Serving Customers Worldwide

Reinhausen Manufacturing

With a lengthy history of innovation, Reinhausen Manufacturing Inc. continues to break new ground in the field of transformer technology. Providing products and solutions for distribution network systems and equipment, Reinhausen Manufacturing remains an industry-wide leader many years after the company was founded.
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With over half of the world’s electricity flowing through its products, the name Reinhausen is synonymous with quality. Literally present in all areas dealing with the flow of energy, Reinhausen maintains its commitment to the planet’s energy supply by working with customers to develop and manufacture exceptionally reliable equipment and components used by utility providers, makers of high-voltage devices and systems, large-scale voltage-intensive industries and others.

Built for longevity
Customers know when they purchase products from Reinhausen Manufacturing, they are not only investing in the best available technology, but in reliability founded on many decades of industry experience. The company’s products range from On-Load Tap-Changers (OLTC) such as its VACUTAP® series to TAPCON® voltage regulators, protective relays designed to protect OLTCs, the voltage regulated GRIDCON® transformer, ‘clean’ distribution systems which are stable and lower energy costs, and more. All are made for dependability and resistance to the elements.

Since it was founded 150 years ago in Regensburg, Germany, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) has grown to approximately 3,550 employees worldwide, with about 75 percent located in Germany. Represented by a worldwide service network of over 20 subsidiaries on all continents, the company has production sites not only in Germany, but also in Sweden, China, and the United States, and area sales managers everywhere from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

ETOS® system
With the vision, ‘No transformers without a MR product,’ the company continues to develop new products. Along with a global state-of-the-art testing and innovation facility, the company is backed by a strong executive board, research and development staff, and a highly informed sales team.

This August saw the release of ETOS®, Reinhausen’s new Embedded Transformer Operating System. Unique to the industry, ETOS is designed, engineered and manufactured to be the first open operating system in the world for smart transformers. Providing solutions for transformer manufacturers and transformer operators, ETOS is described by the company as “a manufacturer-independent system for monitoring, controlling and regulating power transformers,” and a complete solution for digitalizing transformers in the field level area.

Able to be integrated or retrofitted seamlessly – into an entire fleet or just a single transformer – ETOS is used to form the interface between the process level and the control level. With no impact on system costs for end customers, the many benefits of ETOS include the ability to connect to third-party suppliers (sensors and data), a high level of cyber security, maximum modularity of hardware and software, real-time 24/7 automated monitoring, central visualization of all connected transformers, and more.

Asset management
In the United States, Reinhausen Manufacturing’s facilities are based in the city of Humboldt, Tennessee. The company serves a broad range of customers including utilities, municipalities, co-ops, power plants (including nuclear), steel mills, and others.

In 2016, Reinhausen made a full commitment to Asset Management (Transformer Field Services) in the U.S. While the company is not new to transformer service, this commitment reflects its philosophies on approaching field service. “This means Reinhausen Manufacturing has really been in transformer service since 2013, but only completing the most complex projects, OLTC (On-Load Tap-Changer) retrofits,” says the company’s Ric Bates, who has held the position of Director of Asset Management (U.S.) for over a year.

Interestingly enough, RM began its field service portfolio with some of the most challenging and risk averse projects first, then worked its way backwards, into the simplest forms of transformer service such as electrical testing, maintenance work, and new transformer installations. Beginning its endeavor when the company purchased two subsidiaries – ATSI in Manchester, New Jersey, and Phoenix, Arizona’s ESS Corporation in 2016 –Reinhausen also began expanding internally, along with adding an independent division of transformer service specialists only, and opened a new location in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In addition to both expansion and subsidiary acquisitions, the company began investing in equipment, including two Baron oil-processing rigs. Along with the rig (tractor and trailer), safety equipment, tools, test equipment and other items, each represents a $1M investment for Reinhausen, which will be adding a third processing rig to its fleet as of December, 2019. “With the third rig comes additional personnel for technicians to fulfill the crew requirements of the third crew,” says Bates. “With these additional resources, RM will have about 50 technicians across the U.S., with equipment not only located at our brick-and-mortar locations, but also strategically placed for easy mobilization to remote locations.”

At the ready
When the U.S. was impacted by a number of hurricanes in recent months, Reinhausen was there to help. Part of the company’s approach is to handle normal outages and regularly scheduled work along with emergency events. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornados, floods, fires and earthquakes, destroy not only lives but also property and entire electrical systems. “Typically, two weeks to two months after the event is when we start rolling in, because at that point they’ve got power restored and now they are looking at repairing their assets,” states Bates. The company has people and equipment on standby to respond who come on board immediately after an event.

Able to mobilize quickly following a disaster is one of the major strengths of RM’s service division. The company was founded on years of individual and collective experience, and many staff previously worked in the transformer industry, most possessing at least a decade’s worth of first-hand industry knowledge. The impact of these many years of knowledge – a key point of difference with Reinhausen Manufacturing – is evident in the company’s expansive reach. “There really isn’t a sector or an industry that we are not pretty heavily involved in in one capacity or another across the U.S.,” says Bates. “That’s one of the things we have – the experience and the knowledge.”

RM is known worldwide for its innovative and reliable tap changer technology, and its products are designed, engineered and manufactured for a variety of applications, depending on the client and industry sector. Steel mills, for example, require highly specialized transformers which operate completely differently than GSU (Generator Step-Up transformers), requiring the team at Reinhausen to be extremely well-versed in the industry in America, which is highly competitive.

“That was one of our challenges, to realize and adapt to this highly competitive market,” shares Bates. “One of the reasons I and some of my teammates were brought in here is because of the strength of Reinhausen as a manufacturing facility for tap-changers, not necessarily for field service. It is a new way of looking at things. The competition level in the United States for field service is very high, and they need people who are confident, because of bids. Experience, knowledge, and expertise in the service industry are big.”

An award-winning company
Highly respected by its clients and peers, Reinhausen Manufacturing continues to garner industry praise. In 2015 and again in 2017, MR was recognized as one of the 100 best employers in Germany under the Great Place to Work® Institute’s corporate competition “Deutschlands Beste Arbeitgeber 2017” (Germany’s Best Employers 2017). In 2015, the company was a Red Dot Award Winner for TAPCON, and has received other awards this decade for HR Excellence, Best Innovator, and other accolades.

After its many successful decades in business, the company’s customers worldwide are aware of Reinhausen’s core offerings, which include a rich history of producing world-class tap changers. Now the company is enjoying its newest capabilities as a full service transformer service provider servicing the entire United States. “We are currently installing new transformers throughout many customer sectors, for many of the most well-known OEMs,” says Bates. “Our capabilities and expertise are no longer limited to the tap changer, but now the entire transformer, which includes all services throughout the life of a transformer: new installations, annual maintenance and inspections, repairs, replacements, retrofits and relocation, life extensions, as well as decommissioning and removal for replacement.”

Closing the Gap

A lack of skills training has been an issue for decades but is fast approaching a crisis worldwide. High schools have been reducing or eliminating shop classes for years; experienced workers of the baby boomer generation are retiring, and guidance councillors have long discouraged students from entering the manufacturing sector in favour of white-collar careers.

Past Issues

May 24, 2019, 11:01 AM EDT