09/05/2016

FAMILY. COMPANY. TOGETHER WE ARE STRONG.


Those who decide to join the MR team come to stay – often for a lifetime. Not only that, it has also been a long-standing tradition that several members of the same family find their professional home at the various Reinhausen Group locations throughout the world. Husbands and wives, mothers and daughters, or fathers and sons - like Alan and Grant Brown.

Setting out in every which way through the Australian Outback, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti and Vanuatu - the far-flung destinations of the father-son team sound like the dream visits for a globetrotter or South Pacific traveler. But don't let the view of paradise fool you. Customers always have high expectations and working in extreme conditions is not uncommon. Alan Brown and the 22 year-old Grant often have to work in temperatures of up to 60 °C and in exhausting levels of humidity that can reach up to 90%. This becomes all the more demanding if their customers only provide limited downtime for maintenance procedures.

The two are in luck this time. At the Henderson primary substation close to the city of Auckland in New Zealand, the duo are given four days to service the multiple diverter switch inserts of a 100 MVA transformer and to replace its MA7 motor-drive unit manufactured in 1973 with a state-of-the-art TAPMOTION® ED motor-drive unit. Regular and careful maintenance could keep the tap changers installed here in operation for many years to come.

It's a balmy 25 °C autumn day without a cloud in the sky. Alan and Grant are working in an airy workshop at the primary substation. "A luxury," says Grant while he patiently removes the diverter switch insert from an OILTAP®. "I prefer it when it's cool." Grant neatly arranges the switch components and the diverter switch housing on his workbench, then carefully replaces the copper contacts and replaces the braided leads with new ones. Everything is done carefully and cautiously, which is just as well since Alan simultaneously oversees the winching out of another diverter switch insert that needs complete refurbishment. Altogether, the transformer has three on-load tap-changers and they all need servicing. Alan watches as the device is lifted out of the top of the oil compartment by a cable winch. He then carefully inspects the diverter switch insert once it has been lowered to the concrete floor.

"We have quite a bit of responsibility here," says Alan Brown. "When the restored transformer is put back into commission, we know that we have done our job well and correctly." Alan has been working as a service technician for MR for 18 years. "In a lot of companies, you are just a number but at MR you feel like you're part of the family," he says while summing up his experience.

His son Grant has just recently returned to Australia from a four-week training session in Regensburg for his Premium Service Provider certification. Grant has been with the company for five years since joining MR straight out of school. "I prefer working as a service technician over sitting in front of a computer," he explains. "Sometimes I just see Alan as a work colleague, not a dad. Someone you would like to get a beer with when the job is done."