Megger, a leading provider of electrical testing solutions for the global electrical power industry, is paving the way for greater innovation in testing and monitoring technology. Its core business, the design and manufacture of electrical testing equipment, is growing and there are big developments to support the power industry’s worldwide push for Net Zero, by supporting the safe operation of wind turbines, EV charging systems and solar power installations.
Reflecting power’s gradual transition to digitalization, Megger is also simultaneously building a growing position in asset performance management.
With 134 years of history, the earliest record of the business is a company founded by Sydney Evershed in London in 1889 that manufactured pioneering insulation testers. Over time the enterprise invented, proved out and commercialized a range of testing technologies and it has grown tremendously since then, both organically and through acquisitions, becoming a global market leader with nine factories worldwide, local offices in 42 countries and group turnover in excess of EU250 million.
Megger’s range of electrical machinery testing equipment covers virtually every power equipment asset class, including for substations, cables, transformers, switchgear, batteries, relay and protection, generators, partial discharge testing, EV charger testing and more. At the company headquarters in Dover, the recently extended factory manufactures low voltage installation (LVI) equipment that is used by commercial and domestic electricians, as well as testers for motor and rotating machines, earth testing and insulation testing – the latter for which Megger is most famous.
Globally, manufactured at sites in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Israel, Megger makes an extensive range of high voltage testing equipment, for large motors and generators, transformers, and higher voltage cables, plus the sensor hardware for its growing condition-based monitoring business.
“One of our most popular product categories is multifunction testers used by electricians,” says Stephan Sommer, Managing Director at Megger UK. “Our MFT1711, for example, provides all the tests required to complete the necessary electrical certification for industrial, commercial, and domestic fixed wiring installations.”
At the beginning of 2023, Megger launched a new multifunction tester, the MFT-X1, featuring several upgraded functions, including full color screen, RCD configurator and EV charge point testing. “Our MFT1700 series is a well-known and successful Megger product, and the new model builds on the experience and feedback of customers, in order to provide additional functionality, ease of use, and productivity benefits,” Stephan explains. “The new MFT-X1, which has been designed, engineered, and built at our Dover factory, is a new generation product, so the product can be updated or positively upgraded, boasting seamless integration to a mobile device with our reporting and certification software app, CertSuite.”
Redoubled focus on renewable energy support
Megger has always supported the renewable energy industry with a range of testing solutions, but the company is now supporting this vital sector further as the amount of installed renewable energy increases.
“The shift to renewable power like solar and wind, alongside the growing electric vehicle (EV) market and the general increase in demand for electricity, is all putting considerable additional stress on the grid,” says Stephan. As well as the hardware Megger produces for this sector, it is also conducting research and development in new photovoltaic testing and monitoring technology.
“The vibrant renewables sector is at the core of Megger’s market, whether that’s small, domestic applications or grid-scale developments,” Stephan states. “We have specifically designed instruments to support wind power generation, such as the DLRO2, to test turbine wing-tip lightning protection, for example.”
Additionally, the new MFT-X1 was designed with EV charging point testing applications in mind. “As the EV market is constantly evolving, we are working with EV charger manufacturers and standards bodies to ensure that testing requirements are considered as we move further into the smart grid,” Stephan says.
As Megger invests in more portable offline test equipment technology, especially in the installation and commission of assets, as well as for fault finding and maintenance, it is cooperating with international industry standards bodies. “With the transition to renewable energy and storage, the development of standards and regulations to ensure the performance and safety of assets still presents significant growth opportunities.”
Investment and automation in the UK
The company has recently invested in its manufacturing facility in Dover, extending the production floor and creating a larger warehouse area for storage. Stephan explains: “The investment in Dover enables us to not only increase capacity to cover the needs for Dover production, but also allows for additional capacity to, for example, take on printed circuit board (PCB) assembly work from other Megger sites that do not have the relevant capabilities.”
He adds: “Our Dover site has a high level of vertical integration due to the variety of volume production on our product lines. This was particularly valuable during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we had more control over our supply chain, so we were able to rely less on struggling external providers and instead resolve material availability issues internally. And on the other hand, vertical integration elevates pressure on efficiency to stay price competitive,” he suggests.
“One way that we are achieving increased output and greater efficiencies is through automation. We are currently introducing small scale automation for labor intensive tasks, while remaining committed to increasing our workforce and creating career opportunities.”
Looking to the future, Megger’s global business strategy is to double the enterprise value of the company within the next five years, and this includes growth in the renewable energy sector. “New installations may be straightforward, but there are challenges around providing new connections to existing infrastructure to avoid overloading the network,” Stephan explains.
“Environmental policies will continue to drive investment in renewables for the foreseeable future, and Megger is in an optimal position to support this transition to a greener, more sustainable future.”