247able.com is the e-commerce division of ABLE Instruments & Controls Limited, a leading high service supplier and manufacturer of industrial and laboratory instrumentation. ABLE have been serving engineers and procurement specialists for more than 30 years.
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Why use 247able?
247able.com has been developed by ABLE to facilitate simple and intuitive online procurement of instrumentation and engineering equipment with benefits such as:
- Our special offers always appear online first with many discounts exclusively available for ABLE’s online customers, saving you money.
- Ordering online is convenient, can be completed at any time of day and saves you time because you simply add your products directly to the basket and order, or save them to come back to later.
- Our search makes it fast and simple to find the product you want, especially with our intuitive technical product configurators, simplifying your job of buying the right item at the best price.
ABLE – Who Are We?
ABLE Instruments & Controls was founded by Mike Shortall and Don Burnham to fill the void created by the rigid supply nature of instrumentation manufacturers and the lack of engineering and support capability exhibited by traditional representative organisations.
The experience of the company founders whilst working within both types of organisation and, more importantly, the frustration of customers when searching for a solution to their measurement requirement, directly lead to the formation of the company in 1985. ABLE broke the mould of box shifting distribution.
ABLE has built its success on these principles, realising the original concept of its foundation. We are now in our fourth decade of operation and the ability and willingness to go the extra mile for our customers continues to drive our growth.
ABLE’s primary vision is to provide instrumentation and control systems for the Process, Research and Environmental Industries by applying the most suitable available technology for any given application – to supply solutions, not just product. With access to a comprehensive range of instrument technologies, from the traditional to the very latest cutting-edge innovations, ABLE can offer the best available solution to meet the demands of the measurement. Our independence has been the key to our reputation for objectivity and intelligent equipment selection on behalf of our clients. ABLE also pledges to support all the equipment we supply, no matter where in the world it is installed.
Customer satisfaction is ABLEs principal goal, which we strive to achieve by continual investment in quality and expertise within our personnel, processes and solutions, resulting in us being more than simply a supplier of instrumentation. As a progressive company we understand that not everyone needs a straightforward ‘out of the box’ product and that our commitment to our customers does not end once supply of equipment is fulfilled.
Right from its inception, ABLE’s management knew that in order to realise these ambitions, you need a broad pallet, not only in terms of instrumentation but also with regard to the technical services required to underpin that. ABLE’s extensive product portfolio and complimentary competencies augment its ability to resolve a wide diversity of analytical and industrial measurement requirements. Inhouse skill sets facilitate efficient execution of an order to supply equipment and/or services to an EPC Project through effective management of all stages of the process.
The successful implementation of an EPC Project is a multi-faceted procedure involving a number of different engineering disciplines and skillsets closely coordinated by a dedicated Project Manager.
ABLE have an intrinsic understanding of the process forged from many years’ experience in this environment, delivering a multitude of EPC Project orders on time and in specification as a result of rigorous management of the following components:
- Meeting Contractual Requirements
- Performing to Milestones
- Understanding Technical Specifications
- Quality & HSE Planning & Control
- Planning, Scheduling & Progress Reporting
- Document Submission, Approval & Control
- Expediting Sub-Suppliers
- Value Added Manufacture
- Inspection & Acceptance Processes
- Consolidation, Packing, Storage & Shipment
In direct support of our installed base, we provide a number of additional services, including:
- Site & application surveys
- Installation support & commissioning
- Maintenance & healthcare
- Repair & calibration
- Instrument hire
- Package procurement
A New Era
As ABLE grew in size and experience and extended its reach across the industries, we began to recognise the many challenges encountered by the Process, Research and Environmental Industries. Having operated for many years as a successful, value-added distribution model, we entered the next stage of our evolution, the home-grown development of bespoke solutions to perennial process control problems.
ABLE R & D has designed and produced the world’s first ATEX approved portable flowmeter; the V-Trakka valve position transmitter; The “growth monitor” level transmitter system; the SlugMaster® intelligent flowmeter; MudMaster® drilling mud outflow analyser and FlareMaster® flare metering enhancement system.
The philosophy underpinning ABLE’s innovative Master Series of metering products is the resolution of demanding application challenges and sustainability in order to consistently deliver accurate flow measurements during process upsets and fluctuations in composition that would defeat conventional meters. The core, patented technology at the heart of the Master series is a dual measurement, intelligent algorithm.
Website Design and 247able
In 2017, ABLE set out to completely remodel and revitalise the company website by vastly improving not only the aesthetics and technical content but also refining Google Ads and search engine optimisation (SEO). Around the same time, it was decided to totally overhaul the Ecommerce platform, 247able. Fundamental to this was the need to expand the product portfolio with instrumentation that was suited to the online procurement model. ABLE approached a wide range of suppliers and negotiated trade deals for a myriad of products, all of which have a synergy with our major process control instrumentation. The next step was to ensure that the customer experience of purchasing through 247able was hassle free, secure, fast and reliable.
As a result, 247able is a jewel in the company’s crown and goes from strength to strength, a one-stop supplier for engineers and procurement specialists, offering best in class instrumentation from renowned manufacturers in an intuitive online engine.
Key to the success of the above ventures was the in-house resource of a full-time Marketing Manager (Dave Quelch), Webmaster (Luke Costello) and an excellent Creative Art Worker (Luke Gerrard), giving ABLE full control over both the visual and technical content of the websites.
A Unique Facility
During 2016/17 ABLE Instruments & Controls Ltd constructed a state-of-the-art training facility at their Reading headquarters. The purpose-built rig offers a truly unique process environment for high impact, hands-on training.
The facility consists of connected industrial stainless-steel vessels and ABLE, working together with leading manufacturers and suppliers, fitted the rig with instrumentation ranging from the conventional to the very latest cutting-edge measurement technologies for flow, level, pressure, temperature, density, gas and liquid analysis.
Different fluids can be pumped between the vessels by centrifugal pumps accommodating a wide span of variable flow rates regulated by both manual and pneumatically operated valves.
Reflecting the impartiality of ABLE’s status as the UK’s largest independent supplier, the rig incorporates over 100 process instruments, all providing real time data, offering a platform for customer equipment demonstration and a matchless showcase for our partner companies.
Long Term Principal Relationships
At its inception, ABLE forged relationships with various manufacturers of flow meters, level sensors, pressure and temperature transmitters and gas analysers. Today, 37 years on, a significant number of those alliances remain in place and have evolved into multifaceted partnerships. For example, soon after formation, ABLE signed up with Phoenix USA based Arizona Instrument to represent them exclusively for sales and service. AZI’s major product lines centred on portable toxic gas analysers for mercury vapour and hydrogen sulphide gas (Jerome) and moisture in solids analysers (Computrac)
In order to grow sales in the UK, ABLE continually pushed the envelope and added value, particularly in the case of the toxic gas analysers, the Jerome 631X (H2S) and the 431-X (Hg). We soon realised that to capture the target market of water and wastewater treatment for nuisance odour detection, we would need a fixed monitoring variant of the Jerome 631-X (and its successor, the J605). Similarly, the rapidly growing sub-sector of the waste and recycling industry, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling (WEEE), tightened the regulations on mercury vapour exposure of its workers and also called for fixed monitoring. Likewise, the offshore Oil & Gas industry put in place new safeguards against mercury exposure of personnel when breaking vessel containment and the J405 became the go-to instrument.
ABLE responded to the industries’ needs and designed an environmental enclosure and sample system for the Jerome suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. These developments lead to increased sales and ABLE soon established the largest Jerome installed base outside the USA. ABLE was also providing a route to market in several European and Scandinavian countries where the manufacturer had no representation.
It was acknowledged that the Jerome’s “Achilles Heel” was the calibration turn-around time, with instruments having to be returned to the manufacturer’s facility in the USA. In order to remedy this, in 2016, ABLE opened a Jerome H2S calibration laboratory at its Reading Offices. The lab was a mirror of the Phoenix set-up and the only one of its kind outside the USA. Calibration lead times were subsequently cut from 5 weeks to 2, another example of ABLE’s dedication to providing its customers with ever improving levels of service and support. ABLE are officially recognised by the manufacturer as the European Service Centre for both the Jerome and the Computrac range.
Other key suppliers that have been with ABLE for the long haul are United Electric (pressure and temperature switches), TriMod Besta (mechanical float switches), Ametek Drexelbrook (RF Admittance switches and transmitters) and WEKA (magnetic level gauges).
ABLE are continually on the lookout for new and innovative technologies and powerful brands to add to the product portfolio. Recently, ABLE pulled off a significant coup when they took on the role of distributor for Magnetrol, a giant in the field of industrial level measurement. Earlier this year, ABLE took on representation for M-Flow Technologies Sure-Cut Water Cut Analyser and Micronics Clamp-on Ultrasonic Flow Meters.
Securing The Future
In 2020 ABLE became an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT) thereby securing the independence and succession of ownership of the business. All shares were obtained from the 100% shareholder at the time, Mike Shortall, thereby giving the business control over its own future.
Employee ownership has many benefits for ABLE and its staff, not least being its continued independence. The process and immediate aftermath will cause minimum disruption as the business is able to remain at its current location with no interruption to productivity and innovation.
Today, ABLE is run by a Management Board, aided by various key members of staff, a significant number of which have over 30 years of service at the company, as follows:
Managing Director: Richard Sygrove*
General Manager: Mike Parker*
Business Development & Marketing Manager (& author): Dave Quelch*
Sales Manager: Simon Smith*
Commercial & Quality Manager: Pete Costello*
Technical Authority: Tony Skelding*
Internal Sales Manager: Gary Usher
Projects Manager: Richard Bew
Application Specialist: James Wilkins
Resource Manager: Christine Burnham
* Denotes Management Board
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We want our customers to benefit from our experience, expertise and independence. The depth of instrumentation knowledge and our ability to apply a diverse range of technologies has established ABLE as a leader in providing the right solution, whatever the requirement. In short, being able to make your measurement is more than what we do, it’s who we are.
ABLE today is positioned as a full value add supply partner to our customers and manufacturing supply principals alike.