A Speedy Swap: Replacing Three 380,000-Pound Transformers in Seven Days
- 6-line Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT). 4 100-Ton Computer Controlled Synchronized Jacking Gear. 200 feet of skid beams and 300-ton skid shoes with a push-pull system
For a Centralia, WA, power generation station, having three active and operational transformers is a must, especially during the holiday season. In early December, one of the transformers failed, leaving the other two to pick up the slack—-and leaving the station’s crew with the realization that all three transformers may be nearing the end of their useful life.
With three new transformers on stand-by, all the company needed was a reliable machinery moving company that could handle the extreme weight and short time frame. Enter Omega Morgan’s Seattle machinery moving team, ready and able to get our customer back up and running at full capacity.
THE PLAN: HEAVY MACHINERY MOVING
Given two days to plan the project, our machinery moving team started with a site visit to gain an understanding of the station layout and transformers’ potential path. The unusual challenge presented by this project involved swapping out six total units of extremely large size—380,000 pounds each—within the limited time period.
After the site visit, the crew developed a plan to move the components one at a time via jack and slide gear and SPMTs. Once our team arranged the equipment arrival, we went over our safety plan with the customer ahead of the start day. After two full days of preparation, the crew was ready for action.
THE EXECUTION: ON TIME AND UNDER BUDGET
On day one, our crew of five—consisting of one foreman, an SPMT operator, and three additional operators—arrived with the equipment and began setting up. The team jacked the first active transformer and loaded it onto the SPMT before moving it 150 feet and jacking it down. Next, the crew jacked the second transformer and found skidding to be a more efficient method of placement than the SPMT.
Over seven days, our machinery moving team worked outside in the winter conditions, swapping each transformer, one move at a time. Overall, it took six operations with each of the six components. On the final day, we cleaned the job and removed our equipment. Our customer was thrilled with the result and the speed and safety of our crew. We finished the moves seven days ahead of schedule, ensuring our client had full power capacity in time for the holidays.