Saving Anthem $1.2 Million Through Innovative Solutions

Richmond, VA

At MCS, we don’t back down from big challenges. In fact, we enjoy challenges so much, we tend to create them for ourselves. Take Anthem in Richmond, VA for example, a client who came to us with a request that we easily could have fulfilled, but instead found a more unique approach to save them money.

Back in 2012, we were hired by Anthem to replace one of the UPS plants. Within that plant, they had six 750kVA UPS systems – two different systems, both in parallel, in a 3×3 configuration. The client wanted to upgrade that system from a 3×3 to a 4×4. It turned out that the old legacy design of the equipment had additional conductors used for the neutrals.

As we looked into the design of the new 4×4 system, we came up with a solution that would allow for the addition of the 4th UPS without the need to add any conductors. We were able to give the client the additional 750kVA capacity, without any additional costs that they assumed they would need to spend.

In the end, the creative design and installation from our team saved Anthem roughly $500,000.

Fast forward to 2019, and because of the success of our 2012 project, our team is faced with another request from Anthem – and another opportunity to give ourselves a big challenge to overcome.

This time, we were bidding on the next eight systems (the client’s “C” and “D” plants). The older legacy equipment in these plants was configured differently and would likely require significant upgrades during the installation phase in order to bring in the required new equipment.

Looking to save our client money, we went to work with our partners at Mitsubishi, sharing with them our ideas and working together to craft the best possible solution. In the end, we made a custom switchgear to retain the existing conductors and conduit without having to re-work them. We were able to slide the custom switchgear under the existing conduit, bringing significant savings to both the time and money needed.

In total, our approach to this job saved our client roughly $600,000 in material and labor.

Today, there are eleven 750kVAs supporting the entire center in Richmond, VA, all designed and installed by our team at MCS. Not only did we save the client $1.1 million, we also ensured all these new systems work seamlessly together. We conducted full load bank testing for burn-in, and closed transition testing with the generator plant. With the significant equipment changes we made, it was important to ensure that everything played nicely together and with their generator plant.