Soft Starters? What do they do?

Electric motors typically require a large amount of energy when accelerating up to their top speed, that’s where Soft Starters come into play. Soft Starters are designed to help reduce the inrush currents and limit the torque experienced by an electric motor by switching the motor on and off at fixed speeds to achieve a lower start-up current.

Only used during the initialisation of an electric motor, the soft starter moderates the acceleration of the electric motor. This makes them ideal for helping to reduce motor heating and to protect and extend the life of the electric motor and its supporting systems.

Gently Does It

A soft starter should be used whenever there is a requirement for a reduced starting current to help achieve a smooth mechanical run-up.  Applications, where the use of Soft Starter is ideal, is within mechanical systems such as conveyor lines, gearing and belt-driven systems which might require a gentle start-up process to reduce tension, lash and torque spikes. Soft Starters are also found in pumped liquid systems where they help to eliminate troublesome pressure surges like water hammer that can occur within the pipework of pumped systems.

pump application soft starter

Soft starters can be used on most fixed speed applications and come second only to a Variable Speed Drive (VSD) in starting current applications. When an application calls for the switching of a motor at a fixed speed a VSD is the most efficient way of starting the motor in terms of heat and power losses but is consequently the most expensive option to take.

Cost-Effectiveness Solutions

Although a Soft Starter is more expensive on the initial outlay than a Direct On Line (DOL) and a Star Delta Motor Starter they are much more cost-effective than a Variable Speed Drive.  It is worth noting that despite the initial outlay, a Soft Starter will last far longer in operational terms than a DOL and a Star Delta Motor Starter by a factor of 10 times the capacity. Some models of Soft Starter contain condition and fault monitoring capabilities, adding additional benefits to an automation and process control installation by providing vital diagnostic messages and data that can aid in improving the process and maintenance of the set-up.

motor soft starter application

When looking for a Soft Starting solution you cannot go wrong with the comprehensive offering of Soft Starters designed and manufactured by Siemens that you can purchase from Kempston Controls today, including the new and improved SIRIUS Soft Starters. Contact Kempston Controls today to discuss your Siemens Soft Starter Requirement.

Check out the range of Siemens Soft Starters available at Kempston Controls

Kempston Controls

Food and Beverage Manufacturing? You can count on Kempstons for your MRO

The industries involved in the production of Food and Beverages and those manufacturing life-saving equipment and supplies are, in today’s troubled times more depended upon than ever before. Kempston Controls is here for those industries and the businesses that supply and support them with a comprehensive range of products, and now with an Emergency Out of Hours Ordering Service, for the UK only, we are making sure you can get the products you need as quickly as possible.

It’s all about the MRO

MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operation) products and equipment are generally purchased regularly, so it makes sense to have an organised system that allows you to keep and track of these important supplies. Keeping an organised inventory of the most commonly consumed items and those which are changed as part of a regular maintenance and service schedule can help you reduce valuable production downtime in the case of an unexpected breakdown.

hygienic food sensor, MRO

A CleverLevel Liquid Level Sensor, typically used in Food and Beverage manufacturing

Whatever industry you operate in, Food and Beverage production, Medical Equipment manufacture or other valuable industries such as Power Generation you will, without doubt, be using and keeping a stock of MRO products.

Typical items you will find under the MRO banner include regular consumable items such as cleaning products and everyday office supplies such as printer paper to the more specialist items for the operation of Food and Beverage processing machines such as liquid level sensors, pumps, vat heaters and chillers.


typical hygenic sensor, MRO

Hygenic Pressure Sensor, used for measuring fluid pressure in a process pipe


Keeping it Moving

A fully functioning and rapidly maintained Automation and Process Control manufacturing system is the cornerstone of today’s modern industry, and even more so in today’s current climate. At Kempston Controls, whether you are producing food and drink, emergency vehicles or keeping the electricity supply on, we stock a comprehensive range of all the essential products you will need.

Here are just a few of our MRO products:

Food Processing

Kempston Controls is one of the UK leading suppliers of specialist Automation and Process Control equipment and components for the Food and Beverage industries, established in the 1940’s we have been serving valuable industries like yours faithfully since then. Whatever your needs we hold a comprehensive range of products ready for immediate dispatch, call us today on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email us at to discuss your requirements.

Please be aware that we are now offering an Out of Hours Ordering Service (UK only) for a limited time, ensuring you can keep your manufacturing processes fully functional, you can access this service that’s available from 5pm to 8am and at weekends by calling +44 (0) 1933 656290.


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Coolsplice – IDC Connectors with the Edge

The TE Connectivity range of CoolSplice connectors is a wire-to-wire insulation displacement connector (IDC) that combines proven reliability with ease of termination. Available in standard and large cable sizes capacities and with the option of gel inserts for improved environmental protection.

Using just a pair of everyday pliers it’s easy to terminate insulated stranded or solid wires into the insulation displacement contact using the built-in push-buttons. The wires can be terminated independently allowing for termination of one end in the factory and field termination of the other.

Electrical contracting firms are always under pressure to increase their throughput without compromising build quality. The CoolSplice connector allows contractors in electrical wiring, lighting, HVAC, and many other disciplines to do their job quicker and more efficiently and the body is transparent, making it easy to confirm that a water and dust-tight connection has been successful.

The Colour-coded push buttons show the wire size of each CoolSplice at a glance, with sizes matching the typical sizes of wire and cable for lighting and power applications. Proven in industry, these dependable IDC connectors won’t let you down, whatever your application.

Coolsplice IDC Connectors are available in two ranges:

Large Size CoolSplice Connector Range:

  • Easy factory or field installation using independent push-button termination
  • Single wire size: 12 AWG to 18 AWG (0.75 mm² – 4.0 mm²) solid and stranded wire
  • Coloured coded Red, Blue and Yellow for easy termination
  • Complete with environmental protection gel insert
  • IP20, IPX5, IPX7 and IPX8* rating
  • Tin plated copper alloy contacts
  • Can be stacked together for multi-cable uses
  • -40 to +105 degrees continuous operating temperature range
  • Current / Voltage rating: 10 to 20 A Max at 600 V AC/DC


  • Roadway and street lighting
  • Signs and building facades
  • Bridge and tunnel
  • Indoor lighting fixtures
  • Wiring harness field repairs


Standard Size CoolSplice Connector Range:

small coolsplice connector

  • Easy factory or field installation using independent push-button termination
  • Wire size: 22 AWG to 18 AWG (0.34 mm² –0.75 mm²) stranded and solid wire
  • Connects a pair of discrete wires or twin cord cable
  • Available with or without gel insert option
  • IP20, IPX5, IPX7 and IPX8* rating
  • Tin plated copper alloy contacts
  • Current / Voltage rating: 3.5 A –5 A Max at 600 V (UL), 5 A – 450 V (IEC)
  • -40 to +85 degrees continuous operating temperature range
  • Fits through 16mm hole
  • Approvals UL 2459, UL 1977 and IEC 60998-2-3


  • Commercial refrigeration lighting
  • Commercial display and cabinet lighting
  • Outdoor commercial lighting
  • Security and alarm systems

Please Note: Kempston Controls will not be holding stock of the Standard CoolSplice Connector – but we can provide you with them if required.

Coolsplice connectors

All of the CoolSplice connector standard size range is available with a gel filling option, extending their use into harsh environment applications that demand excellent ingress protection. The larger connectors are only supplied with a gel filling and are also colour coded with Red, yellow, and blue termination buttons helping you match the wire size to the correct connector.

Coolsplice Benefits

  • Single wire (large) and dual-wire (standard) receptacles
  • Standard size has gel option, large size comes with gel insert
  • Range of colours, UV stabilised
  • Suitable for solid and stranded wire
  • Time-saving termination using standard tools, IDC technology
  • Easy factory or field installation using push-button termination

Industry proven, the Coolsplice range of IDC connectors from TE Connectivity offers the user the advantage of reduced assembly time, the need for expensive specialist tooling, and are easy to service and change in the field. User-friendly and durable they have the option of offering excellent environmental protection with their gel inserts to cater for those harsh outdoor applications along with a wide range of cable capacities.

Kempston Controls, as an authorised distributor for TE Connectivity products, has access to the entire range of Coolsplice IDC Connectors, so call our sales team on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email to discuss your IDC connector requirements.

View the Range

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*IPX8 (2 meters under water for 1 hour)

Schneider Process

Automation and Control Superiority from Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation

Kempston Controls is now recognised as an authorised distributor of Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation products and we will be stocking a range of their market-leading process control solutions which are all tailored to meet your specific application.

Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation, a division of Schneider Electric, is a global manufacturer of world-class quality instrumentation to the process industry. With advanced technology and in-depth industry know-how, they help manufacturers achieve greater production throughput, improve quality, increase safety and ultimately reduce manufacturing costs.

Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation was originally known as Foxboro, becoming part of the Schneider group in 2014. With dozens of industry firsts and thousands of patents, Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation has an unparalleled reputation for outstanding quality and reliability in the world of process control equipment and instrumentation.


IDP/IGP/IAP 10S Pressure Transmitters

Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation pressure transmitters

When it comes monitoring pressure you need unsurpassed reliability, performance and high accuracy using advanced technology such as patented multiple calibration curve monitoring.  Schneider delivers with the dependable IDP/IGP and IAP 10S series of absolute, gauge and differential pressure transmitters, tailored to your specification, offering you the ability to maintain production up-time and reduce inventory costs.

IDP/IGP/IAP 10S Pressure Transmitter Features:

  • Sensor design uses minimal parts achieving exceptionally high reliability
  • LCD digital indicator with on-board push-button configuration and calibration
  • NEMA 4X and IEC IP66 durable epoxy-coated aluminium or 316 SS housings
  • Co-Ni-Cr, 316L Stainless Steel, and Nickel alloy sensor materials for all transmitters
  • Numerous configurations of direct connect or remote mount seals
  • Dependable with superior performance


  • Oil & Gas
  • Chemical
  • Power & Utilities
  • Food & Beverage
  • Water


84-Series Vortex Flow Meters

Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation flow meters

Where other Coriolis flow meters fail, the Schneider Electric Process  84-Series Vortex Flow Meter Transmitters are designed to handle measurements that other meters can’t. These reliable and low-cost flow meters are the perfect flow measurement solution with field-proven stability and are the highest-performing vortex flow meters on the market, supplied to your specification.

84 Series Vortex Flow Meter Features:

  • Highly accurate volumetric and mass flow, density and temperature measurement
  • Patented algorithms to improve performance in real-world applications
  • Simple start-up and operation, FDT technology for easy configuration
  • FlowExpertPro: free, industry-recognised, online sizing tool with a built-in library of 300 fluids


  • General-purpose flow meters for virtually any process industry
  • Range of flow meters for tough applications in harsh industries such as Mining, Chemical and Pulp & Paper
  • Accurate flow meters with a hygienic design for sanitary applications in Pharmaceutical and Food & Beverage


244LD Buoyancy Level transmitters

buoyancy level transmitter

The Schneider Process intelligent 244LD Buoyancy Level Transmitter has been designed to perform continuous measurements for liquid level and the density of liquids in industrial process applications. Dependable, the 244LD measures with consistent reliability and high precision in extreme temperatures, high process pressure and corrosive liquids. The 244LD is approved for installations in contact with explosive atmospheres, configured to your specification.

244LD Buoyancy Level Features:

  • HART Communication, 4 to 20 mA, or Foundation Fieldbus
  • Configuration via FDT-DTM
  • Multilingual full-text graphic LCD
  • IR communication as a standard
  • Signal transfer via analogue or digital
  • Continuous self-diagnostics, status and diagnostic messages
  • Local display in %, mA or physical units
  • Process temperature from –196 °C to +500 °C


  • Steam Drum/Boiler Drum
  • Oil/Water Separation
  • Biodiesel production
  • Polyester/Nylon Fibre production
  • Ammonia production
  • High Temperature and High Pressure


RTT15S Temperature Transmitter

Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation pressure transmitter

The Schneider Electric Process RTT15S Temperature Transmitters microprocessor-based functionality minimises the effect of ambient temperatures and ensures accuracy and repeatability. Using the HART communication protocol, this dependable and rugged temperature transmitter can receive signals from thermocouples, RTDs, ohm, or millivolt sources and is supplied configured to meet your exact specification.

RTT15S Temperature Transmitter Features:

  • Unique optical buttons allow operation through the glass of explosion-proof housing
  • User-friendly interface with 5 lines of text or symbols in 7 languages
  • LCD with back-light
  • Configurable bar graph
  • Temperature range from -40°C to +85°C (-40°F to +185°F)
  • Automatic self-calibration
  • Easy installation and mounting


  • Suitable for all industrial process temperature measurements
  • Turbines – Gas, Steam and Lubricant Supplies
  • Steam/Water, condensate, coal, oil, natural gas
  • Heat Generation; Firing systems, combustion air system
  • Water supply and treatment
  • Chemical Reactors and Storage Tanks


PH10 & PH12 pH ‘DolpHin’ Sensors

dolphin sensors

The Schneider Electric Process range of pH and ORP ‘DolpHin Series’ sensor types include the PH10 and PH12 series. Available in a large number of form factors, electronic configurations and in disposable and rebuildable variants. Whether the application requires a 12 mm style probe (PH12) or an NPT threaded version, there is a pH sensor to meet the requirements. DolpHin products use a unique proprietary electrode glass formulation which makes them exceptionally stable, accurate, and long-lasting, even in the harshest process applications.

Sensing membranes are available in flat, ruggedised pH or domed pH for high-temperature operation. A range of mounting accessories complement the PH10 & PH12 range, from simple bushings and flow chambers to insertion/retraction assemblies.

PH10 & PH12 pH Sensor Features:

  • Long service life in high temperature and temperature cycling applications
  • Easy to install, operate, maintain and replace
  • Fast pH and fast temperature response
  • High stability and accuracy
  • Nafion ion barrier to protect reference junction (model dependent)
  • Smart model (PH10 Smart)
  • Biocompatible and 3A compliant model (PH12)


  • Gas scrubber, chemical reactor pH control
  • Power generation pure water pH, cooling towers, scrubber, forced oxidation gypsum pH control
  • Food and beverage pH in ethanol production, product quality, rendering plant pH
  • All industries; Wastewater treatment, reverse osmosis water purification, boiler water and condensate


Whatever your process control and sensor requirements the fabulous offering of customer configurable products from Schneider Electric Process Instrumentation, brought to you by Kempston Controls, is sure to provide the perfect solution to your processing quandary.

Please call the expert sales team on +44 (0) 1933 411411, or email us at to discuss your process, automation and control equipment requirements today. Remember, we have access to the entire Schneider Electric Process product portfolio, so even if you can’t find the product you require we can certainly source it for you!


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Into the Blue with SensoParts’ BlueLight Photoelectric Sensors

The detection of transparent, reflective and dark objects has always been an issue for your average infrared and vision-based process control sensor. To help alleviate this problem the clever people at SensoPart developed a solution.

BlueLight Photoelectric Sensors!

Transparent, glossy, curved, sloping and deep black products have always been difficult to detect, especially if you have budgetary constraints. Sensors would suffer instability during detection and fail to detect properly leading to their eventual upgrade with a far more expensive product, OK if you can afford it!

bluelight photoelectric sensors

Into the Blue

Blue light process control sensors offer much greater process stability than the usual red-light proximity sensors in challenging applications and are very cost-efficient. Difficult product detection scenarios can include a combination of several critical factors, such as black objects with a high gloss curved sloping surface and a wide detection angle, but even when faced with situations like this, the Sensopart Bluelight sensor range succeeds.

Why so Blue?

Increased detection efficiency is achieved with a higher intensity of blue light and the interaction of different light colours with the surface of the target object. The blue light emitted by these sensors is short-wave and doesn’t penetrate as deeply as a red-light sensor would, meaning that more light is reflected, a decisive feature when detecting poorly reflective and transparent objects.

Bluelight Photoelectric Sensor Features:

  • Reliable detection of highly transparent or strongly light-absorbing objects
  • Reliable detection at angles up to 90° (model dependent)
  • World’s first blue light sensor with background suppression in subminiature format
  • Absolute background suppression using SensoPart BGS technology critical background situations are no longer an issue


Model Variants

F10 Subminiature BlueLight Photoelectric Fixed Focus Sensor with Background Suppression

F10 Subminiature BlueLight Photoelectric Fixed Focus Sensor with Background Suppression

The ideal subminiature sensor, with precise fixed background suppression and a maximum scanning distance of 50 mm and an easy mount clamp. Dependable operation without a reflector even when faced with difficult surfaces and has a tamper-proof anti-misalignment design.

Learn More


F25 Miniature BlueLight Photoelectric Fixed Focus Sensor with Background Suppression

F25 Miniature BlueLight Photoelectric Fixed Focus Sensor with Background Suppression

Miniature in size but with a maximum scanning distance of 80 mm, with precise fixed ground suppression, fixed focus and an easy mount clamp. Features reliable switching behaviour when detecting light-absorbing and transparent objects.

Learn More


F50 BlueLight Photoelectric Sensor with Background Suppression

F50 BlueLight Photoelectric Sensor with Background Suppression

A versatile photoelectric diffuse sensor with a large adjustable scanning distance of between 40 to 300 mm, that is easy to set using the indicator scale and features adjustable background suppression. Impressive performance on reflective and glossy backgrounds and connectivity is via a rotatable M12 plug with 4-pins.


F55 BlueLight Photoelectric Diffuse Sensor with Background Suppression

F55 BlueLight Photoelectric Diffuse Sensor with Background Suppression

A power photoelectric diffuse sensor with very large adjustable scanning distance of between 3 to 1200 mm and adjustable background suppression. Exceptional performance on reflective and glossy backgrounds with reliable detection on angles up to 90 degrees. Connectivity is via an M12 plug with 4-pins.

Learn More

BlueLight Sensor Applications

Packaging industry

  • Detection of transparent film/containers/labels/blister packs

Plastics industry

  • Presence and positioning of dark plastic parts
  • Medical technology/Pharmaceuticals/Laboratory automation
  • Presence of transparent test tubes/syringes/pipette tips
  • Positioning of transparent or deep black racks and microtiter plates

Automotive industry

  • Detection of metal parts and black plastic components
  • Solar industry
  • Presence and positioning of wafers
  • Food and Beverage industry
  • Presence of bottles or dark plastic lids

bluelight photoelectric sensors

(Blue)Lighting the Way

SensoPart’s BlueLight Photoelectric sensors are successfully being used in thousands of applications involving light-absorbing objects. Examples include detecting carbon fibre components in the automotive industry, or black, round plastic caps and metallic reflective components on a conveyor. The sensor achieves high process stability with transparent objects thanks to its instantaneous response at the respective maximum scanning range and the low hysteresis between the switch on/off point.

Photoelectric sensors like that SensoPart’s BlueLight range are certainly causing a stir in industrial automation and control world as a cost-efficient solution for replacing standard retro-reflective photoelectric sensors in challenging applications. Contact Kempston Controls today on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email us at to discuss your BlueLight Sensor requirements.

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Limit Switches – Exceeding the Limits with the FD & FR Ranges from Pizzato

What are limit switches?

A standard limit switch is an electromechanical device containing an actuator that is mechanically linked to a set of contacts. Designed to automatically indicate when the movement of a machine reaches its limits in either direction or the presence of an object, and if those limits have been met or exceeded. Limit switches can determine the presence or lack of an object, its passing, positioning and the end of travel and also act as emergency devices to prevent machinery malfunctions.

When part of a processing machine or an object comes into contact with the limit switches actuator the mechanism moves the internal contacts, making or breaking the electrical connection. For extended and repeated use the electrical switches should be durable, accurate and feature a quick response rate. From a contact perspective, most limit switches generally feature either maintained contacts or momentary contacts.

Limit switches come in all manner of shapes and sizes with operating actuator variants including – lever, roller plunger, plunger and spring rod types. Due to their practicality, durability and ease of installation, limit switches are utilised in many industrial and commercial applications the world over.

Pizzato, one of the leading manufacturers of process automation and control devices, has a comprehensive offering of limit switches and actuators covering all the applications that you are likely to encounter. We take a quick look at two of their limit switch families, the FD and FR ranges.

FD Range – Heavy-Duty Specialist

limit switches FD range

Designed to be used in the toughest and most demanding of environments the FD range of Limit Switches easily passes the IP67 immersion test, making them suitable for all environments where a high degree of protection is required.  Utilising high-quality and robust materials in their construction, the metal bodied housing can take the hard knocks of life in tough industrial environments. Capable of resisting temperatures from -40 to +80 degrees C makes the Heavy Duty FD range one of the most robust and dependable positional switches available for heavy-duty industrial applications.

The FD range of switches has some clever features besides its ruggedness, such as a comprehensive range of 17 interchangeable contact blocks with multiple contact variants, the option of gold-plated contacts to prevent the build-up of oxides (to enable the switches to be used in harsh dusty environments or on low current applications), a selection of conduit entry ports, rotatable switch heads and 29 interchangeable actuator solutions.

FD Range at a Glance:

  • Bidirectional contact block options
  • 29 different interchangeable actuators to choose from
  • 17 interchangeable contact blocks, slow action or snap action
  • IP67 rated metal housing with one conduit entry
  • Temperature range -40 to +80 Degrees C
  • Laser engraved front-plate, no label
  • Gold plated electrical contact options, prevents contact oxidisation
  • 20 million operating cycles – 3600 cycles per hour
  • M12 connector options
  • UL, CSA, IEC approved

View the FD Range


FR Range – Standard Application Supremo

limit switches FR range

The FR range of Limit Switches, much like the FD range is IP67 rated making them equally as suitable for environmental conditions that demand a high degree of protection. With a glass fibre reinforced technopolymer housing, this range is more suited to less physically demanding environmental conditions such as industrial processing in clean environments, but it still capable of resisting temperatures from -40 to +80 degrees C.

The FR range is feature-packed, with a staggering 48 different actuators to choose from and 17 interchangeable contact blocks with differing contact options. The FR range also allows you to select gold-plated contacts to prevent the build-up of oxides (to enable the switches to be used in dusty environments or on low current applications), different conduit entry ports, rotatable switch heads and 48 interchangeable actuator solutions and 17 interchangeable contact blocks.

FR Range at a Glance:

  • 48 different interchangeable actuators to choose from
  • 17 interchangeable contact blocks, slow action or snap action
  • Bidirectional contact block options
  • IP67 rated glass fibre housing with one conduit entry
  • Temperature range -40 to +80 Degrees C
  • Gold plated electrical contact options, prevents contact oxidisation
  • 20 million operating cycles – 3600 cycles per hour
  • M12 connector options
  • UL, CSA, IEC approved

View the FR Range


For all of your Pizzato limit switches requirements you can depend on Kempston Controls to supply you with the perfect industrial automation process and control limit switch solution. Contact our busy sales department on +44 (0) 1933 411411 or email and we can help you find the precise positional switch products to meet all your industrial installation needs.

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