Since 1996, a day at a circuit breaker manufacturing plant has been a highlight of the Circuit Breaker Test & Maintenance Training Conference. This year, HVB AE Power Systems in Suwanee, Georgia, will host.

When first planning the organization of a circuit breaker training conference years ago, the primary objective was to provide participants with a schedule packed full of useful training and education. “We asked ourselves, ‘why not offer a tour that is directly related to the issues being discussed at the conference?’” said Bill Myers, Finepoint president and conference organizer.

As a result, 12 years ago, Finepoint approached the ABB high-voltage circuit breaker division who had attended the first two conferences. ABB agreed to host a day at its facility, which included product presentations, a factory tour, and a testing methods training session.

“The response was awesome,” Myers said, "and the factory day has been an integral part of our training conference ever since. Presently the entire conference is planned years ahead of time after confirming alternating factory day tours with six different circuit breaker manufacturers in the United States.”

Myers said, “When companies invest time and money to send people to a training conference, we believe that a factory tour is beneficial to a company seeking good training for their people. For many, this is an opportunity of a lifetime as substation maintenance professionals. We make every endeavor to stimulate their interest in more training from the moment they arrive to when they head back home to work. The daily schedule for the participants begins early each morning and lasts late into the evening hours. Each year we must give each participant the best we can offer in training and networking possibilities."

Previous hosts include: ABB (Greensburg/Mt. Pleasant PA in 1996, 2000, 2005, and 2007), AREVA T&D (Charleroi PA in 1997, 2001, 2006, and 2008), HVB AE Power Systems (Suwanee GA in 2004 and 2009), Mitsubishi (Warrendale PA in 1998, 2002, and 2008), Pennsylvania Breaker and Pennsylvania Transformer Technology (Canonsburg PA in 2007),and Siemens (Jackson MS in 1999 and 2003). For more information, see http://www.circuitbreakerconference.com/more_info.html#factory_day.