ABB partner MKE doubles factory size to serve growing drives’ business

2015-10-19 - ABB’s authorised value provider MKE Engineering Group has doubled the size of its factory devoted to variable-speed drives and automation solutions. This allows the company to offer more stock availability and expand its drives’ repair service.

MKE’s drives systems department is now housed in a 3,150 square feet facility a short distance from the main plant. The dedicated facility provides more space for stock holding, including ABB’s latest standard and industrial variable-speed drives.

The new facility is headed up by the existing Drive Systems Manager, Steve Bootes: “The drive systems department has grown rapidly in recent years. We now employ 11 engineers and a total of 19 staff, up from the five we had seven years ago. The only feasible option was to move into a dedicated facility.”

The growing business has seen MKE’s drives systems department achieve a turnover of around £3 million a year, an increase from £750,000 of seven years ago.

The increased space means MKE can hold stocks for next day delivery of all major ranges of ABB drives, with ratings up to 90 kW. This helps meet the fast turn round time demanded by customers such as water utilities who have applications that need to be running again with minimum delay.

“We have worked for water utilities and infrastructure companies such as Transport for London, “ says Bootes, “but can also meet the needs of a wide range of other customers.”

In addition, the facility will carry out panel building, offering complete turn key solutions for all stages of drive system manufacture, from the initial concept and design through to construction, installation and commissioning. There is also a dedicated area for customer acceptance testing.

The new facility also acts as a centre for the supply and installation of soft starts and offers energy saving audits and harmonic surveys.

The increased space will allow MKE to stock more hire drives. Thirty drives up to 400 kW are currently available, allowing customers to fit a temporary drive to see how it can benefit their application or to act as a substitute for a drive being serviced.

The new facility will also act as a repair centre for ABB drives up to 400 kW. “We want to expand what we do with ABB,” says Bootes, “and widening our drives’ repair services is a part of this plan.” MKE has access to the ABB installed base tool, an online database that stores information on thousands of ABB drives installed across the UK. Data includes drives’ configurations and components as well as information on customer, the drive’s application, commissioning and service reports and back-up of parameters.

“This gives us information on some 3,000 ABB drives installed in customers’ plants, “ says Bootes. “It lets us see when a drive might need servicing. This means we can be proactive and approach the customer to advise of a servicing need. We are always aware of the status of the drives installed base.”

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    The team at MKE including Andrew Savage, managing director (front row, fourth from right); Steve Bootes, Drives Systems Manager (front row, third from right); Kevin Richardson, Drive Sales Engineer (back row, first from right); and Luke Archer, Senior Drives Engineer (second from left).
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