Zoran Stanisic, R&D engineer
Serbia is a country with a long and often troubled history and even now, it is struggling with many problems, not the least of which are the effects of moving to a market economy and the aftermath of the recent recession.
Even though the country is one of the few to feature a true electrical pioneer – Nikola Tesla – on its currency, Serbia’s power generation and distribution industry is one of the worst affected sectors as, in addition to the problems that are affecting the whole of the country’s economy, it also faces the challenges of opening the energy market to competition. This transition must be completed by 1st January 2015 in order to comply with the terms of the European Union’s Energy Community Treaty.
One of the results of struggling with these challenges over many years is that the electrical test equipment needed to maintain the Serbian electricity distribution network and to help ensure its stability is in short supply, as is the budget to buy additional equipment. Pondering this situation, Megger engineer Zoran Stanisic had an inspired idea that would ultimately help the Serbian power utilities as well as protecting the environment by ensuring that surplus test equipment was put to good use rather than simply being stored and ultimately dismantled for recycling.
Zoran knew that almost every manufacturing company faces a similar problem: what to do with demonstration equipment when the sales team has no further use for it. Usually, the equipment is still serviceable, but it is not readily saleable as it has typically suffered a little cosmetic damage at the hands of its many users and it may not be the latest model. The most common solution is to relegate this potentially useful kit to the depths of some dark storeroom and forget about.
With the plight of the Serbian utilities in mind, Zoran’s inspiration was to collect together some of the surplus ex-demonstration power test equipment held in Megger storerooms, and pass on to the utilities’ test departments. In line with its strong commitment to corporate social responsibility and its policy of supporting the communities in which it operates, the company was happy to cooperate with this scheme.
Of course, supplying the equipment was only part of the solution! In many cases, the recipients, who had long had to work without access to the latest testing technology, were unsure how to use the supplied equipment safely and to the best advantage. For Zoran, the solution once again was clear – he visited the sites where the equipment had been placed to provide on-the-spot practical training for the engineers and technicians who would be using it.
The result of these efforts is a genuine win-win situation. The Serbian utilities now have access to some very useful power test equipment to help them maintain their distribution network and Megger no longer has storerooms clogged with ex-demonstration equipment that’s doing nothing more useful than gathering dust!