Keep it in the family

Innovative transformer maker B&D is looking to expand beyond its home turf Indonesia, a journey on which Nynas is a crucial partner.

Case story

B&D Transformer

  • CHALLENGE: Grow in the highly competitive South East Asian transformer market.
  • SOLUTION: Innovation, agility and strong partners such as Nynas with reliable logistics, technical know-how and high-quality products.
  • RESULT: Increased market penetration and successful expansion into new product segments and geographical areas.

The leading manufacturer of electrical transformers in Indonesia, PT. Bambang Djaja, better known as B&D Transformer, was established in 1983 in Surabaya, Indonesia.

“In the early days, we only manufactured small distribution transformers,” says Henky Suwignjo, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. “Since then, the product range has grown to include medium-sized power transformers, both oil and air insulated, as well as instrument transformers.”

In 2016, B&D was the first fully domestic company to manufacture 150 kV power transformers. For Henky Suwignjo, a member of the second generation of the founding family, the greatest strength of the company is its people, agility and network.

“With around 600 employees, we are far from the largest company in the industry in this region. But what we lack in size and capacity, we make up in expertise and our exclusive focus on transformer products,” he says, noting that many employees have been with the company since its early days, accumulating years of experience.

Being a family-owned business means that decisions can be taken much faster than in a typical corporate setting. Furthermore, resource and capital can be more easily redeployed to areas in need of support.

“For a highly competitive market such as the transformer industry, this can mean the difference between winning and losing a project. While some might say a family business has its drawbacks, I only see its positive sides.”

A strong network of supply partners is also crucial to the company’s success.

“We choose our partners carefully, based on their reputation, expertise, quality and competitiveness, and we stick with them so long as said criteria are maintained. A trusted network of partners means that we can focus on our own tasks.”

The collaboration between B&D and Nynas started 20 years ago and is still going strong. The highest transmission line voltage in South East Asia is 500 kV, which happens to be in Indonesia. Recently, B&D designed, manufactured and delivered a batch of 275 kV transformers to a substation in Sumatera, using NYTRO® Libra naphthenic oil as insulating fluid.

“Our next target is to produce a 500 kV transformer, which we are currently working on,” explains Henky Suwignjo.

But despite this aim to build more powerful products, Henky Suwignjo still expects the biggest growth in demand to be in smaller ratings. Demand for electricity in the region will keep increasing, but due to the region’s geographical characteristics, a large proportion of the generating plants will be relatively small and scattered. The need will be for transformers of smaller ratings, designed to specific load requirements, with remote monitoring and control capability.

“This tailor-made requirement for transformers is B&D’s area of strength. We will be involved and expand more effort in this arena.”

The majority of the company’s transformers are shipped using Nynas naphthenic oil.

“It is our default insulating oil brand when we offer transformers to clients. We choose Nynas because we know that the product delivered will always meet our incoming quality control check point, and we can be sure to get the product when promised.”

Historically, logistics has been a challenge in Indonesia, especially for the distribution transformer market, where required delivery is measured in days rather than months. Having suppliers who keep stocks nearby and can deliver quickly is crucial.

“Nynas Indonesia has so far excelled in this area by having its storage depot close by. For us, this eliminates the need to have extra large storage facility,” notes Henky Suwignjo.

He is very happy with the Nynas partnership. The regular technical information session has been useful to train B&D’s newer members in the technical aspects of the product.

“We also appreciate the honesty of the Nynas employees who handle our business, and the willingness to spend the necessary effort to grow the cooperation.”

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