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Hitachi ABB Power Grids in Brilon: Transformer factory celebrates its 100th anniversary
The Hitachi ABB Power Grids location in Brilon, Germany, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. What is today a factory for dry-type transformers, was started in 1921 as the "Dominitwerke GmbH" mine lamp factory.
"Our dry-type transformer plant in Brilon offers our customers high-quality solutions for their specific challenges," explains Tobias Asshauer, Head of Product Marketing at Hitachi ABB Power Grids. He is convinced of the factory, and the transformers manufactured there and emphasizes: "Excellent products do not come about by themselves. Many employees work at the Brilon factory who have contributed their know-how and experience in the production of dry-type transformer solutions for decades.
From miner's lamps to transformers - an eventful history
100 years ago, on May 15, 1921, today's dry-type transformer factory was founded as the pit lamp factory "Dominitwerke GmbH" in the Hoppecker Bremecketal. After the sale of numerous miner's lamps, the facility started the production of small transformers. In the early 1940’s Akkumulatoren-Fabrik AG, Hagen, took over the facily at which point, the first high-voltage transformers were manufactured and delivered. In 1972, the Swedish electrical engineering company ASEA (Allänna Svenska Elektriska Aktiebolaget) took over the factory. Two years later, the transformer factory achieved a technical breakthrough with the development of RESIBLOC® technology. In 1988 the merger between ASEA and the Swiss BBC (Brown Bovery Company) took place. With this, the Brilon factory got transferred to the ABB group, where it developed into the global center for RESIBLOC® transformers. With the sale of the Power Grids division of the ABB Group to Hitachi, the transformer plant became part of Hitachi ABB Power Grids.
The RESIBLOC technology® - an innovation from the Brilon transformer factory
In 1974 the first RESIBLOC® transformer was introduced in the market – a pioneering technical achievement. Until then, transformers almost exclusively used oil as a coolant. With the RESIBLOC® technology, it was possible for the first time, to manufacture a naturally cooled dry-type transformer that met the technical requirements. These transformers are made of epoxy resin reinforced with glass fiber, which gives them an exceptionally high short-circuit strength and protection against cracking even under extreme operating conditions. This technology has proven itself for decades, especially in areas of application with harsh environmental conditions or areas that require a high level of reliability.
An optimistic look into the future
"In the last few years, we have managed to expand the product portfolio especially with the RESIBLOC® Rail and the Medium Voltage – Line Voltage Regulator," says Asshauer happily. "I also see significant growth opportunities for the dry-type transformer business in the future."
"We owe a large part of our success to our employees, who, with their experience and also with a clear view of the customer's needs, help us to develop our portfolio further," adds Kay Kruse, head of the dry-type transformer plant in Brilon. An expansion of the transformer factory is planned for the next few years. "With the enlargement of the plant and the rescheduling of production, we will set new standards in terms of energy efficiency, sustainability, and productivity, as well as in terms of working conditions," concludes Kruse looking into the future.
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