Thinking beyond standards

Get the transformer you expect

Every time I walk into a grocery store I am reminded how the world has become a very small place. You have items from all over the world. The globalization of goods is now the norm, although standards remain a local issue. This leads me to think… does someone all the way on the other side of the world really understand the local standards and what is required in my market place.

The need for utilities and industrial companies to lower initial costs has forced many power transformer buyers to look beyond their national borders. This causes new challenges in creating specifications that will provide low, first-cost manufacturers clear direction regarding desired performance and features. Standards provide baseline parameters but don’t fully describe all of the buyer’s requirements. When shopping in a global market, buyers need to provide broader levels of detail and increased specificity to ensure that they get the transformer they expect.

What’s true of shopping for toys or ties is just as true for transformers. When dealing in unfamiliar markets and with new and untested suppliers, the buyer must truly beware. It’s essential to clearly define the device requirements, something that may be simplified by accepted standards such as IEEE, ANSI, CSA or IEC. But even for the active parts of the transformer, the standards don’t cover all the special cases or specific parameters. Clarification is suggested for all agreements between builders and buyers.

My engineering manager is always reminding me that, whenever humans are involved, there is room for misinterpretation, especially when buying globally. The manufacturing team won’t necessarily get the same meaning from the standard or specification language as the buyer intended when writing the specification. The difficulties here are magnified when working with manufacturers in a different continent. You can have a perfect standard but still have different interpretations.

If I’ve managed to catch your attention, have a look at the white paper which talks about the challenges of thinking beyond standards and specifications.

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About the author

Scott Curley

I lead the Demand Side Operations for ABB's power transformer business in North America, including strategic partnerships, marketing, engineering, project management and transportation of Power transformers. I've worked at ABB for over 20 years and have lived in the USA, UK and Australia.
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