Customer day in Japan

Theme: "Maintenance of on-load tap-changers of older transformers"

On 27-28 February 2014, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) organized a customer workshop at Hitachi Ltd. Power System Company in Ibaraki (Japan) on the subject of "Maintenance of On-Load Tap-Changers of Older Transformers".

Around 30 representatives from all Japanese utilities took part and were informed by MR experts from Germany and Japan on all matters revolving around asset management of on-load tap-changers as well as transformer modernization. However, this wasn't a dry and theoretical event – rather, the explanations were provided on the basis of live demonstrations.

Cooperation in maintenance and retrofit projects
In Japan, it is the general consensus that the transformer manufacturer assumes the main responsibility for all maintenance, including that of the tap changer. This means that Japanese transformer manufacturers are faced with the major challenge of having comprehensive know-how in regard to OLTC maintenance. MR, in contrast, carries out about thousands of maintenance jobs each year not only for MR tap changers, but also for former Trafo Union and Westinghouse on-load tap-changers or models from other providers. Sophisticated preventive maintenance of tap changers of all kinds and complete retrofitting projects around the world are routine for the more than 150 trained MR maintenance technicians. MR also has an extensive assortment of spare parts for standard components and can provide special parts within a very short period of time. Customers thus profit from extensive expert service at affordable prices.

 In order to offer its customers the best service for maintenance and replacement projects, Hitachi increasingly works with MR as a subcontractor. For this reason, the two companies wanted to inform all Japanese utilities about the joint strengths and advantages of the cooperation and invited selected managers and engineers to the customer day. Discussed were all possibilities for ensuring the reliability of a transformer and extending the service life of the entire transformer system.


Diverse mix of topics
The lectures were a good mix of theory and practice. Between each of two presentations about OLTC maintenance and life cycle management, MR performed a practical maintenance demonstration in the Hitachi workshop. The question of why and how to carry out routine maintenance was visualized and explained in practice. MR also showed in a live demonstration how a conventional oil-type on-load tap-changer can be replaced by a nearly maintenance-free MR vacuum tap changer of the VACUTAP® series in a very short time and with minimum effort.

The MR experts also showed how the use of MESSKO® transformer accessories can extend the service life of transformer systems, with a simultaneous reduction of life-cycle costs! The new, uniform ISM® (Integrated Smart Module) hardware and software platform was also presented.


On the evening of the first day of the event, the participants had the opportunity to exchange their individual experiences in a relaxed atmosphere with typical Japanese and Bavarian delicacies. The feedback was unanimously positive and the guests were impressed by the possibilities offered by the cooperation with MR.

MR and Hitachi express their appreciation for the attention, fruitful discussions, and expert opinions of the entire audience.