Abdex UK moves to MK1

Published:  24 May, 2019

Abdex Hose & Couplings Ltd, which is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, re-located to larger premises on 1 March. The new site, in Clarke Road, Bletchley in the heart of Milton Keynes, comprises a 10,000 sq ft unit – a sizeable increase compared with the company’s previous 3000 sq ft facilities.

Stefan Gunter, Abdex’s sales & marketing director, explained the rationale behind the move: “Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and our new premises will enable us to hold substantially increased stock levels, which is invaluable for us largely due to the exponential growth in demand we have enjoyed over the past few years. The new site is also right in the heart of the city – with the MK1 postcode – which we feel will attract a good calibre of people as we continue to grow and expand as a business.”

The dedication of the existing workforce was evidenced during the successful transfer of the company’s equipment and facilities over a March weekend. “We essentially shut the doors of our old premises at 1pm on Friday 1 March, worked solidly on the move over the weekend and opened for business at 8.30am within our new premises on the Monday morning – fully operational,” explained Gunter. “Everyone worked different shifts and, although this was a major operation, I’m pleased to say that in general everything went smoothly, and nobody fell out in the process. I’m really proud of our staff for what they achieved during this critical period. They’re definitely due a special day out soon as a gesture of the management’s sincere gratitude.”

Winning team

Gunter added that the company has retained most of its personnel, which he believes is important from a continuity perspective. “Indeed, I believe Abdex UK can boast the best team it has ever had,” he remarked. “We have also just taken on two new people within the production department and are in the process of appointing a new member of the sales team. And from an increased efficiency perspective, one of our next goals is to put in place lean 5S principles.”

The Clarke Road site is located near to the MK Dons football ground and is surrounded by convenient shopping facilities. The building itself also benefits from a spacious showroom and larger meeting/training room. These training facilities will be used for Abdex’s own training requirements, as well as be available for approved third parties to conduct training as required. Also on the training front, Abdex continues to grow the market with their comprehensive range of test rigs and when required, a full range of certified training courses are available and can be carried out both onsite and at Abdex’s premises.

In addition to running Abdex’s Australian operation, group managing director Oliver Bain will continue to visit the UK arm of the company on a regular basis to discuss company plans and objectives. Gunter, together with operations director Neil Dixon, will continue to run the UK business on a daily basis. Another recent development saw the establishment of Abdex Singapore, where Oliver Bain will be busy developing this new branch over the coming months.

Broadening products and services offerings

Abdex, including the UK branch, is currently looking to broaden both its products and services offerings to existing customers in sectors such as water, oil & gas, general hydraulic and hydraulic tooling, automotive and aerospace etc. On the hose side of the business, Abdex has recently been certified by Parker as a UK authorised distributor to crimp and test the new Fire Armour BOP (Blow Out Preventer) hose. The hose is Lloyd’s certified to API 16D flame test requirements and is available from stock at 3000 (3/8” to 1”) and 5000psi (1/2” to 2”). Every hose is assembled and tested to stringent procedures, then registered and labelled using the Parker PTS (Parker Tracking System) which allows every registered asset to be identified and managed throughout its lifespan.

Further new products include the new Uniflex S3 Light hydraulic hose crimper, which was launched at this year’s Hannover Messe and aimed at the mobile market. Another new product within the portfolio is the Uniflex S6 Strong, a service crimper also available as an ecoline or DC variant. With a crimping force of 2000 kN/200t and its crimp range of up to 100 mm, it is designed for crimping hydraulic hose assemblies up to 2” and industrial hose assemblies up to 2”. Additionally, the Uniflex HM400 and HM450 crimpers are available for use with bigger bore hoses. Also new is a Uniflex wireless management system and Uniflex UPMS (paperless management system) app.

Gunter concluded: “Despite the raft of confusion concerning Brexit, Abdex as a business is booming. We enjoyed a very successful time at Hannover Messe, where our stand and the Uniflex stand proved very popular, attracting many strong leads. During the coming months we will be launching additional complimentary and exiting products to our already comprehensive range. First and foremost, our priority is to ensure we are able to provide the best possible service to our customers – having the stock available for immediate despatch whenever possible.”

Image caption -  Abdex’s new site, in Clarke Road, Bletchley in the heart of Milton Keynes MK 1.

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