While the economy continues to limp along, one market that continues to grow steadily is automated meter reading (AMR). Indeed, the 2002 shipments of four leading AMR vendors rose 19% in 2002, according to "AMR Shipments 2003," a new publication from Chartwell Inc.

Itron, SchlumbergerSema, Distribution Controls Systems Inc. and Hunt Technologies saw their combined AMR module shipments increase to 7.9 million, a rise of about 1.3 million from 2001, according to the report. The 2002 shipment numbers are in line with Chartwell's 2002 predictions about the growth of AMR over the next five years.

Chartwell estimates that overall about 8.4 million modules were shipped last year. Itron, which shipped 3.66 million modules for an estimated 44% marketshare, continues to lead the industry. SchlumbergerSema saw its deliveries decrease slightly, but maintains a second-place market share. Up- and-coming DCSI experienced a 67% rise in shipments in 2002, while competitor Hunt maintained its steady growth in 2002 and is looking for more of the same in 2003.

In addition to three case studies about three large, investor-owned utilities installing AMR systems, "AMR Shipments 2003" also includes an updated database of more than 400 AMR installations in North America. The database breaks down utility installations by vendor, type of technology, and estimated number of AMR units installed and projected to eventually be installed.

One case study examines how and why Wisconsin Public Service Corp. is using its AMR system to collect data hourly for electricity and daily for gas. Another case study illustrates why Dominion Virginia Power is going from a wireless fixed network to a more basic mobile AMR solution. A third case study updates the installation at PPL Electric Corp. in Allentown, Pa.

"AMR Shipments 2003" is part of the AMR Research Series, an ongoing information service that provides utility case studies; topical analysis and research centered around AMR. For information about the Series, the "AMR Shipments 2003" report, or the AMR database, contact Juli Collins at (800) 432-5879 or (404) 237-9099.