A common language for meters

To secure the interoperability required to ensure a seamless flow of data and smooth upgrades towards new applications, Landis+Gyr, Itron and Iskra founded the IDIS Industry Association in 2010. The IDIS association develops, maintains and promotes publicly available technical interoperability specifications, known as ‘IDIS specifications, based on open standards and supports their implementation in interoperable products.

Rigorous testing to ensure high standards
Additionally, the association manages, administers and protects the IDIS quality label, and supports rigorous interoperability testing to ensure high quality standards. KEMA is the global leader in consultancy, testing and certification for the energy and utility industry, and has broad experience in testing smart meters and related activities.

“With KEMA, we have found an independent and highly respected test institute to certify IDIS equipment,” said Peter Koller, VP Solutions EMEA at Landis+Gyr and VP Marketing of the IDIS association. “With this step IDIS is now a reality, and with its openness and international standard based approach, IDIS is closing the gap to achieve manufacturer independent interoperability.”

The agreement and subsequent testing enables IDIS to offer the required tools and the necessary testing environment to help utilities and manufacturers develop and produce truly interoperable metering equipment. The testing tool developed by IDIS performs more than 1,200 interoperability test cases per meter. Each test case is based on the IDIS specifications, all details of which are publicly available.

This is a further significant step forward towards the availability of manufacturer-independent, interoperable smart meters. With this step, all utilities, in particular small and medium sized ones, will be able to profit from a smart meter deployment without the need to write their own specifications and develop their own testing facility.

Future-proof technology
The Landis+Gyr E450 is among the first IDIS meters. “With the IDIS certified E 450 meter, we have taken an important step to guarantee security of investment for our customers,” says Landis+Gyr Product Manager Jani Maaranen. “It was our intention to offer a meter according to an approved standard, tested for interoperability by a third party and we have achieved it. I’m convinced that the number of IDIS based products will grow because other manufacturers see the importance of the initiative and want to become part of it.”

Open for upgrades
“The communication firmware of the E450 is downloadable according to the IDIS specifications. The firmware architecture of the E450 is designed in a way that allows upgrades and the adding of functions,” explains Maaranen. The meter will hit the market in 2012.