PARTNER companies

A-Line’s Specialty- Transformer Forensics

What an incredibly busy year it has been for the A-Line team.  While we have been performing lots of projects involving retired transformers and remove transformers during outages, the word of the year has been FORENSIC.  We have been contacted by multiple customers including manufacturers, engineers, insurance companies and utility customers to assist with transformer teardowns involving root cause failure analysis.  This first project showcased below was performed for a utility that had a couple units that failed and needed evaluation on both.  The sites were a few hours apart so A-Line crews worked simultaneously to dismantle both transformers at the same time in order to provide efficiency for the evaluation and minimize the forensic engineering costs.

This core style transformer was fairly small, weighing in at only 167,000 lbs.

This crew made quick work of this unit, opening the tank, removing the coils for evaluation and then getting all materials shipped off site for recycling.

A-Line works directly with the evaluating parties to ensure all failure areas are seen, photographed and noted for complete reporting.

This transformer was removed from the site in 2 days!  Our efficient operations help our customers save time and money!

This next project shows the nasty failure that took place.  Here is the transformer when it was in its operating location.

This core and coil transformer weighed almost 400,000 lbs in service.  It was relocated prior to A-Line being contracted to perform the forensic and recycling.  A-Line provided a turnkey solution to our customer, performing not only the teardown but also the forensic engineering services for the project, working in conjunction with additional customer consultants.

This transformer was located in a laydown yard where A-Line proceeded to remove the damaged bushings and then open the unit for internal inspection of the core.

Meet Jace- the guys enjoy their poses with the transformers- we’ve had some good ones over the years.

Oh and here’s Jace skydiving on a little side adventure during one of our larger projects.  He’s always cool, calm and collected…

So back to that project…

This transformer was removed in less than 4 days and the site was left clean from any debris and materials.  One thing that sets A-Line apart is that all of our team members take pride in the work they do which results in safe and successful projects for our customers.

This next toasty transformer is a throwback forensic but the damage was so extensive it’s worth sharing.  This catastrophic transformer failure destroyed this 725,000 lb. beast.  A-Line was contracted to downsize and remove auxiliary components, relocate the transformer and assist with the forensic teardown.

Not only was this a dirty job but it was a HOT one.  The temperature during most of this was around 115 degrees…while our crews enjoy the warm weather even this was a bit much for them.  Lots of water breaks were needed to keep them safe and moving forward.

The site was all cleaned and materials were shipped to our facility for further recycling.

If you want to stay current with the A-Line happenings or want to see some great transformer pictures connect with our owner Brad Stroh on LinkedIn. He’s always sharing the goods!  One of the cool things about our company is that we have ownership in the field, getting dirty, with their boots on the ground.  Having people that are invested in the quality of work is a priceless asset.

One of our company owners was in the field for this giant shell failure.  This giant shell transformer weighed over a million pounds!

A-Line carefully cut this damaged tank for removal for the initial inspection of the core.

Once the core was inspected A-Line swiftly removed the core steel.  This exposed the windings where the evidence of failure was contained in one of the phases.  Due to the pandemic some of the inspection parties were not able to make it to the site so A-Line carefully loaded the entire phase and shipped it to our facility for inspection at a later date.  Once the windings were removed, the tank was then downsized and shipped for recycling as well.

After a couple months travel plans were made and all parties were able to make the trip to Iowa to inspect the phase pack in depth.

All of the evidence was tagged, photographed and notes were taken.  Once the investigation was complete A-Line recycled all of the winding material.

Each project that we complete is unique.  It takes meticulous planning and skill to be able to accomplish these projects safely and efficiently. Performing a root cause failure analysis adds an extra challenge to these projects but we love stepping up to the plate to please our customers.  If we can’t do it, it can’t be done.