Reduce Risk of Electricity Theft with Vanma Lock: Cost Effective and Audit Trail

Vanma, a China-based security company specializing in smart access control systems, provides utilities with a cost-effective solution for monitoring and preventing power theft.

In developing countries such as India, electricity theft is one of the most common problems, not only causing economic losses, but also the abnormal power supply. It hampers the operation of industries and factories due to a shortage of electricity supply, causing a shortage of electricity supply to households which also results in a loss of government revenue.

Electricity theft is also common in developed countries such as the US and the UK. According to reports, about $500 million in electricity has been stolen in Canada and as much as $6 billion in the United States. Many who cannot afford to pay their electricity bills routinely connect wires directly to circuit breakers, tamper with meters or steal meters from vacant homes.

Challenge

In the fall of 2020, the Federal Electricity Commission of Mexico put forward a request that the meter box adopts an access control system that can meet the audit records and set the unlocking authority, so as to improve the supervision of the public meter box and prevent unauthorized opening of the meter box to tamper with the readings.

Within three months, Vanma designed and implemented an effective access management solution for the Federal Electricity Commission.

After research, it is found that there are three common types of meter box locks in the past, which are twist locks, latch locks, and key locks. Lockpicking tutorials are ubiquitous on the web, emboldening those malicious actors. After the measurement and design of the R&D team, it was decided to change the lock structure of the meter box to a passive structure in order to monitor the unlock record and control the unlock authority.

Using programmable smart keys and locks, organizations can manage access to any meter box. A detailed audit trail is stored in the key every time access is attempted, increasing accountability and reducing the risk of tampering with readings.

Unlike similar products on the market, Vanma Lock does not require wiring or batteries, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to open them due to dead batteries or power outages. The project operation officer said: “Vanma Lock System fits our budget perfectly, and judging from the current usage, its maintenance cost is almost non-existent. Compared with the previous solutions, this is a correct choice.”

Vanma Lock initially used the system to secure meter boxes but began expanding the system to other applications.

Application

The final project decided to use a purchase order of 5000 custom meter box locks and software. The system includes custom meter box locks, electronic fingerprint Bluetooth keys, APP, and software platforms.

1.      There should be no less than two operators (electric meter readers) who go to the site to conduct electricity inspections.

2.      The operator brings the Bluetooth electronic key to the job site, and connects to the server through the mobile APP to obtain the unlocking authority.

3.      Verify the fingerprint. After the fingerprint verification is successful, the lock can be unlocked. The APP synchronizes the unlock record, time and personnel to the background.

4.      Carry out meter inspection and meter reading.

5.      At the end of the task, obtain the lock permission through the APP, verify the fingerprint, and perform the lock operation. The APP will synchronize the unlock record, time and personnel to the background.

With the Vanma Lock solution, the Federal Electricity Commission can accurately understand the situation of each meter box, and the customized meter box lock system minimizes the number of on-site keys. Provides organizations with an audit trail of everyone who has accessed the enclosure.

About Vanma Solutions

Vanma is a security company specializing in access control systems for basic public facilities and has been implementing security solutions for the public and private sectors for 21 years. For more information on Vanma Lock products, please visit www.jwm-rfid.com.

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About the Author: Chole Wu