T&D World Magazine

Troy Kabrich: Transformer Dynamo

For the past 24 years, Troy Kabrich has been involved in the service and support of transformer OEMs, helping utility and industrial customers with installation, testing, repair, maintenance and retrofit of their equipment. As a field engineer and project manager, Kabrich has experienced first-hand the challenges and rewards of commissioning and repairing critical infrastructure.

Now vice president and general manager for the Service and Components Division of SPX Transformer Solutions, Inc., he finds that his job is always dynamic.

“You can throw out your plans for the day after the first phone call,” Kabrich said. “Being able to deal with so many diverse people working through issues and continually learning every day is rewarding.”

Kabrich will present Transformer Installation:  Assembly, Oil Processing & Commissioning at Doble’s Life of a Transformer Seminar, Feb. 3-7, 2014, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This presentation will highlight recommendations for the proper receipt, inspection, field assembly, oil processing and acceptance testing of large liquid-immersed power transformers. Transformer field installation processes and standards will be reviewed to include impact recorders, equipment requirements, assembly operations, field dry out techniques, determination of insulation moisture concentration, provisions for cold ambient temperature processing, vacuum filling processes and acceptance testing. 

“As transformer manufacturers continue to optimize designs for performance and cost efficiencies, installation and maintenance activities become more critical to ensure the reliability and life expectancy of the transformers,” Kabrich said.  “Control of the environments and work activities will have dramatic impact on the expected performance of these critical assets.”

Kabrich began his career as a sales engineer with Westinghouse 24 years ago, working for a new service group based out of the old Muncie, Indiana transformer plant.  Within six months of starting the job, he and his team had sold more work than they had people to perform.

“My boss, recognizing that I was an old farm kid (and perhaps to punish me for my sales errors), decided the time had come for me to get what he called ‘a real education’, and I began working as a field engineer leading crews on transformer projects throughout the U.S. and the world,” Kabrich said. “I never made it to my next sales rotation and have been involved in the servicing of transformers ever since.”

He not only has plenty of experience in the field, he also finds time to educate the industry. He has presented at numerous industry forums and events including SPX Waukesha’s regional technical seminars, IEEE T&D conferences, Doble’s Life of a Transformer seminars, ECNE engineering and operations seminars, TVPPA substation maintenance labs, MUPPA substation courses and the Iowa State Substation Short Course.  

Kabrich tells students and other engineers to take advantage and learn from the knowledge and experiences of others.  “During my career I have been blessed with opportunities to have access to and worked beside some of the transformer industry’s most prominent experts including Earl Luke, Joe McDonald, Jim Templeton, TV Oommen and Jin Sim, just to name a few.  Their willingness to share knowledge and guidance is extremely valuable,” he said. 

Not that he has much spare time, but when he does, he catches his teenage daughter’s soccer, cheerleading and dance activities. Sounds like dynamism runs in the family.

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