HomeMagazine ArticleThe value of expertise in the transformer industry

The value of expertise in the transformer industry

By Morné Bosch, general manager for sales and marketing, ArmCoil

Taking into consideration that a distribution transformer or service transformer is a valuable asset and final bastion in the voltage transformation cycle in the electric power distribution system stepping down the voltage used in the distribution line to the safe level required by the end consumer – it matters greatly having a transformer expert at your side.

Originally starting out as a supplier of rotating machines to the AfricanTransformer continent’s and South Africa’s northern Cape mining industry and railway sector in 2002, ArmCoil always intended to expand its expertise and service offering to include transformer repairs. This goal was realised in 2005, when the company was ‘forced’ to relocate to larger premises in order to accommodate its growing order book and increased workload. With the mining and rail sectors remaining of great interest to the firm, the intention is to grow market share even further by investing resources into existing infrastructure thereby creating a more efficient facility.

Focusing on rapid turnaround times – a necessity in this business – the company has predominantly kept its existing clients for more than 10 years and became actively involved in transformer repairs for the mining sector and private industry where the demand for expert workmanship has assisted ArmCoil in capturing the market. Since then the business has serviced many clients across South Africa and into Africa on a regular basis. The focus was and still is on transformers, reactors and auxiliary equipment from 50kVA up to 45MVA, which places the company’s skills at the heart of the utilities, parastatals, industry, mining, petrochemical and railway industries. By strategically increasing the product range through the addition of locally manufactured ArmCoil Electric Machines (ACEM), allowed the company to be proudly “Your Solution Partner for Transformers and Motors”.

Take heed of experience

Having years of experience in the maintenance and repair of transformer assets has played an integral part in building ArmCoil’s prized asset, its expert knowledge. In some cases, the company has encountered transformer failures due to poor or no maintenance schedules conducted on the assets, which then require full refurbishment to customer’s specifications. This can cost around 80-90% when compared to a newly manufactured unit of equivalent size. It really is a good financial decision to purchase new replacement transformers before the existing ones encounter catastrophic failure.

The firm’s business acumen has developed too, with ACEM successfully growing year-on-year since start-up, notwithstanding overcoming expansion obstacles, entering a market dominated by well-known brands. This journey has accumulated years of skills and valuable knowledge to continue to secure and grow the firm’s market share; and is supported by its ability to manufacture efficient and wellbuilt custom transformers, which has brought in new clients where quality, price and delivery are major decision makers on project related constraints. The focus is now on growing ACEM through consistently improving the designs, manufacturing lead time and competitive pricing.