Is poor quality test equipment compromising safety?
Electrical contractors are under constant pressure to complete projects quickly, but safety should never be sacrificed for speed, and ensuring that test and measurement protocols are followed diligently using the correct instruments not only delivers more quality and consistency, but also ensures high safety standards.
As the emphasis on safety for both the installation team and the occupier has – quite rightly – continued to increase, the solution the market needs is a high quality range of test and measurement equipment that combines reliable safety and consistency with affordability. Ideal Industries has used the company’s global scale and know-how to homogenise its test and measurement range, enabling the electrical trade to take a significant step up in quality, while taking a step down in price as compared to the market leading test and measurement brand.
“The problem is that effective testing on site depends both on electricians’ best practice habits and the reliability of the test and measurement equipment in their kit,” explains Brett Smyth, general manager EMEA of Ideal Industries, the specialist in electrical accessories, tools and safety products. “Often there is a huge disparity between the best, branded test and measurement equipment, which is robust, accurate and performs consistently well, and the more affordable alternatives, which are less reliable and accurate and, therefore, may not provide the safety and consistency required.”
Quality, innovation and affordability
“Our customers trust us to offer them the best possible quality and innovation at an attractive price point,” explains Brett. “With our new test and measurement range, that’s exactly what we’re offering. “For electricians, that means access to more durability, reliability and safety features for less, enabling them to save money without compromising on advanced technology or quality assurance. Meanwhile for wholesalers, it means an opportunity to upsell and still provide an option that is more attractively priced than the market leader.” Ideal Industries chose the features and benefits that end users identified as part of extensive research as the most beneficial for safety and productivity.
Brett continues: We have created a cohesive range with common features and functions to make it easier for electricians to switch easily from one piece of equipment to another. For example, across many of the testers, non-contact voltage, high voltage and continuity indicators have a common display functionality and are located at the top of the unit.”
“The new range includes Clamp Meters, Fork (split jaw) Meters, Digital Multimeters (DMMs), Voltage Meters, Non-Contact Voltage Testers and Infrared Thermometers. It is segmented into tools for commercial, domestic and apprentice use, enabling wholesalers to recommend the right product for their customers’ specific requirements. The vibrant yellow coloured casing makes it easy to identify the testers on site. The over moulded casing means several of the testers are robust enough to withstand drops and knocks with up to 2m drop protection. Several of the products have IP ratings that provides certain levels of dust and water protection.”
Probe holders on the back of testers allow for two-hand testing and category ratings provide electricians with peace of mind that the tester is fit for the job and will pass scrutiny if their equipment is audited. User research was integral to Ideal Industries’ product development process, which is why a back light torch function has been included for most testers. The innovative, patented bottom display, which was previously only available on Ideal Industries’ TightSight Clamp Meters, has now also been incorporated into the Fork Meter thanks to user feedback too, aiding visibility for users when working in confined and poorly lit locations.
Other key features of the range include a LEAD warning on the DMMs, notifying the user if the test lead has been inserted into the wrong port. Meanwhile, the FUSE notification feature alerts the user to a blown fuse, while allowing them to continue with measurements unaffected by the fuse.
“Testing and measurement are important safety elements of any electrical installation,” Brett adds. “Electricians need to know that they are investing in equipment that will not only do the job, but will be easy to use and last for years.”