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Energie du Mali Upgrades DAP Technologies Rugged Handheld Computers
Feb 19, 2010 (01:02 PM EST)

Electricity and water company upgrades to lightweight DAP CE3240B

BAMAKO, Mali, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Energie du Mali (EDM), one of Africa's first utilities companies to transition to a computer-based system for reading meters and logging customer usage, is upgrading the handheld units used by its meter readers. The first of approximately 250 DAP Technologies' CE3240B rugged handheld computers are being deployed this month to zone agents throughout the western African nation.



Since 2004, EDM had been using DAP's CE5000B. While the CE3240B packs in many of the same features as its predecessor with enhanced functionality and processing power, the overall design of the unit has been overhauled.

Smaller, lighter and ergonomically designed, the rugged handhelds are designed to lessen user fatigue. The device weighs 454 grams with the extended-life battery, which is field-swappable and designed to provide a charge for an entire 8-hour shift.  

With DAP's CE3240B, data will be transmitted by WiFi over the local area network and also by GPRS real-time to the back-office server. From there, the integrated solution developed in conjunction with AS Consulting will automatically update the billing system. The outcome will be a faster, more efficient transfer of data that eliminates the need for zone agent to physically visit the main office to download data.

DAP has also customized a special connector for Energie du Mali that allows an automatic reading of the meter index using optical probe. Whereas zone agents could spend 10 minutes performing a manual reading, the information is transmitted in seconds using the new connector.

"Energie du Mali was forward thinking in making the transition from a paper-based system to a computer-based one, and they are reaping the rewards of that decision in terms of increased operational efficiencies, decreased errors and lost data, as well as overall cost savings," said Simon Bowe, general manager for DAP Technologies' EMEA office. "With the upgrade to DAP's CE3240B and by transmitting data using local and wide area wireless communications, they have the opportunity to increase efficiencies further."

DAP Technologies

DAP Technologies, based in Abingdon, U.K.; Tempe, Ariz; and Quebec City, engineers and manufactures rugged handheld and mobile computers for harsh environments. DAP's computers improve data collection, processing and transmission in a variety of industries, including utilities. DAP is an affiliate of Tempe, Ariz.-based RMT Inc.

SOURCE DAP Technologies