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Transformer Recycling Qualifications- What’s important to you?

In my 12 years of “selling” A-Line’s transformer recycling services to customers I’ve found that there is a varying range of what our customers feel is important when retiring and recycling their oil filled electrical equipment such as transformers, oil circuit breakers, bushings, potential transformers, capacitors and various other electrical components.  Instead of our typical project blog I’m going to share my thoughts regarding the importance of considering all qualifications when selecting someone to for your transformer recycling needs.

PRICE–  This is sometimes the only factor that is considered and while it is important, it certainly is not the most important consideration when selecting a vendor for environmental recycling.  I prefer to use the word value over price.  When bidding transformer recycling projects sometimes you are comparing apples to oranges in service capabilities and environmental risk.

There are other items to think about that factor into the overall value that you receive.  What are the costs for your company to provide oversite for the project duration? How will that cost be less or more depending on the vendor you choose?  What are the costs to relocate the surplus transformer and does it have to be relocated?  For more information on this- check out this blog about how we helped save our customers money 

What is the safety and environmental record and permits for the vendor and what is the risk work should a mistake be made?  These are all things to consider as part of the price or value that you receive which leads into the next items for consideration.

SAFETY– When any contractor is coming on your property it is important to know their safe work history.  They should always come equipped with all of the appropriate PPE and equipment for the project.  Transformer decommissioning is a very specific task and isn’t your everyday scrap recycling project or demolition job.  The company you choose needs to have the experience necessary to recycle the surplus transformer safely. With all of the differing factors it takes many years of experience to gain the knowledge in order to safely complete a transformer teardown of any size.  Any qualified contractor should be able to provide you with a detailed work plan, a project resume and references.

ENVIRONMENTAL– The environmental compliance record and processing capabilities are important considerations for the recycling of all oil filled electrical equipment.  Having a facility that is capable and permitted to handle high level PCBs protects your assets, however; permits aren’t everything.  It’s important to make sure that the vendor has processes in place to protect your interests and has a clean record in doing so.  Whether you’re sending PCB contaminated equipment to them or not, you could be held liable in the event of an environmental cleanup.  It’s also important to make sure they are equipped to handle all of the environmental factors in the field as well.

EXTRAS– What are the extra “add-on” benefits you might require or receive from a vendor should also play an important role.  Experience in root cause failure analysis, evidence collecting, including photographs, is important so your team of engineers can learn from their retired transformer fleet.  It’s also important to consider retaining spare components as back up for your existing transformers.  Any qualified vendor should be capable of carefully removing and setting this equipment aside for your future use.

All of the above play an important role in the value of transformer recycling in your business.  I like to encourage our customers to go out into the field, visit our facility and experience the difference in service for themselves.  Sometimes a bid may look attractive on paper but what it costs you out in the field isn’t worth the risk.

At A-Line we like to view on-site transformer recycling as an art and more of a systematic teardown or de-manufacturing of equipment.  All of our team members are employed by us year round and have the training and qualifications necessary to properly recycle any transformer or other high voltage electrical equipment you may have.  Our crews always come prepared and equipped with the necessary safety gear and tooling to complete the job safely, efficiently and with care in maintaining the environmental integrity of your property.

Next time you’re considering hiring a contractor to recycle your transformers or other electrical equipment remember that it’s important to consider all factors or you might end up with a jobsite that looks like this

This isn’t the way a transfomer teardown should look and definitely needs a “Buyer (or seller) Beware” sticker attached.

If you’re looking for a qualified contractor with the safety record, permits and on-site skill to provide you with the best value, give us a call at (800) 760-0222.  We’re happy to review any project and provide assistance to save you time and money!  Check out our transformer recycling video here to see just a sampling of our projects.