Kubler helps increase the reliability of kWh meters and save on costsIn a number of countries manufacturers of kWh meters now have to offer a long-term warranty on their products. Since 1.10.2005 the Fritz Kubler GmbH Company of Villingen-Schwenningen in Germany, the market leader in the manufacture of counters for energy metering, now offers a 5 year warranty on all of its devices that are built into kWh meters.
When it comes to supposedly cheaper, sometimes illegal, copies of German or European products made in the Far East, then any warranty offered is dubious. Such products, often of unknown origin, come from different sources, so it comes therefore as no surprise that batch quality and reliability can be very irregular. Service, advice and technical support fall by the wayside. If unfortunately this happens with critical components, such as the counter itself, then expected cost savings can quickly turn into large on-costs. In addition there are many patents in the field of counting mechanisms that a manufacturer of kWh meters could unwittingly infringe if he uses counterfeit copies.
The 5 year warranty programme satisfies the customer need for reliability with lower costs. It is also an important marketing argument when selling electricity meters according to the experience of a number of kWh meter manufacturers, who have just made use of the Kubler programme for the first time. One manufacturer commented:
"The Kubler programme helps us because we do not just have to try to win a contract solely due to a cheaper price. It would be nice if we had a 5 year warranty on other quality components."
Kubler has over 40 years experience in counter production. Many patents ensure high technical reliability and quality. In the design phase Kubler works closely with the customer to fine-tune the product. A wide variety of both standard and customised versions offer low-cost solutions for incorporation into kWh meters.
The product range includes micro counters (K series) as well as stepper-motor driven cyclometer displays (KWH 17) and LCD counting modules.
The patented K-series of electromechanical micro pulse counters are the only products available on the market that are both shock resistant and at the same time 100% unaffected by magnetic fields. This as been tested by the PTB (German National Metrology Institute) making it easier for a manufacturer of kWh electricity meters to get PTB approval. The devices are very compact, with a front cut-out for example of only 24x14mm and are available in many versions: for PCB or panel mount, reading from above, below or from the side. Special prints, for example with "kWh", or wheels in different colour are possible. The devices are ideal for installation in submeters or for use in compact kWh meters.
The larger stepper-motor driven cyclometer displays (KWH 17) are built to a compact space-saving design. This means for example that in double tariff meters two counting mechanisms can be easily placed tight up against each other. This is made possible by the patented special motor position devised by Kubler. They can be directly soldered onto the PCB without any additional assembly being required; no screws, plug connectors or cables are needed. Just solder them in and the job is done.
The devices are affixed by means of snap-on or screw mechanisms. The maximum temperature range extends from -40 up to +90°C. Interference-free display is ensured thanks a special shielding material, which ensures that the counting mechanisms remain unaffected by external interference factors this saves the need to realise a multiple shielding.
The KWH 17 counting mechanisms are primarily for use in 1 and 3 phase electricity meters. The 7-digit cyclometer counter mechanisms with pulse triggering display the values in 5 x 3 mm figures - i.e. the same size as in traditional Ferraris meters. Triggering can be initiated either by square-wave or needle pulses. Each incoming pulse advances the decimal position of the counting mechanism by 1/100 of a revolution. They can be directly controlled by energy metering ICs. They are superior to traditional counters thanks to their very low 25 mW power consumption.
As an alternative to the electromechanical versions, the Kubler range offers LCD PCB mount versions - these benefit from EEPROM data backup and have been tested and approved for kWh applications. These electronic counters naturally also come ready-to-install and offer 'Plug and Play' simplicity. Thanks to their small size, these modules offer universal usage in the most diverse applications.