Knobelsdorff Logo

Emergency Response Services

Lake City, MN

Emergency response to a transformer failure.

Project Details


Industrial Manufacturing

Construction Type

Emergency Response


100% Self-Performed by KE

Project Duration

Three Days

Summary of Work Performed

The Situation

Knobelsdorff (KE) began working with one of the world’s leading designers, manufacturers, and marketers of automotive products in 2008 as their electrical contractor.

In November 2022, KE received an emergency call from this customer about their casting line 3 melt furnace suffering a phase-to-phase fault, triggering a CL3 transformer failure, resulting in a complete production shutdown of Casting Line 3.

Upon arrival, KE performed a transformer inspection and investigation. Based on the oil inspection, it was determined that the transformer was beyond field repair and required an expedited replacement.

The Solution

Within three days, KE was able to mobilize a crew of internal engineers quickly, electricians and power service technicians to troubleshoot the issue. A new transformer was the solution; however, due to procurement delays and no used transformers available, their operations would be down for weeks, maybe even months.

Based on our history and knowledge of this customer, our crew brainstormed a creative solution: tap into a vault located under the melt deck, cut through 14 inches of concrete and using a crane in a very tight space, extract the decommissioned T6 transformer as a temporary solution to feed the casting line until a new unit becomes available.

Once the T6 transformer was extracted, it was craned into place and required reconfiguration to operate in place of the CL3 transformer. KE reconfigured conduit, customized enclosures and cabling to accommodate top-mounted bushings in lieu of side mount. This was done in a manner to allow the customer complete flexibility with future transformer installation by not directly altering the existing raceway and cable.

KE managed the entire extraction and installation, working with the crane, rigging and trucking operators.

The Results

The transformer faulted to the point of no return. With that, the KE team actively sourced a new transformer, provisioning value-added options that will allow the transformer to operate more efficiently. Additionally, KE proposed a conceptual design that involves retrofitting a vacuum circuit breaker and differential protection to allow for added protection of our customer's high-value asset. When this design is implemented, the customer knows that if a fault occurs again, the transformer will be protected.

Our history with this customer and the ability to think outside the box made this project a significant success. With a preventative plan in place, we look forward to our continued relationship with this customer.

*Due to an NDA, we are unable to provide company details. 

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