Home Opinion IDEAL Industries’ Affordable Test and Measurement Equipment

IDEAL Industries’ Affordable Test and Measurement Equipment

As safety is critical to all electrical installations, reliable test and measurement equipment remains a vital part of any contractor’s kit, says Mike Cullum, Northern Europe Sales Manager of IDEAL Industries EMEA and APAC.

Quality equipment often comes with a hefty price tag, and with electricians continuing to report concerns over rising costs, wholesalers must find a way to offer affordable test and measurement equipment for less, combining innovation, safety and value for money without compromising on quality.

The UK’s construction sector continues to struggle with huge increases in material costs, supply chain issues and rising fuel prices. A recent survey, which researched the top 10 challenges for the electrical industry in 2023, found the main worry for UK electricians was the rising cost of materials (48%), followed by rising fuel costs (29%).

As a knock-on effect of rising prices, tradespeople are being forced to increase their prices. According to a 2023 nationwide study of tradespeople, more than two fifths (43%) said they had been forced to increase their prices substantially. In the face of ever-increasing costs, it’s crucial that electrical equipment offers value for money without compromising safety. When it comes to vital test and measurement equipment, however, there is often a huge disparity between the best, branded products, which are robust, accurate and consistent, and the more affordable alternatives, which are typically less reliable and more prone to error. This presents huge opportunity for wholesalers to cement relationships by offering a high-quality alternative to premium brands with comparable quality and functionality.

Having identified the need for a high-quality range of test and measurement equipment that combines reliable safety and consistency with affordability, IDEAL Electrical used its 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 compared to the market leading brand.

Affordable test and measurement

Offering the best possible quality and innovation at an attractive price point, the test and measurement range from IDEAL Electrical comprises Circuit Tracers, Clamp Meters, Fork (split jaw) Meters, Digital Multimeters (DMMs), Voltage Meters, Non-Contact Voltage Testers and Infrared Thermometers. The range is segmented into tools for commercial, domestic and apprentice use, enabling wholesalers to recommend the right product for their customers’ specific requirements.

The part numbering system makes it easy for wholesalers to suggest the correct tester. The base model has the lowest number, while the higher functioning/higher CAT rated testers have a higher part number. For example, the entry point non-contact voltage tester is 61-627, the next model up is 61-637, and so on.

User-friendly design features

Key features of the range include a LEAD warning on the DMMs, which notifies the user if the test lead has been inserted into the wrong port. The FUSE notification feature, meanwhile, alerts the user to a blown fuse while allowing them to continue with measurements unaffected by the fuse. The range features vibrant yellow coloured casing, which makes it easy to identify the testers on site, and, as the casing is over moulded, several of the testers are robust enough to withstand drops and knocks with up to 2m drop protection. Several of the products also have IP ratings that provide certain levels of dust and water protection.

Probe holders on the back of the testers allow for two-hand testing and category ratings provide peace of mind that the tester is fit for the job and will pass scrutiny if the equipment is audited.

The newly launched IDEAL Circuit Tracer Plus revolutionises the industry with the inclusion of integrated continuity testing. It is a truly all-in-one solution that can trace, test for and locate shorts or splice errors without the need for a separate tester.

What electricians want

IDEAL Electrical conducted extensive research during the product development process, incorporating features and benefits that end users identified as the most beneficial for safety and productivity.

As a result of user feedback, a backlight torch function that can be switched on independently from the testers has been included. In addition, the innovative, patented bottom display, which was previously only available on the TightSight Clamp Meters, has now also been incorporated into the Fork Meter and Circuit Tracers, aiding visibility for users when working in confined and poorly lit locations. By incorporating common features and functions throughout the range, electricians can easily switch 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.

A quality product at a competitive price

As testing and measurement is of the utmost importance to the safety of all electrical installations, electricians need to know that they are investing in equipment that will not only do the job accurately, but will also be easy to use and last for years.

With IDEAL Electrical’s test and measurement range, wholesalers can offer electricians access to more durability, reliability and safety features for less, enabling them to save money without compromising on advanced technology or quality assurance – a win-win in today’s climate, where rising costs are the number one cause of concern for electricians.

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