Archives for March 2019

P & I welcome electrical design engineer

Electrical Design EngineerOn Monday 11th March, P & I welcomed electrical design engineer, Vikki Ford, to the team.

Having worked throughout the years, in both the critical power industry and the fire protection industry, Vikki has extensive experience as an electrical design engineer. Vikki is a familiar face to many at P & I, following her days at Dawson-Keith, where she worked with a number of current P & I staff members. P & I’s managing director, Paul Benfield, is an ex-Dawson-Keith employee and created P & I following Dawson-Keith’s relocation to the North of England.

Having completed P & I’s induction training, Vikki is now learning the ropes from her colleagues in the design department. As part of our design team, Vikki will fall under the leadership of design and development manager, David Allen.

David commented:

“This is a really exciting time for the design department, within the last six months, we have taken on two new design engineers to support the design requirement of the work coming into P & I. Vikki is a welcomed addition to the team and with her extensive background in electrical design, she is going to be a huge asset to the team. I look forward to working with Vikki and wish her every success for her future with P & I.”

From everyone at P & I, we would like to welcome Vikki to the team.

If you are interested in joining the P & I team, please visit our vacancies page for more information on the different opportunities we have available. However, if we do not have any current vacancies, we would still like to hear from you as we are always on the lookout for talented individuals.

Read more

P & I respond to Storm Gareth

Storm GarethLast week, Storm Gareth hit the UK bringing gale force winds and heavy rain. Storm Gareth is the third storm to be named this year, after Erik in February and Freya earlier this month.

The Met Office had various yellow weather warnings in place throughout the UK for strong winds and heavy rain. The storm caused travel disruption, power cuts and damage to buildings across the country.

In the event of bad weather like this, businesses may need to hire emergency generators to ensure their business continuity. Having to close your business due to a power cut caused by bad weather, can be very costly. We thought we would put together a handful of cases from last week, showing how we kept our customers businesses running during the storm:

On Tuesday 12th March at 10am, we received a call from one of our customers who wanted to hire four generators for their four water booster sites. All sites had power, however, our customer wanted to ensure business continuity for the duration of the storm. P & I supplied a 1250kVA, 800kVA, 550kVA and a 500kVA with unlimited running and fuel management to all four sites.

Our service coordinator, James Dodd, jumped straight into action and quoted our customer for the hire of the four generators including installation. We were given the go ahead at around 11am and all sets arrived onsite in Kent at 2.30pm. Our engineers got to work installing the generators at each of the sites, with the 550kVA site requiring a cable run of 75 metres. By 5pm all sites were up and running.

Other emergency installs on that day included, the supply of a 275kVA standby hire generator to Faversham and 100kVA standby hire generator to Southwick, both wired in for automatic start.

On top of that, we attended 6 emergency breakdowns, where our highly skilled engineers had all generators operational by the time they left site.

If you would like to discuss your business continuity plan, in the event of bad weather, please contact one of our team on 023 9278 3450 or

Read more

P & I apprentice takes part in Honda Training

HondaIn January, our second-year apprentice, Connor Jones, attended one of Honda’s three-day industrial training courses.

Throughout the three-day course, Connor completed the following training:

  • Overview of the Honda generator range
  • Different types of generators
  • Load bank testing
  • Basic electrics
  • Correct use of a multi-meter
  • Principles behind generating electricity
  • Ohms Law and Power Triangle
  • Generator servicing
  • Carburettor removal, strip, rebuild and re-fit
  • Electrical troubleshooting Honda generators
  • Sales technical training

Connor commented:

“I really enjoyed my time on the Honda course. We had such informative instructors, who didn’t just go through the theory, they showed us how to do things practically. We were taken through the full Honda range and had the opportunity to take the generators apart. I think all the information and the practical sessions are really going to help me moving forward.”

Senior Area Sales Manager for Honda Industrial, Steve Jeffcock, commented:

“I have worked with P & I for many years and they are one of our Honda Authorised Dealers. It’s great to see the investment P & I put into the training and development of their apprentices. Connor did really well throughout the training, I hope he can put everything he has learnt to good use and it will help him with his apprenticeship.”

For successfully completing the course, Connor received a certificate from the Honda team.

For more information about our Honda range, please visit our online shop.

Read more

P & I talk about what they are doing to prepare for Brexit

BrexitUnless you have been hiding under a rock for nearly three years, you will know that on Thursday 23rd June 2016, the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). To follow the process of leaving, Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty was triggered back in March 2017, giving both the UK and EU, two years to agree on the term of our ‘divorce’.

On Friday 29th March at 11pm (UK time), the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal, so we interviewed service manager, Ashley Benfield, to find out what P & I are doing in the build up to the UK’s departure.

What do you think could be the biggest impact of Brexit on the critical power industry?

For anyone in our industry, we would be looking at a potential impact on lead times for critical spares from the EU. Purchasing new equipment could also see extended lead times and potential price increases, as the majority of suppliers are based in Europe. We have already seen prices rise in the build up to Brexit so it is highly likely, these prices will continue to rise after Brexit.

Do you have a business continuity plan in place, in the event of a hard Brexit?

Yes, we have been actively increasing our stock holdings of common parts, to reduce the impact of lead times for our customers. We have been assisting our customers with their business continuity plans for Brexit, by advising them to carry out testing. This will allow P & I to solve any equipment issues before we leave the EU.

Do P & I purchase goods from Europe?

Nearly all of the spare parts we purchase are obtained from the UK, however, having audited our supply chain, we found that all major distribution hubs are in Europe. As discussed in the first question, capital equipment like new generators are supplied from within the EU so we could see a potential impact on lead times and prices moving forward.

What plans do P & I have to alleviate the impact of Brexit?

Due to the potential disruption that the European hubs could cause, as mentioned in a previous question, we have been stockpiling common parts in our warehouse from multiple suppliers we have relationships with. We do not believe that we can do much more to ease the potential problem.

In the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, will P & I still be able to fulfil their contractual duties to their customers?

Yes, a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would not impact our engineers from carrying out normal service work. There could potentially be delays for those customers purchasing hardware, however, this shouldn’t be an issue for P & I as all of our major suppliers have warehouses in the UK.

What advice would you give your customers in the build up to Brexit?

I would advise our customers to do the following:

  • Test your equipment,so any issues can be resolved prior to us leaving the EU. We would strongly recommend this was a black start test, which simulates a real-life mains fail.
  • Fill your diesel tanks to their maximum to prepare for potential issues with price fluctuations and availability. It will also allow formaximum run time in the event of a power failure.
  • Consider rental generators for high level critical sites, for example, sites that pose a risk to life or environmental issues, in the event of a power outage. This would be a preventative measure, should the worst happen with Brexit.

If you would like to discuss your critical power plans in the build up to Brexit, please call our team on 023 9278 3450 or email us on

Read more

Contact us