Durability is often thought of as the most desirable transformer design characteristic. Osborne’s designs are specified to deliver extreme longevity, and it is common for our parts to withstand several decades of heavy industrial service.Recently, one of Osborne’s customers brought in a 50+ year old Osborne transformer (pictured). This design was used in 24/7 production for much of its lifespan. We were a little surprised when, upon removing the unit’s nameplate, it revealed an original date stamp of June, 1964. This is what an extremely durable transformer looks like.
The survivor unit also provided an opportunity to learn from its vulnerabilities. For example, we noted that all of the survivor’s output leads had at some point suffered damage and subsequent repair by splicing.
The original flexible lead wires didn’t appear fragile or otherwise poorly chosen – but they were the apparent weak link in an otherwise solid design.
This further supports evidence Osborne has gained through collision testing that lead wires are more failure prone than any other component in the design.
For these reasons and others, many contemporary Osborne designs feature a multi-stage approach to strain relieving our lead wires. This sophisticated lead finishing technique offers:
- Sheet copper reinforcement of the windings’ outer layer
- Robust tang and collar lugs
- Over-sized silicon-rubberized jumper cables
- Heavy duty barrier strip style terminal block
Much like the survivor unit, the exposed lead wires are inherently susceptible to damage from accidental collision. Unlike the survivor, Osborne’s multi-stage lead finishing is designed to resist that damage, while providing for fast and inexpensive user replacement of the jumper in the event of such damage.
Will Osborne’s multi-stage lead finished transformers last for over 50 years?
We plan on it. And we’ll keep you posted.