Ellen Parson, EC&M's managing editor, recently attended the Kohler Generators Editors Conference on December 4-6 in Kohler, Wis. Kicking off the event with a short presentation and Q&A session at the Kohler Design Center, President and Chief Operating Officer David Kohler gave attendees a brief overview of the Kohler Global Power Group — how it got into the power business in the early 1920s, how it has grown and transformed since that time (it is now the third largest manufacturer of generators in the world), and visions for the future.
Next, editors took a comprehensive history tour at the 36,000-square-foot Design Center, learning how John Michael Kohler founded the company in 1873 as well as how it later entered the power market with the first engine-driven electrical generator powered by a Kohler cast iron gas engine. The group traveled to the generator plant next, where it got a first-hand look from John Brickner, superintendent of manufacturing – North American generator operations, at the manufacturing facility.
On Thursday, Dec. 6, editors attended breakout sessions on specific product categories, including switchgear, automatic transfer switches, generators, and controls. Mike Pincus, switchgear sales manager, walked the group through the complete on-site power system, of which paralleling switchgear is the brains of the operation. Tony Hackbarth, electrical, ATS & switchgear engineering manager, followed this up with a discussion on the ins and outs of the company's automatic transfer switches. Wrapping up the product briefings, the following group enlightened the group on the latest updates on generators and controls: Nolan Landes, senior product manager – Kohler Power Systems industrial product; Todd Matte, product manager – Kohler Power Systems industrial product; Nicole Dieksheide, product manager – Kohler Power Systems controls; and Beth Splittgerber, associate product manager – Kohler Power Systems industrial product.