New innovations showcased on UK Pavilion at MEE 2014

One of IPEC's portable spot-test systems in use. (Image source: IPEC)One of IPEC's portable spot-test systems in use. (Image source: IPEC)The UK Pavilion at Middle East Electricity once again proved to be a hive of activity, with many companies displaying new products and innovations

Enjoying its first visit to MEE was IPEC, a specialist in on-line partial discharge (PD) testing of medium voltage and high voltage plant.

“At the moment, the Middle East is a real up-and-coming area for us,” said Carl Eastham, Business Development Manager at IPEC. “In particular we’re getting a lot of traction with the portable partial discharge spot test devices.”

Having specialised in permanent monitoring systems, the Manchester-based company’s portable spot test systems, such as the PD-SGS, have proved particularly in the region.

“The SGS is dedicated to investigating partial discharge on medium voltage switchgear, 11kV to 33kV,” said Eastham.

“We’ve been involved in tenders in Saudi Arabia and then we just completed a big order into Qatar. In the Middle East they’re particularly interested in portable spot-test systems.”

IPEC, which is celebrating its 20th year, used MEE as a forum to raise its profile within the region. The Manchester-based company increased its turnover by 50 per cent last year, largely fuelled by portable system sales.

"We're a growing company," said Eastham. "In the Middle East service is key. The utility companies here don't just want products, they want the service that goes along with it.

"So we've recently doubled the size of our service team so we can offer better service and get people on the ground."

Middle East Electricity formed the first event that Instrument Transformers had displayed its new product line of medium voltage, resin cast transformers.

The company, which is historically known for its low voltage products, has been in business for more than 40 years and manufactures all of its products within the UK.

"We currently have three ranges of products: single phase, three phase and we also have an outdoor range," said Paul Munro, Marketing Director at Instrument Transformers.

"Our medium voltage three-phase unit is generally used in the UK only but with so many UK companies having a presence here, the standards and products that they use are almost automatically integrated into their equipment here.

"Rather than ship all the way from their UK base, the local facility can actually order directly from us so it cuts out the hassle and the lead time for a lot of them and they can interact directly with us."

Munro added that Instrument Transformers, which supplies products for industrial, petrochemical and power infrastructure applications, recently doubled its factory size in the UK.

"That was all part of expanding our presence," he explained. "So although the markets have been depressed, we've invested heavily in capital plant, equipment, design; all the elements that will make us more successful in the future."

The company currently gets 15 to 20 per cent of its business from the region.

"With the amount of business that is here, we could do significantly better and adding these new products will certainly help us," added Munro.

Another company unveiling a new product range was Broyce Control, which plans to release a new product on to the market every single month.

"We're launching a whole new 17.5 mm range of products at the moment which are microprocessor based," said David Gough, Director of Broyce Control.

"Our multifunction timer has a wider supply range than all of our competitors at the moment that we're aware of."

The company's new releases, which amount to around 20 products, include three phase monitors as well as voltage and current control relays.

"We invest 10 per cent of our turnover into R&D for developing new products," said Gough. "The idea is we're launching one new product every month at the moment."

Broyce Control, which celebrated its 50th year last year, does a lot of bespoke, customer-specific work.

"Most of our designs are customer driven, which is why we put such a focus on our R&D department," said Gough.

"Over 70 per cent of our production is actually exported these days to the Middle East and the Far East, which are very key areas of ours."

As in previous years, the UK pavilion at Middle East Electricity 2014 was managed by BEAMA, the UK electrotechnical trade industry association.

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