Minimized maintenance with higher availability and operational reliability of transformers

VACUTAP VM – higher efficiency in the manufacture of steel, aluminum and silicon

With a maintenance interval of 300,000 switching operations, the innovative on-load tap-changer VACUTAP VM reduces production downtimes due to maintenance in applications with a high number of tap-change operations, such as arc furnaces and electrolysis.
(PresseBox) ( Regensburg, )
Whether the application is an arc furnace for the manufacture of steel and silicon or electrolysis for aluminum extraction – the efficiency of the processes is critically dependent on the furnace or process transformer. The on-load tap-changer plays an important role here, as it ensures process-related voltage control. With the innovative VACUTAP VM, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) is offering a new on-load tap-changer that is ideally suited to the high requirements of industrial processes. The retrofitable innovation in vacuum switching technology significantly reduces maintenance requirements and thus downtimes in plants. In addition, the VACUTAP VM’s unique arc control and step protection system protects against damage to the tap-changer and transformer.

The process reliability of melting operations in the manufacture of metal – in particular with arc furnaces – places special demands on the supply of power. Optimum voltage regulation and switching strategies that are designed to meet demands are therefore essential for a consistently high level of performance and quality. The on-load tap-changer meets these demands in the process and furnace transformer. The new VACUTAP VM from Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH (MR) offers advantages in these applications that contribute to greater efficiency. At the same time, the future-proof on-load tap-changer has innovative details that increase operational reliability in vacuum switching technology.

Minimized maintenance costs and higher system availability
With a maintenance interval of 300,000 switching operations without time or electricity criteria and a contact life of 600,000 switching operations, the new VACUTAP VM is designed for industrial applications with a very high number of switching operations. The lifespan of the diverter switch unit is actually 1.2 million switching operations. As the on-load tap-changer oil is not polluted by the arc extinction in vacuum switching technology, neither an oil filter system nor the associated filter changes are required.
With 200,000 switching operations per year, which is normal in metal production, and a transformer lifespan of 20 years, up to 45% of the costs for maintenance, spare parts and oil filters can be saved with the VACUTAP VM compared with conventional oil switching tap-changers (maintenance is required after 40,000 to 100,000 switching operations).

Exchange vacuum valves quickly as a complete unit
The interrupter exchange module contributes to reductions in production downtimes due to maintenance when the vacuum valves need to be exchanged after 600,000 tap-change operations. This intelligent spare part solution consists of a completely assembled and preconfigured module including a supporting unit, which enables a simple, time-saving change, thus ensuring fastest renewed availability of the transformer.

Plug-and-play from oil to vacuum
Existing oil transformers can also be converted into vacuum transformers just as quickly and easily, which is ensured by the retrofitable diverter switch insert of the new VACUTAP VM with complete connection compatibility to the OILTAP M/MS. This enables not only the diverter switch insert of this tap-changer to be exchanged easily in a plug-and-play procedure, but also the insert of similar models based on previous licenses or non-authorized models.

Arc control system – the operational reliability advantage
Absolutely reliable extinction of the arcing is an essential prerequisite for the trouble-free and damage-free operation of on-load tap-changers and transformers. The arc control in VACUTAP VM performs this function. In this unrivalled protection system, the vacuum interrupters – which have been specially developed for use in tap-changers – in advanced interrupter technology, a recently patented kinematics of operation and the complete switching sequence have been optimally adjusted to each other. This ensures that the arcing is extinguished even under extreme network conditions.

Step protection – optimized overvoltage protection
The step protection system is also unique in this class. It reliably protects the diverter switch from a short-circuit between taps in the event of overvoltages in the network, due to lightning and switching operations, for example. In contrast to the spark gaps that are normally used for this function, special components from semiconductor technology are used in the step protection system. This results in a lower dispersion of tripping values, so that optimum insulation coordination within the diverter switch is achieved and damage to the insulation is prevented.

Various versions of the new VACUTAP VM are available and are designed for selected alternative insulation liquids ex works. It is also suitable for operation in earthquake-prone areas. In addition, the planned ATEX certification will also enable usage in explosive areas. Further information at

VACUTAP®, OILTAP®, arc control system™ and step protection system™ are trademarks of Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH.

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About Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH
Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH (MR) is the largest company in the Reinhausen Group, with regard to both sales and the number of employees. Founded in 1901, MR, with its headquarters in Regensburg and 22 locations around the globe, is the leading global premium manufacturer of on-load tap-changers for regulating power transformers today. Worldwide, more than 50% of current flows through MR tap-changers.

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SCHULZ, PRESSE. TEXT., Doris Schulz, Martin-Luther-Straße 39, 70825 Korntal, Tel: +49 711 854085,,

Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH, Kerstin Lochner, Falkensteinstraße 8, 93059 Regensburg, Tel: +49 941 4090-5238,,
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