SPX Increases Large Transformer Manufacturing

April 16, 2012
Power producers, utilities demand drives $70-million plant expansion

SPX Corporation has completed and commissioned an expansion at its SPX Transformer Solutions Inc. subsidiary in Waukesha, Wis., a power-transformer manufacturing plant. The plant’s capacity was increased by approximately 50%, according to the manufacturer, whose goal has been to increase capacity for producing large power units for the North American power grid.

The roughly two-year project was valued at approximately $70 million. SPX is a $5-billion/year manufacturer with operations in 35 countries. The SPX Transformer Solutions business is part of its infrastructure divisions; other divisions produce flow technology and vehicle service products.

"The expansion of our SPX Transformer Solutions facility in Waukesha is an important milestone and underscores our long-term commitment to manufacturing medium and large power transformers for our valued power transmission and distribution customers throughout North America," stated SPX chairman, president, and CEO Chris Kearney. "By expanding our facility, we have significantly increased our capacity to produce the transformers that we believe will be an essential component of addressing America's rapidly aging power grid infrastructure."

The expansion added 432,000 ft2 and increased crane lifting capability to 500 tons. The improvements extend SPX's capacity to manufacture the medium and large power transformers used by electric utilities, independent power producers and independent transmission operators.

"Many of the transformers currently installed in the North American power grid are either at or near the end of their service lifetime, so there's a compelling need to replace them to avoid potential power disruptions," explained SPX Transformer Solutions President Thom Farrell. "Demand for new, more efficient transformers is growing and we believe the positive order trends we've seen over the past year are an early indication that a new investment cycle may be underway as a result of the aging transformer issue. Our new manufacturing capacity will help ensure that SPX will be well positioned to meet future demand for new transformers."

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)