Electro Mechanical logo

1 Goodson Street

Bristol, VA 24201



1 Goodson Street          CONTACT US
Bristol, VA 24201         276.669.4084

The Grid header

MARCH 2020


Russell Leonard, CEO
One of the things we consistently pride ourselves on is our customer relationships. Responsiveness, adaptability and personal attention are hallmarks of the way we do business, and it shows in the size and number of projects our partners entrust to us.

Over the decades, we have provided high-quality, dependable power distribution equipment to our customers, both domestic and international. From green energy projects to traditional switchgear and transformers to custom-built distribution equipment, Electro-Mechanical products are hard at work around the globe, facilitating energy flow both above ground and below.

In this issue of The Grid, you’ll read about one of our ongoing projects, a transformer we’re building for a new paper mill, Green Bay Packaging, in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The size and scale of the plant requires power distribution equipment to match, and we’re proud to be building our largest-ever custom transformer in order to help the plant reach its full operational potential.

2019 proved to be a very positive year for Electro-Mechanical, and during these first months of 2020, we look forward to continuing to serve the needs of our customers, meeting the challenges presented by industry markets, and sharing solutions that enhance the ease and reliability of power transmission.

For our industry colleagues who will be attending April’s IEEE show in Chicago, be sure to drop by our booth so our staff can connect with you in person. We look forward to seeing you there!


Russell Leonard

President and CEO

Largest Dry-Type Transformer Produced
by Federal Pacific Delivered to
Green Bay, Wisconsin Customer

Engineering innovation results in optimal footprint for 15 MVA substation

FP 15 MVA Dry Type Transformer
In mid-February, Federal Pacific shipped what may be the largest transformer of its type ever manufactured by the company to Green Bay Packaging Inc. (GBP) in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

“We think it might be the largest dry-type transformer ever built, but at the very least, it is definitely among the largest in the industry,” says Mike Walls, Transformer Sales and Application engineering manager for Federal Pacific.

The custom-made transformer is the first of three identical units ordered by GBP; the other two transformers will be shipped over the next two months.

The units will supply power for GBP in its new, $500-plus million corrugated paper mill, which is presently being built to replace the company’s existing 72-year-old mill. The state-of-the-art facility is slated for completion in early 2021 after two-and-a-half years of construction, and will be Wisconsin’s first new paper mill in more than 30 years. Wisconsin is the nation’s leading producer of paper products.

Once completed, the new facility will double current mill production capacity, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent and completing the company’s transition away from coal-fired boilers. The new mill will also discharge zero wastewater into the adjacent waterway.

“A paper mill is a pretty complicated system and GBP’s new facility is a huge complex,” says Robert Greeson, principal engineer. “These transformers will power the mill’s motor control center. Since the mill is supposed to be operational during the first quarter, getting electrical equipment available to them on the site is very important.”

Federal Pacific was first approached in March of 2019 about GBP’s need for three 15 mega volt amp (MVA) dry-type transformers for the new mill.

“Originally, each transformer was specified as a 15 MVA,” Walls says. “However, the Federal Pacific engineering department proposed a concept design of two parallelled 7.5 MVA units, yielding the total required capacity of 15 MVA for each substation. While paralleled units are not unique to the industry, a 15 MVA dry-type transformer is very large by industry standards. The lead mechanical design engineer devised a centrally located air terminal compartment between the two transformers for high and low voltage customer connections, control wiring and other accessories to reduce the overall footprint of the substation. Each of these substations weighs just under 60,000 pounds.”

“The paralleled version has two advantages,” Greeson says. “First, this configuration made each section more manageable in size and weight for shipping and installation, compared to one big transformer. Second, with parallelled transformers, should one transformer go offline or require maintenance, the substation can continue operating at half-capacity.”

Principal Engineer Kent Jones and the Federal Pacific engineering team worked with GBP to develop a concept drawing to demonstrate how the units would be connected on site, while minimizing the overall footprint. The centrally located air terminal compartments housing both the primary and secondary terminations were key in achieving that goal.

“The way the transformers are connected is unique,” Greeson says. “Most of the time, low and high voltage come in on opposite sides of the transformer, but in this case, they are essentially coming into the same central part of the entire transformer assembly. Our team worked with the customer in detail on the best way to achieve the connections in their overall system design, resulting in a product that meets their needs in a workable size.

“While most of the features of this product are common to the marketplace, I’ve never seen this configuration before,” Greeson adds. “That’s engineering innovation. The transformer business is such a mature industry and it’s hard to innovate anything, but this product is the result of many years of experience, combined with very talented engineers who looked at all the requirements for this project, and it all came together.”

Once the concept drawing was accepted, a Hold for Approval order was placed by the customer and the project submittals were completed for review. The units were released for construction in mid-November. The first substation shipped to the customer on Feb. 19 and arrived at their warehouse on Feb. 22.

The finished product includes the following accessories:

  1.   A low-resistance Neutral Grounding Resistor (rated 24 ohms, 100 amps, 10 seconds) preventing destructive transient overvoltages and to limit ground-fault current
  2.   3000:5 Current Transformers are installed on the common low-voltage bus for load current monitoring
  3.   IRISS IR Viewing Windows are installed to safely monitor energized low- and high-voltage bolted connections from outside the transformer enclosure using IR thermal imaging cameras
  4.   An intelligent Transformer Temperature Monitor continuously measures individual transformer winding temperatures, and includes local remote and alarm trip functions and SCADA communication capability for remote monitoring
  5.   Polymer housed Station Class Surge Arrestors are installed on the high-voltage side to protect against dangerous switching transients and potential lightning strikes upstream of the transformer

“In addition to meeting GBP’s technical specifications for developing this product, we also met their timeline schedule in providing the units — which represented a 13-week turnaround, once released for construction,” Walls says. “In addition, a Federal Pacific field service engineer will be present to review the installation and assist in the commissioning of the unit. While this service is not always needed, it is certainly something we offer to the customer. Since this is a much more complicated job than a typical substation installation, GBP decided to have an assistant on site.

“Federal Pacific delivers on time, is ISO certified, and provides excellent customer service and support,” Walls says. “When customers come to us, they find that we’re a customer-focused, privately owned company that is more flexible in meeting customer and project requirements. Our customers appreciate that and know that when they need help, we will be there for them.”

FP 15 MVA Dry Type Transformer

Seven Agents Earn Top Honors
at 50th Annual NEMRA Conference

Electro-Mechanical Corporation (EMC) is proud to recognize seven top-selling agents who earned between $1 million and $2 million in sales during the 2019 fiscal year. Joseph E. Biben Sales, Burrus & Matthews, Inc., Bill Wade & Associates, Damin Sales and Florida Electrical Sales were honored during the manufacturer sales meeting portion of the 50th Annual National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA) conference, held Jan. 29 – Feb. 1 in Orlando, Florida.

The NEMRA conference features educational sessions, manufacturer sales meetings, business review sessions, a product showcase and business service expo, and a general session with a keynote speaker.

“The 2019 fiscal year was a highly successful year for EMC in the low-voltage engineered and stock transformer market, where many of our agents experienced double-digit growth,” says Tim Neal, director of C&I Products for Federal Pacific. “While attending the NEMRA Conference, we had the opportunity to meet with 20 agents and received top-of-the-line market intelligence, which will allow us to make minor adjustments to better serve the industry with best-in-class customer service, quality and delivery supporting our 2020 growth plan.”

Kelly Messik, Chris Transue and Tim Neal
Pictured from left are Kelly Messick, channel manager, Federal Pacific; Chris Transue, vice president of sales, Joseph E. Biben Sales; and Tim Neal, director of C&I Products, Federal Pacific
Kelly Messik, Luke Studdard, Keith Scott and Tim Neal
Pictured from left are Kelly Messick, channel manager, Federal Pacific; Luke Studdard, outside sales representative, and Keith Scott, vice president, both of Burrus & Matthews, Inc.; and Tim Neal, director of C&I Products, Federal Pacific.
Kelly Messik, Mike Wade, Cindy Wade Brown and Tim Neal
Pictured from left are Kelly Messick, channel manager, Federal Pacific; Mike Wade, operations manager, and Cindy Wade Brown, vice president of sales, both of Bill Wade & Associates; and Tim Neal, Federal Pacific Director of C&I Products
Kelly Messik, Peter Gregory and Tim Neal
Pictured from left are Kelly Messick, channel manager, Federal Pacific; Peter Gregory, owner, Damin Sales; and Tim Neal, Federal Pacific Director of C&I Products
Kelly Messik, Ed Mullen and Tim Neal
Pictured from left are Kelly Messick, channel manager, Federal Pacific; Ed Mullen, sales representative, Florida Electrical Sales; and Tim Neal, Federal Pacific Director of C&I Products

2020 IEEE PES T&D Conference & Expo


Check back soon for further details, and click here for more information about the conference.


EMC is now on Facebook! Like and follow our page for news, events and photos — and stay connected with us on LinkedIn.

Facebook icon
Linkedin logo