Smart grid solutions provider Sensus has announced plans to open a new facility in the US city of Covington to expand operations for the development of metering solutions.

According to a press statement, the new Sensus facility expected to be operational early 2016 will design and manufacture firm’s M400 FlexNet Base Station and a variety of utility solutions.`

Commenting on the development, President of the smart grid solutions provider, Randy Bays said ‘In order to improve lead times and drive six sigma quality initiatives Sensus decided to bring M400 manufacturing in-house.’

Mr Bays added “Wirelessly and securely transporting critical data for electric, water and gas utilities provides the basis for smart infrastructure.”

The M400 launched in 2006 supports multiple applications and helps utilities save significant operating cost by utilizing the point-to-multipoint technology to isolate and restore outages faster.

The long-range radio network provides a scalable two-way communications infrastructure for smart meters and sensors.

Sensus' footprints in smart grid development

The development marks Sensus' continuation to increase its presence in the development of smart grid solutions.

In early November, Sensus announced that it reached an agreement to buy UK technology research and development (R&D) firm Sentec in a bid to expand its position in the Internet of Things market.

Sensus explained in a statement that the acquisition of the Cambridge-based research firm with expertise in mechanical engineering and embedded firmware development, will grow the metering manufacturer presence in emerging and transformational technologies.

Commenting on the buy-out, Mr Bays said: “The agreement with Sentec further illustrates our commitment to R&D spending which has continued to increase every year since 2012 and is now more than US$85 million per year.”

The progress comes as Sentec is currently developing a cost-effective metrology for IoT sensors providing data to enable demand response and load control initiatives, Metering & Smart Energy International has learnt.

UK-headquartered Sentec is also developing low-cost sensors for energy-efficient washing machines that capture information on water and energy use.

Mark England, chief technical officer at Sentec, commented: “We’ve been a partner of Sensus for the past 10 years and helped develop some of the key technologies used in their water and electric meters.”