Tell us a bit about KC Controls and its relationship with ABB
KC Controls was formed over thirty years ago by two engineers, Klaus and Charles, who at the time were working for Foxboro. Seeing the business opportunity in distributing the product, the two engineers decided to set up their own company, KC Controls. Since then, the company has grown to employ over 25 staff selling and supporting process control and measurement instrumentation products across multiple industries in the UK.
KC Controls became an ABB Channel Partner in 2002, offering a complete range of Measurement and Analytical products, and has worked closely with ABB since then. The scheme has evolved and is now known as the ABB Value Provider (AVP) program. Rigorous in its approach to training, this requires ABB and the AVP to work in close partnership, with commitments and benefits for both.
What are the main benefits of the partnership between KC Controls and ABB?
Since ABB introduced the ABB Value Provider system it has been reliant on its partners having sound and professional business practices, all of which are imperative to obtaining and maintaining Value Provider status. The partnership gives KC Controls access to world class products, while ABB has the benefit of expertise across a wide variety of industries.
Selecting the right technologies can optimise process, provide cost savings, improve process reliability, and reduce plant maintenance. As an ABB Value Provider, we have access to their comprehensive range of measurement products which ensures we can deliver quality solutions to our customers.
How has being an ABB Value Provider assisted with delivering quality solutions for your customers?
The ABB Value Provider program includes certified training which all our internal and external engineers go through, which once passed, certifies them to sell the ABB products. Being able to share this knowledge and expertise with our customers gives them full confidence in the product selection we offer and the services we provide.
KC Controls continues to develop our participation in the ABB Value Provider program, not only strengthening our product knowledge and improving our customer service but also deepening the relationship we have with ABB.
Can you give us an example of how being an ABB Value Provider has helped you to meet a particular customer requirement?
As a team, KC Controls and ABB work together to supply the technologies and expertise to enable our customers to improve performance through enhanced measurement and control. A recent project was the installation of a flowmeter to measure the amount of gas produced at a small power plant. This plant used the gas generated on site by an anaerobic digestion process of reformed food waste; one of the advantages of using this fuel source is that it is diverted from having to store it in landfills and reduce the greenhouse gases to atmosphere.
The flowmeter installation space at the site was limited and as such did not allow for the recommended upstream and downstream piping to condition the flow for optimum measurement. There were also challenging process conditions in low pressure and flow turndown. Knowing these issues, we did a few site visits to fully understand the application. Armed with the information from the site we selected and applied the correct flowmeter. We had the support of ABB in helping us to specify the best products that could meet these challenges and ensure that the customer received the solution they needed.
What do you see as the main trends affecting the demand for measurement and analytical technologies?
Technology and development of instrumentation products are moving quickly, along with the availability of onboard instrument digital information. Better measurement and control can be achieved through faster access to more data. This allows process operators to make more informed decisions to help them improve the efficiency, reliability, and productivity of their production processes, as well as identifying opportunities to reduce costs.
Another trend is, industries facing skill shortages through experienced engineers retiring and leaving the industry. We are finding that our customers are limited in their instrumentation engineering resources. ABB has helped relieve this issue by manufacturing instruments that offer technology such as built-in condition monitoring, allowing them to interrogate instruments remotely and retrieve information such as diagnostics and measurements.
Tools such as My Measurement Assistant from ABB with QR codes, online checklists, and tutorials, are providing invaluable support for these engineers on site. In addition, our service engineers can analyse instrument performance and functionality away from the plant, providing additional offsite expertise to our customers.
How would you summarise the benefits of the ABB Value Provider program?
Working as part of the Value Provider program with ABB reflects the training and expertise within the business and as such, our status as a partner gives reassurance to our customers that we are recognised as a reputable and competent engineering company. The benefit to our customers is that we work as one team with ABB to deliver the best possible solution, one team working together to succeed.