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On Wednesday, October 5th, 2016, the ASME Milwaukee Section toured the SPX facility in Waukesha at 400 S. Prairie Ave. Thirty of our members attended including three students—Jordan Black and Ryan Quinn UW-Madison, and Lorne Nix who is attending North Carolina State University on-line. In addition, three guests from the Public Service Commission attended.
From the outside, the facility is huge and impressive. With over 650 employees, the plant covers 449,000 square feet. Portions of the building are climate controlled to ensure moisture control during production.
Prior to our tour, Chris Dobner, the HR manager, discussed the corporate structure. Headquartered in Charlotte, N. C., SPX consists of three divisions— (1) HVAC products; (2) detection, measurement, and technical equipment; and (3) power product lines. The company has over 6000 employees worldwide in 20 countries with 1000 in the United States. The largest power transformer they manufacture is rated at 1200 mva and 345 kV.
For the technical presentation, Dharam Vir, Vice President of Engineering, provided an overview of the operating characteristics of a transformer. In addition, he described the types and classes of transformers and design considerations. Also, an overview of the design software was presented. After a question and answer session, we broke into groups and began the tour.
During the tour, we witnessed the production process as the tour guides led us thru the plant and described:
Next stop—dinner at the nearby La Estacion, a Mexican restaurant. Our group occupied two railroad cars and enjoyed a complete buffet meal.