Long-Lasting and Powerful Transformer Components

The Reinhausen Group

In an age where longevity of equipment and components has become the exception rather than the norm, the Reinhausen Group continues to maintain its commitment to an industry which must depend on reliability day and night, summer and winter, in the coldest or driest conditions imaginable, for years on end: power transformers.

With high quality and long-lasting components for the power transformer industry, over 50 per cent of the world’s electricity flows through products created by Reinhausen. Working alongside well-known and respected power transformer manufacturers, energy utilities, and heavy industry partners, Reinhausen’s decades of experience, quality products, innovative solutions and outstanding service make the company a top choice among transformer manufacturers who seek longevity and dependability for their high-voltage devices and systems.

Active in every area dealing with the flow of energy, Reinhausen remains committed to innovation in voltage regulation and the global supply of energy. With extensive experience and core competencies second to none, the company’s products are found in a variety of applications, including liquid filled power transformers, dry type transformers, and sealed power transformers. From on-load tap-changers to off-circuit tap-changers, automatic voltage controllers, monitoring systems, motor drives, protective relays and a great deal more, all power transformers must stand up to the harshest conditions at all times.

“Transformers have a long life,” says Bernhard Kurth, President of Reinhausen Manufacturing Inc. “It is not something that you replace after five or 10 years. Transformers built in the 1920s and 1930s are still in use. It is very important for the owners of those transformers that there are still opportunities to maintain the components that were used by the original transformer manufacturers so many years ago.”

An established and prominent business with a rich and venerated history, Mr. Kurth joined the company’s head office, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen in Germany, back in 1987. With operations expanding to other locations across Europe and worldwide, including Italy, Luxembourg, Russia, the Middle East, India, Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brazil and Canada, Mr. Kurth traveled to the United States in April of 1991 to lead Reinhausen’s operations in Humboldt, Tennessee.

Approaching 150 Years of Excellence

With over 25 subsidiaries and affiliated companies globally, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen has grown to almost 3,000 employees globally, with approximately 110 working at Reinhausen Manufacturing’s operations in Tennessee. Founded in 1868, the company is headquartered in Regensburg, Germany, and remains the hub for global marketing, sales activities, research and development, significant production, and global testing and innovation center – all of which contributes to the success of the company and its global network of over 20 subsidiaries, which includes production sites in Germany, India, China, and the United States.

“We are a company that started producing products back in 1868,” says Mr. Kurth. “Reinhausen has been in the business we are now in with transformer components since the 1920s – our first patent was filed in 1926 – and we have been able to continue as an independent company since the start.” It was in 1926, when Dr. Bernhard Jansen invented the high-speed resistor-type tap-changer that allowed the transmission ratio of transformers to be changed under load without interruption, that the company truly became a global force. Working in collaboration with brothers Oskar and Richard Scheubeck, Jansen’s product became known worldwide as the ‘REINHAUSEN tap changer,’ and demand for the company’s high quality products grew.

With tap-changers – devices used in power transformers to regulate output voltage to required levels – as the company’s main product, every one of Reinhausen’s tap-changers are customized. Built to exacting specifications from transformer manufacturers who send documents to the company, they are precision made, and tested. “Everyone who builds power transformers in the North American market buys from us,” states Mr. Kurth of the company, whose clients include ABB, SPX, Delta Star, Virginia Transformer, CG Power Systems, Pennsylvania Transformers, Efacec, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Prolec-GE, WEG Electric Corporation, Siemens, and many other well-known and respected global entities.

At Reinhausen’s operations in Humboldt, the primary focus is not on manufacturing of the individual parts, but assembly. Parts are purchased from suppliers across the United States and Germany and brought into the facility, where assembly and testing is carried out. “All parts are exclusively made for us with our own tooling. All the tooling that is necessary to produce the part belongs to us,” comments Mr. Kurth. These assembled products are then sold to transformer manufacturers. “The tap-changers that we produce in Tennessee are not produced anywhere else in the world. Even our main plant in Germany does not produce the same type and model that we produce here in the United States. The product that we produce here is mainly dedicated to the U.S. market.”

Committed to Research and Development

The products assembled at Reinhausen’s Humboldt facilities are the result of rigorous research, development, and ongoing testing at the company’s main operations in Germany, where there are over 200 engineers solely dedicated to R&D. One of the key pillars of the company’s success for decades, is Reinhausen’s dedication to not only maintaining the superior quality of its existing products, but remaining ahead of the competition by investigating emerging technologies and product ideas that offer clients added value.

“Our engineers are also inspired by unconventional ideas,” says the company. “To develop new, innovative products, they pursue their own paths and constantly question existing rules and conventions. At the same time, they use MR’s unique wealth of experience to continuously improve the reliability of our products. Because only one thing counts in the world of energy supply – the reliability and availability of the operating equipment.”

All products are tested, and every new development must be absolutely reliable from the moment it is launched. Through the company’s unique Test Center, tap-changers are subjected to a number of tests – electrical, mechanical, and climatic – to ensure they will be able to perform reliably even in extreme conditions without exceptions. In addition to providing clients with the most reliable products on the market, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen will tool products based on customer feedback. “The products are not developed to be sold by themselves, they are designed to be installed in a bigger piece of equipment, which is a transformer,” states Mr. Kurth.

Tap-changers, drive systems, and accessories created by Reinhausen are not only the result of years of design and manufacturing excellence, but are made to have an extremely long lifespan, in many cases lasting for decades. In recent years, the company has taken on a number of initiatives, including the introduction of SAP (Systems Applications Processes) Enterprise Resource Planning software, the re-examination of a number of existing products, and plans to introduce a new motor drive for tap-changers later this year. For customers, the delivery of products from Humboldt, Tennessee will also be greatly expedited, from an average of between 14 to 15 weeks two years ago to just 8 to 9 weeks today. “That is a big step for us. This, and the ability to respond to customers more quickly when clients need quotations and drawings. With this system in place, within five days we are able to provide all drawings needed to a customer.”

Development of New Products

Back in 1999, the company acquired MESSKO® Albert Hauser GmbH and Co KG, which were added to other companies within the Reinhausen Group family. A sister company in Germany, MESSKO® concentrates on smaller components, such as oil level indicators, oil and winding temperature indicators, electronic temperature monitors, relays, sensors, transducers and more. Some products, like the Messko Buchholz Relay, are commonly found in Europe; in the U.S. they are only used in very large power transformers. In this case, the design was based and driven by the European market. Other product developments were driven by the needs of the U.S. market, like the Universal Oil and Winding Temperature Indication kit. Other well known MESSKO® transformer accessories for utilities and industrial customers include MPreC® Pressure Relief Devices, MTraB® Maintenance-free dehydrating breathers and Cargolog® impact recorders, among others.

“Our continual investment in technology and new products is the foundation of our continuing existence in this market,” shares Mr. Kurth. “We have the same values we had when we started almost 150 years ago.”

While many companies grow through acquisition, Reinhausen remains independent, and offers the same quality, selection and exceptional service it has provided for decades. “We have a unique proposition to customers, in that even today we offer support for products that we produced 50 or 60 years ago. We are still the original manufacturer, not a company that got bought up by another company and at some point discontinued a line of products and support. We have maintained it, and still offer support to any of the products that we have produced.”

For more information about The Reinhausen Group, please visit http://www.reinhausen.com/

October 23, 2017, 7:17 AM EDT

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