Powertech Transformers, a subsidiary of Powertech and the JSE listed Altron Group, announced a collaborative research and development project with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pretoria, through funding received from the Department of Science and Technologys (DST) Technology Localisation Programme. The announcement was made at an event hosted by the University of Pretoria on 21 November 2012.Beeuwen Gerryts, Chief Director: Technology Localisation and Advanced Manufacturing stated that the DSTs goal for their Technology Localisation Programme is to help increase the competitiveness and capability of local companies by providing increased access to new technologies, skills and innovationsin the form of Technology Assistance Packages (TAPs) – to qualifying South African companies. These companies are then able to increase the level of local components and services provided to South Africas state-owned companies (SOCs). Ultimately, the aim is to increase the level of local manufacturing capabilities and activities, and thereby reducing the reliance on imports, resulting in increased skills development and sustainable work opportunities.Powertech Transformers (PTT) is one of the companies who qualified to benefit from this programme. Their first major R&D project with TLIU assistance relates to the short-circuit withstand ability of transformers. Through this project PTT will further develop knowledge, empirical factors and engineering models representing the short circuit characteristics of transformers, establishing a local knowledge base. Bernard Meyer, CEO Powertech Transformers says, for PTT to prosper and grow it must do more than keep up with its competitors. Getting ahead means innovation which hinges on R&D. The collaborative R&D opportunities through the CSIR, DST and University of Pretoria provide us with a sound platform to excel and at the same time boost local transformer engineering design and manufacturing capabilities.Powertech Transformers manufactures power and distribution transformers for Sub Saharan Africa at its operations in Pretoria West, Cape Town and Johannesburg.The power transformer factory in Pretoria West is a well-equipped factory and is among the biggest and most sophisticated transformer manufacturing plants within the Southern Hemisphere and one of two large manufacturers within sub-Saharan Africa. The range of transformers manufactured by Powertech Transformers cover three-phase and single-phase units, auto-transformers, shunt reactors, rectifier transformers, on-board locomotive transformers and arc-furnace transformers including many others which are tailor-made to meet customers’ specific demands.The Johannesburg operation manufactures 100kVA to 20MVA transformers with a primary voltage up to 132kV. It also produces neutral earthing resistors, compensators, and NECRT combinations, as well as 100kVA to 3150kVA dry type transformers with a primary voltage up to 36kV.The Cape Town operation manufactures 16kVA to 1000kVA transformers with a primary voltage up to 36kV and 200kVA to 2500kVA miniature substations with a primary voltage up to 36kV.