Meters in motion

Illustration | design hoch drei GmbH & Co. KG
Marginal Column

March 2012

 

A Chinese energy company depends on an individualized solution drawn from the TS 2plus modular system for the final inspection of its electricity meters.

 
 

Intelligent electrical grids need intelligent electricity meters – it’s as simple as that for the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC). This Chinese energy company is responsible for a large portion of that nation’s power grids and procures its meters from a subsidiary – the demand is gigantic. The inspection line for the devices is especially demanding. The meters have to be moved to numerous workstations within a confined space and there are numerous measuring points on all four sides of the meter itself.

Like building blocks

For this complex task, the energy company is deploying a simple yet efficient tool: the TS 2plus transfer system. It comprises standard elements that can be combined individually to meet specific customer needs. “It’s like a set of building blocks; we can set up a huge range of transport configurations using just a few different elements,” explains Steven Yu, Assembly Technology Manager at Bosch Rexroth in China. Thus, the TS 2plus fits into the complex layout of the electric meter testing line, which contains numerous curves, all within a compact floor space.

The modular principle also provides many additional advan­tages: standard components exhibit consistently high quality, are easy and inexpensive to replace and permit great flexibility. Consequently, the TS 2plus can also be integrated in existing test stations extremely well. For example, in the course of the inspec­tion, all solder joints in the meter must be checked – and these are located on all four sides. For this specialized requirement, Rexroth developed an open workpiece holder system that en­ables the test system to directly access all solder joints without having to turn the meter or workpiece holder – which greatly simplifies the inspection process.

A gate instead of a bridge

Further well-conceived design details testify to a solution tai­lored to meet the customer’s needs. During the work, the operator must also be able to access the electricity meter from inside the transport system. This is made possible by a vertically hinged conveyor segment. The inspection line is halted only briefly as needed, the conveyor segment is opened and the line is restarted once the operator enters. This is not only convenient, but also saves space that would have been lost through a bridge design. Intelligent electricity meters demand intelligent solutions.