several of these gas companies sought a solution that could monitor and control the gas meters in residential apartments. In addition, gas companies wanted a cheap and simple way to record and report on gas pressure at grid stations.
In these high rise buildings, a meter reader travels to each floor and enters each apartment to get to meter on balcony. Residents do not like being disturbed and there have been incidents of theft from apartments.
In the event of a gas leak, a gas company representative needs to visit the apartment to turn off the gas and make it safe.
For small gas grid stations, the gas company has no idea if the pressure is at the correct level and if the pressure conversion is operating correctly.
Delivered a centralised monitoring and control platform to monitor and control the gas meters and grid pressure stations. Communications initially using Zigbee and later using LoraWAN and NBIoT was implemented.
Residential gas meters are monitored and if leaks or pressure issues are detected, the gas meter valve can be turned off.
Monthly billing is performed without any visit to the apartment required.
Pressure is monitored in grid stations and alerts generated if there are pressure issues or if other station alarm conditions arise. Pressure readings are recorded every 15 minutes and provided for analysis.
Several contracts are in place operating through the Chunghwa Telecom and Far EasTone telecommunications networks.