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Smart Metering boxes get new ‘smarter polymer’

Battery powered data loggers and electronic pressure controllers are used for water and gas distribution networks to remotely monitor usage through ‘smart meters’. Tex Plastics were approached by a leading ‘smart meter’ manufacturer to help develop its range of innovative products which enable the efficient meter reading of water, gas and LPG networks.

Designed for use in explosive atmospheres

With such a critical piece of equipment, potentially located in a demanding and challenging environment, products needed to be intrinsically safe. Tex Plastics were approached to help revise the outer-casing, which protects the sensitive electronics from the elements.

A full product performance review highlighted several potential improvements

As with any ‘next generation’ product, the aim is to drive performance, quality and reliability. With such a critical piece of equipment in the service proposition, the base material was reviewed as a matter of course. A new technical polymer was found which would meet the product specification and increase the unit strength – especially stressing around threaded inserts. A combination of injection mould toolmaking design enhancements an using over moulding the plastic component manufacturing process was redeveloped.

Stronger new advanced polymer also enhanced the aesthetics, reducing finishing costs

With a redesign of tooling and the change of polymer, ultra thin moulding was achievable and enabled us to hit the clients usability requirements. It also enabled different fixing techniques to be adopted, further reducing plastic component assembly costs. These changes impacted upon the clients inventory, which could be reduced and their supply chain shortened - further reducing the manufacturing costs.

 

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