Fabrication of Obsolete Components

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EBI responded to a call from a power plant in Kentucky. The power plant discovered they had an unknown water intrusion issue that led to massive corrosion and oxidation within the generator disconnect switches. This project features how EBI was able to bring obsolete components back to life.

EBI mobilized a crew on an emergent basis. Once onsite, a thorough walk-down assessment was performed, and subsequent repair plan established. After initial review, the project’s complexity was compounded by several key factors: 1) Only a single line drawing was available, no detail drawings of the switches or the system. 2) All components were obsolete. 3) Material specs were not available. 4) Component tolerances were unknown and unavailable.

The significant amount of corrosion and oxidation that was found required physical inspection to determine what could be refurbished, what obsolete parts needed to be reverse-engineered and what materials were necessary for fabrication to bring the system back to operational condition. Despite the challenges, EBI’s team kicked into high gear and the damaged switches were dismantled and shipped to EBI’s corporate facility where the comprehensive assessment, reverse engineering, and fabrication process began.

Why are these parts important? These switches disconnect the Generator from the Transformer and allow the system to become grounded when opened. Each phase switch has parallel switches inside the enclosure to handle the amount of current that flows through the system. The switching arms have multiple areas of spring tension to properly allow them to engage their contact points. The contact points are made out of a rare silver alloy, which further complicated the project.

EBI utilized their extensive in-house technical knowledge and expertise with such components from all OEMs, both current and obsolete, to refurbish the few parts that were able to be salvaged and fabricate new parts for the balance, bringing the switches back to like new condition. Upon completion of the refurbishment and fabrication, the switches were re-assembled, packaged and shipped back to the plant where EBI performed the re-installation. With their exemplary turnaround time, EBI was able to complete the project in approximately three weeks, allowing the plant to go back online in record time.

Scope of Work:

Mob 1

  • Opened and inspected Unit 2 A and B phase GCB switches
  • Removed and refurbished all bus bar and contacts in each switch
  • Silver plated a total of 86 mating surfaces
  • Replaced seal offs between GCB and switch enclosure on all three phases
  • Reinstalled all refurbished parts
  • Removed the switch arm assemblies from A and B phase
  • Found switch arm assemblies to require machining in order to fully restore functionality
  • Assemblies were sent to EBI shop for repair
  • New braided links were ordered and installed at the IPB termination

Mob 2

  • Reinstalled switch assemblies refurbished at EBI shop for Unit 2, A and B phase IPB disconnect
  • Adjusted timing to match C phase (not refurbished) switch timing
  • Installed gasket and reinstalled covers on A and B phase switches

When you have obsolete or hard to find electrical components that need attention, call EBI first. Our rapid response team is available 24/7/365 toll-free at 1-877-297-0616.

Project Details

Plant Type:Natural Gas
Plant Size:1,055 MW
Plant Location:Kentucky
EBI Job #3580
JPR Score


"Hard workers. Found solutions to any issues. Worked safely and was signed onto our LOTO Box. Got along great with the guys. Was on time, no issues. Online meetings were very professional. Really enjoyed having EBI onsite, look forward to the future. "

Jeff M.

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