A Final Farewell

The life of an on-load tap-changer is a very long one indeed. It will still be performing switching operations in the transformer long after its makers have retired. Three young Reinhausen employees in Germany, China, and the USA say goodbye to a tap changer that shares their birthday – and reveal what they hope the future holds for them while their tap changer is working hard.

Simon Schmid
* 2001-06-29
Training to be a mechatronics engineer in Regensburg (Germany)
VACUTAP® VRM
* 2018-06-29
Switches in Shanghai

© Armin Weigel

“I’ve been cycling for as long as I can remember. I saved up for ages to buy my first mountain bike. Most of the time I meet up with my friends and we go and test out new routes. We like to push it to the limit. That’s why I’d love to explore the Saalbach Hinterglemm bike park one day.But that’s just a little dream. Looking further into the future, I have no idea yet what my life will be like when I retire. It’s so far off at the moment. Maybe I’ll teach my grandchildren to ride a bike – because one thing I know for sure is that I’d like to have a family. And I want to build my own house, preferably with a little garden. I also hope I’ll be able to look back on a fulfilling career. That’s why my aim is to take every training opportunity that comes my way.” Simon Schmid

Based on the current rules in Germany, Simon Schmid will retire in March 2066. If everything goes according to plan, the VACUTAP® will have switched 1.5 million times by then and will still have a good ten years of work ahead of it.


Vivi Tao
* 1993-07-13
Customs & Shipping assistant in MRT (Shanghai, China)
ECOTAP® VVS
* 2018-07-13
Switches in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China

© Yingzhang Lu

“What really impresses me is things with a history – things that endure. That was what won me over straight away at my interview here. In the Reinhausen image brochure, I discovered a photo with the year 1960 on the nameplate of a tap changer. That made me think that this must be a company with a strong foundation and a long history. At the same time, I’m always open to new things and would love to travel to Germany one day. There are lots of things on my bucket list: skydiving in Dubai, living on a sailboat, taking a romantic balloon ride in Turkey, seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland, going on safari in South Africa, and visiting Niagara Falls in America – those are my dreams!”Vivi Tao

Under the current rules in China, the retirement age for women is 50. For Vivi Tao, that will be in July 2043. By that time, the ECOTAP® VVS will have performed 50.000 switching operations and will still have ten years of work ahead of it.


Jamie Hall
* 1991-06-16
Works in assembly at the Humboldt site (Tennessee/USA)
RMV-II 2000
* 2018-06-27
Switches in Salt Lake City, Utah USA

© Rick Fisher

“I’ve always wanted to see the world. Even as a small child, I dreamed about going on long journeys and having wild adventures. Admittedly, I don’t need things to be quite so wild these days. But I’d still like to explore different countries and immerse myself in foreign cultures – ideally with my wife and son. That’s why I’d love to work for Reinhausen in Japan. The idea of doing the same job for a long time doesn’t really appeal to me. I get too restless. That’s why I’m glad that, even here in the USA, I’m always working on different tasks. And who knows – maybe soon we’ll be packing our bags and heading off to Asia for some new adventures!” Jamie Hall

In the USA, retirement currently starts at 67. For Jamie Hall, this means he’ll be finishing work in June 2058, while the RMV-II has to go on switching for another 15 years.

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