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ABB's new re-manufacturing service provides power transformers with a new lease of life

ABB Limited (Group Headquarters) : 16 March, 2007  (New Product)
ABB has launched a transformer re-manufacturing service that offers a new lease of life for ageing or faulty power transformers, enabling them to be completely rebuilt and returned to as-new condition, or even upgraded to a higher specification.
A re-manufactured transformer provides the same performance as a new transformer at a much lower cost. However, the main advantage is ABBs fast turnaround that can have a customer's transformer back in operation in around one third of the normal delivery time for a new unit.

The UK transformer re-manufacturing service has been developed by Mark Turner, operations and quality manager for ABB's worldwide network of transformer service centres, who said: 'Our new re-manufacturing service is targeted at medium and large power transformers from any manufacturer, not just ABB. The comprehensive service includes on-site assessment of the transformer's condition, and arranging for it to be collected and delivered to our factory in Drammen, Norway. At the factory the transformer is stripped down to its component parts and then rebuilt with the same care and attention to detail as our new transformers. We then return the unit to site and install and commission it.

'The cost of re-manufacturing a transformer will vary from case to case. But typically we would expect to have it back in service at around 60 to 70 per cent of the cost of a new unit. However, it is delivery, rather than cost, that will be crucial for many customers, especially as the current growth in demand world-wide for HV equipment is resulting in ever increasing delivery lead-times. We can have a re-manufactured large power transformer back in service in around six months. That's one third of the 18-month delivery schedules now being quoted for new large power transformers.'

The flexibility of ABB's transformer re-manufacturing service enables customers to opt for an upgrade to 'better than new' specification. This could be as simple as a change in voltage rating or could extend to taking advantage of ABBs state-of-the-art computerized design tools to have the transformer completely re-designed to a higher power rating. Other upgrade possibilities include enhanced cooling or rewinding the coils with Nomex high temperature insulation material that boosts power as well as offering significant improvements in lifetime and reliability.

ABB anticipates that its re-manufacturing service will be particularly attractive for the UK's vast installed base of power transformers, many of which were installed in the 1960s and are now near the end of their useful working life. However, the service is also ideal for newer transformers that may have developed a fault or have been damaged by a network event. Whatever the age of the unit, once it has been re-manufactured by ABB the reborn transformer will be able to look forward to another full working life of between 25 to 50 years.
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