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Waukesha Service Successfully Completed Large Project in Newark, New Jersey

Street View
View of Transformer from street.
Roof View
View of Transformer from roof. Restricted rigging access was one of the challenges faced by technicians.

April 14, 2011 –In July 2010, Waukesha Service received a request to quote a large project in downtown Newark, New Jersey for Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G) that called for the refurbishment of three aging Westinghouse transformers within a relatively short timeframe. Two service team members traveled to New Jersey in early August to review project specifics with the customer and view the work site. Following this visit, Ron Yankum, Regional Sales Associate, gathered all necessary data and submitted a proposal to the customer on August 23rd. A couple weeks later, Ron received an award letter from PSE&G accepting Waukesha’s bid to perform the original scope of work as well as two activities outside the quotation’s initial parameters, adding approximately 10% to the overall value of the contract.

On September 9th, Waukesha’s Nathan Wilcox, Steve Chicki and Steve Berry were dispatched to the site to begin planning and scheduling for a project start date of October 1st. They met with other site contractors to review all projected work, created a prioritized task list, formulated a bill of material that included mandatory delivery dates and mapped out potential issues along with preemptive solutions. They also assigned a dedicated team of Waukesha field service technicians to all three phases of the project to ensure consistency (since all three transformers and bays were similar, workforce continuity would help reduce labor hours on Phases Two and Three from lessons learned in Phase One). Those designated to the PSE&G job included Steve Berry, project manager; Nathan Wilcox, lead technician and day time foreman; Mike Cheney, night foreman for Phase One; Felix Allen Herrera, night foreman for Phases Two and Three (Mike was needed elsewhere prior to the start of Phase Two); and field technicians, Luis Rodriguez, Dale Wilcox and Rob Simonelli.

As Phase One progressed, the project team implemented around-the-clock staffing to facilitate the work. The transformers are housed in a building at street level, but, due to logistics, all major equipment had to be lifted and lowered 50 feet/three stories by crane through the building’s roof. To accomplish this safely, a major street in downtown Newark was partially blocked off and the remaining section closely monitored throughout all three phases of the project. The presence of many contractors performing a multitude of tasks in conjunction with Waukesha activities made close coordination an absolute necessity.

Street View
Before
Roof View
After

Other interesting developments occurred while performing work in Phase One. The first of two circa 1958 LTC equipped transformers would not permit full vacuum. This required the development of an amended vacuum oil filling procedure to which our field service team adapted and successfully performed the work. The owner-supplied “X” bushings were not direct replacements for the ones removed (4000 amp bushings requiring larger bottom connectors than the original 3000 amp bushings). Working only from sketches on notebook paper, the Waukesha Components team in Dallas designed modified connectors for a precision fit and, upon approval, manufactured and shipped them in just one day.

As planned, we applied “lessons learned” from Phase One to the next two phases of the project and lowered our labor hours and material lead times from 28 days to 21 and 22 days respectively. Phase Two began November 1st with work being completed on the 19th; the unit was then painted by others and energized on November 23rd. The last transformer was scheduled to come out of service before Thanksgiving; however, PSE&G rescheduled the start date to November 29th to allow for all personnel to be with their families over the holiday. This decision was made possible because our service team had their work under control, and the customer knew we would complete the last unit prior to Christmas despite a pushed back out-of-service date. The third unit’s work was finalized on December 16th, then painted and put back on the grid December 20th.

PSE&G is New Jersey’s oldest and largest publicly owned utility (subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group – NYSE: PEG) as well as the state’s largest provider of gas and electric service, servicing 1.7 million gas customers and 2.1 million electric customers in more than 300 urban, suburban and rural New Jersey
communities. Upon completion of the project, Paul Morakinyo from PSE&G’s Substation Engineering Group sent out an e-mail announcing energization of the final transformer, including some complimentary words for the Waukesha team:

"We appreciate the outstanding efforts by the Waukesha crew on this major project comprising of three transformers. This challenging work could not have been completed successfully without the dedication and support of the Waukesha team. Please express our gratitude to all of your team members who were involved in this project."

Thanks, also, from the whole Waukesha organization to all Service personnel involved in this major project for providing another true Waukesha Experience to yet another satisfied customer!

 

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