Archives for News

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.

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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 info@pandigroup.co.uk.

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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.

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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 info@pandigroup.co.uk.

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P & I welcome three new service engineers

New Service Engineers

(From L-R) Ubay Sohail, Mark Mills, Ian Sherwood.

During January and February, we have welcomed three new service engineers to the team, Ian Sherwood, Ubay Sohail and Mark Mills.

Ian was the first to joined us on Monday 7th January, having spent the last 10 years working for a banknote and passport manufacturer. Completing his Advanced Engineering Apprenticeship in Mechanical Engineering with the company, Ian went on to become one of their mechanical maintenance engineers.

With a strong mechanical engineering background, Ian decided he wanted a change of scenery and industry, commenting:

“I have always been interested in critical power and would like to develop my electrical skills and qualifications, P & I seemed to be a good fit to allow me to achieve this. I have always worked at one site and this role allows me to travel, also the company being a family business, attracted me to the role.

So far, everyone at the company has been friendly and welcoming. I am enjoying the job and I look forward to progressing within the company and adding to my skill set. Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome!”

Ubay was the next to join us on Monday 21st January. Having completed a Masters in Marine Engineering, Ubay has spent the last 4 years in the marine industry, working for both a multinational defence, security, and aerospace company and a maritime charity.

Ubay commented:

“Having worked for a large organisation and a charity, I was looking to join a small local business. With my previous roles, I spent a lot of time away on-board ships so I wanted to find something based on land, but not office based. The field service engineer role seemed like the perfect fit and my skill set from the marine industry is definitely transferable to the critical power industry. I am enjoying the role so far and it is giving me the challenge I was looking for.”

Finally, on Monday 4th February, Mark joined us.

Mark has over 20 years’ experience working with diesel engines and has spent the last year and a half in the critical power industry.

Mark commented:

“Having spent the last year and a half working on generator equipment, I wanted to further my skill set in other aspects of critical power. I was attracted to the role at P & I because they aren’t just a generator service company so I knew there would be the opportunity to learn more about the installation and UPS side of the business, which interests me. I also liked the fact they are a family run business.”

From everyone here at P & I, we would like to welcome Ian, Ubay and Mark 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.

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P & I employee completes apprenticeship

Nathan Apprenticeship CompletionCongratulations to Nathan Jackett who has recently completed his Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship with P & I.

Nathan joined P & I in June 2018 as a service control apprentice and was employed via P & I’s apprenticeship partner, PETA. PETA Ltd is a Hampshire-based training organisation set up in 1970 and is owned by over 330-member companies including Portsmouth Water, Stannah Stairlifts, Wightlink, Portsmouth International Port, Kenwood, Airbus, Boeing and many others.

Nathan commented:

“I’m not going to lie, completing my apprenticeship wasn’t easy but I was determined. I was very lucky to have such supportive colleagues who would help and guide me when I needed it. I have to say a huge thank you to my line manager, Ashley Benfield, for all of his support and guidance. I’m really looking forward to my future with P & I.”

As part of Nathan’s apprenticeship, he spent four days a week in the office carrying out on the job training, with one-day release to attend PETA’s Business Training Centre. During the one-day release, Nathan would complete the classroom-based part of his apprenticeship.

Dean Curry, Trainer Assessor within Business Training at PETA Ltd, commented:

“Nathan did really well passing his Level 3 Business Administration Diploma. When Nathan started, he had little work experience or industry knowledge and had a steep learning curve which was challenging at times for him. The same can be said for the Business Diploma and Level 2 Functional Skills Math, in particular.

However, with some hard work from Nathan, support and motivation from his line manager, Ashley and his colleagues, Nathan has achieved. He should be proud of himself and also grateful for being with an employer with a clear interest in giving people a chance and developing them.”

Commenting on Nathan’s achievement, Ashley said:

“I am so pleased for Nathan, it’s not been easy for him but he remained dedicated to his apprenticeship. It’s a great feeling as a line manager to see my staff develop and grow during their time with the company. Throughout Nathan’s apprenticeship, he has maintained a great attitude and has come a long way since his very first day with us. I’m looking forward to seeing how Nathan’s career develops and proud that P & I were a part of it.”

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P & I achieve CHAS Premium Plus accreditation

CHAS LogoWe are delighted to announce that we have achieved the CHAS Premium Plus accreditation.

CHAS (The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) was created in 1997 by experienced health and safety professionals to improve health and safety standards across the United Kingdom.

Last year, CHAS introduced their new accreditation packages and understanding the importance of these accreditation’s, P & I applied for the CHAS Premium Plus. This accreditation is awarded to companies who have:

“…demonstrated compliance with the CHAS standards in line with SSIP Core Criteria and UK H&S Legislation and has been awarded accreditation to the requirements of the CDM Regulations 2015. Additionally, has demonstrated full compliance with 6 modules of PAS 91.”

The CHAS Premium Plus includes the following:

  • Health & Safety Assessment
  • Environmental Verification
  • Quality Management Verification
  • Equal Opportunities & Diversity Verification
  • Financial & Business Standing Verification
  • Anti-Bribery & Corruption Verification
  • Modern Slavery Verification

Commenting on P & I’s achievement, managing director, Paul Benfield commented:

“Achieving this accreditation shows, not only to our current customers but to our potential customers, that we are committed to delivering the highest level of quality and service. It also allows potential customers to see, at a glance, what type of business they are engaging with. P & I bid for many tenders throughout the year and this accreditation will help us streamline our in-house bidding process. I would like to thank, Nikki Cushion, our purchase ledger & administration manager for all of her hard work in helping us achieve this accreditation.”

To find out more about CHAS and their accreditation’s, please visit their website.

 

CHAS Certificate

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P & I welcome business administration apprentice

Isabel Business Administration ApprenticeOn Monday 17th September, P & I welcomed business administration apprentice, Isabel Cowley, to the team.

Isabel will be working towards completing the Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship via P & I’s apprenticeship partner, PETA. PETA Ltd is a Hampshire-based training organisation set up in 1970 and is owned by over 330 member companies including Portsmouth Water, Stannah Stairlifts, Wightlink, Portsmouth International Port, Kenwood, Airbus, Boeing and many others.

Isabel commented:

“I knew when I left school that I didn’t want to go into full-time education. The thought of earning whilst learning encouraged me to look into apprenticeships. I originally started a nursery apprenticeship but decided that wasn’t for me and went on to join P & I. I am really enjoying my role here, I get involved in a variety of tasks and I like the independence.”

Alongside on the job training, Isabel will also attend PETA’s Business Training Centre located in central Portsmouth where she will undertake the classroom-based part of the apprenticeship. During the apprenticeship, Isabel will receive plenty of support and guidance from her line manager, Nikki Cushion and her dedicated PETA mentor.

Alan Blair, P & I’s Operations Director, commented:

“Apprenticeships are a great career and learning opportunity for anyone looking to earn and learn at the same time. Isabel has fitted straight into the P & I family and I can see she is going to be a real asset to P & I. I would like to wish Isabel every success with her apprenticeship and I look forward to seeing her progress through the company.”

 

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

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P & I welcome electrical supervisor to the projects team

Electrical Supervisor- Jordan PeskettOn Monday 7th January, we welcomed electrical supervisor, Jordan Peskett, to the team.

Jordan spent over 10 years with an electrical company, working his way from electrotechnical apprentice through to site supervisor. Deciding he wanted a change of scenery to allow him to gain more experience and work in a more niche field, Jordan joined P & I.

Having completed his week-long induction with operations director, Alan Blair, Jordan is now learning the ropes from the projects team. As an electrical supervisor, Jordan will fall under the leadership of projects manager, Alan Houghton, who commented:

“Jordan is a welcomed addition to the projects team. As P & I expands, we require skilled engineers like Jordan to assist us with our project work. I look forward to working with Jordan and wish him every success for his future with P & I.”

Jordan’s role will see him working both in the office and onsite, he will also become a Principal Duty Holder (PDH) for P & I. The PDH is:

“…a person appointed by the business with responsibility for the maintenance of the overall standard and quality of the electrical installation work undertaken.”

From everyone here at P & I, we would like to welcome Jordan 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.

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P & I welcome Alan Mak MP and Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick MP

Alan Mak MP

(L-R) P & I’s Jon Terzza & Paul Benfield alongside Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick MP & Alan Mak MP

On Friday 14th December, we hosted local MP Alan Mak and Treasury Minister Robert Jenrick MP at our headquarters in Havant, to see first-hand P & I’s impressive growth, meet staff and discuss local and national issues.

Hosted in our dedicated training room, we were delighted to welcome Robert as our guest speaker for our business leaders’ meeting. Robert was appointed as Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on 9th January 2018 and joined us to discuss the Budget 2018, as well as infrastructure, investment and productivity. Attendees also included other local, senior business leaders.

After the business leaders’ meeting, Robert was given the grand tour of P & I by operations director, Alan Blair and business development manager, Jon Terzza. He was introduced to some of the staff and shown around the fleet, including our fast response motorbike (pictured).

Paul Benfield, managing director of P & I commented:

“It was a pleasure to welcome both Alan and Robert to P & I. To be able to invite local businesses from Havant and share insights into our businesses, including challenges, is a great opportunity. Being able to meet directly with Ministers who have an impact on our businesses and share our thoughts and concerns, is a huge privilege. We would like to thank both Alan and Robert for taking the time out of their busy schedule to visit our headquarters. We hope our attendees found the meeting informative and insightful.”

Commenting on the event, Alan Mak MP said:

“I would like to thank Paul and his staff for hosting a productive meeting at their headquarters. It was great to see a room full of business leaders from within my constituency and hear their thoughts on the topics we discussed. P & I is a fantastic local business, and I’m delighted to see them going from strength to strength.”

For more information about Treasury Minister Rob Jenrick MP, visit his bio page.

For more information about Alan Mak MP, visit Alan’s website.

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P & I welcome design engineer

Design Engineer - Alex SaOn Monday 3rd September, P & I welcomed design engineer, Alex Sa, to the team.

Early on in Alex’s education, he decided he wanted to work within the critical power industry so during his Masters in Electrical Engineering, he worked for a leading power quality solutions and services provider. Having completed his Masters in Portugal, Alex moved to the UK in 2014 and worked as a design engineer in various roles, developing his skills in automation.

Commenting on joining P & I, Alex said:

“I have always wanted to work in the critical power industry so when the design engineer role came up at P & I, I had to apply. I am looking forward to learning more about the critical power industry and developing my skills.”

Alex is now learning the ropes from design and development manager, David Allen after completing his induction with operations director, Alan Blair.

David commented:

“I would like to welcome Alex to P & I and our design team. It is an exciting time to be joining P & I with my plans to expand the design element of the business, in which, Alex will play a key part. I wish Alex every success for his future with P & I.”

From everyone at P & I, we would like to welcome Alex 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.

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P & I’s first female apprentice wins industry award

Ria winning AMPS Awards 2019On Thursday 29th November, Ria Parsley, won the Keith Marshall Training and Personal Development Award at the AMPS Awards 2018.

AMPS (Association of Manufacturers and suppliers of Power generating Systems) is the trade association and industry voice for the UK’s world-leading diesel and gas-engine power generating sector and associated businesses.

The Keith Marshall Training and Personal Development Award sponsored by WIP Magazine, was judged by a panel of industry professionals and is awarded to:

“Any member who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and achievement through undertaking extra training to advance their career as well as gaining knowledge and experience for their own personal development. This may either be an apprentice or an existing employee who has made efforts to further their career.”

During November 2017, Ria completed work experience with P & I as part of her BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Engineering at Havant and South Downs College. Having impressed all of the staff with her attitude and work ethic during the week-long work experience, Ria was offered an apprenticeship as a service and maintenance engineer and joined in July 2018.

Ria was supported by fellow colleagues, Paul Benfield, Paul Terzza, Alex Thomas and Rob Duffy for the 4th annual awards held at The Midland Hotel in Manchester. The team were welcomed by Marilyn Monroe lookalike, Annabel York and enjoyed entertainment from comedian, Sean Collins. The evening also saw £800 raised for local charity, Wood Street Mission, a registered children’s charity that helps children and families living in Manchester and Salford.

Commenting on Ria’s award win, managing director, Paul Benfield said:

“I had the privilege of attending the awards in Manchester alongside Ria. To win a national industry award only 4 months into her apprenticeship, is such a huge achievement. We are very proud of Ria and she continues to impress us with her great attitude and work ethic. I look forward to seeing Ria progress through her apprenticeship into a fully qualified engineer. The future is in safe hands with engineers like Ria.”

Well done Ria, from everyone at P & I!

 

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