100 Years of Doble: A Look Back at the Company’s Most Significant Moments
Making it to the 100-year mark in business is no small feat. It takes an incalculable level of dedication and commitment, hard work and good fortune to thrive this long.
As 2020 is about celebrating our company’s achievements, we’ve identified some of the most significant moments in Doble’s rich 100-year history. Let’s take a quick look back.
The first fifty years (1920 – 1970)
Doble Engineering Company was founded in 1920, and the Doble Safety Portable Telephone was launched the same year. The seemingly simple device – a long, waxed wooden tube – was Frank Doble’s first commercial invention and enabled engineers to reliably, safely communicate from anywhere on the powerline.
His ingenuity set the standard for grid reliability, safety and innovation moving forward. Critical developments soon followed, including the first line-insulator testers and power factor testing, which is now a standard testing procedure in our industry because it greatly reduces the risk of transformer failures.
Over the years, Doble accumulated vast amounts of data and expertise. The company’s experience became more valuable to clients than any one device. Application support quickly became one of Doble’s core competencies, as power companies relied on this outside knowledge to address their unique challenges and objectives. In 1934, the company’s know-how was disseminated industry-wide with its first client conference. The week-long gathering of electric power professionals involved discussing hot topics, sharing ideas, creating best practices, presenting case studies and more. The client conference was so successful it became an annual, must-attend event and spurred a series of worldwide educational events from Doble.
The first of Doble’s renowned client committees was established two years later in 1936. Given power companies relied on insulating oil as a key part of the insulation and cooling system, this special oil committee was devoted to understanding causes of deterioration and providing clients with the highest-quality oils possible. In 1961, Doble developed the first industry standard for transformer oil. The Doble Transformer Oil Purchase Specification (TOPS) defines appropriate qualities and tests for acidity, dielectric breakdown voltage, oxidation stability and more. The Doble Survey, which is an annual check on the quality of electrical insulating oils, produced globally in accordance to TOPS, is still used today, over 60 years later.
Present day (1970 – today)
Doble’s innovation was once again at the forefront of conversation with the debut of the TR-2 Circuit Breaker test set in the late seventies. Developed to replace mechanical analyzers, the instrument paved the way for Doble to diversify its product portfolio with an entirely new series of instruments devoted to switchgear. New technologies, such as the Doble M-4100, a revolutionary insulation analyzer and Doble Test Assistant (DTA) software, changed how testing and data review were conducted. Later, the Doble M7100 significantly enhanced the speed at which teams could perform power factor and a comprehensive suite of other tests. In 1978 Doble acquired Jodice Controls and began a journey into the protection testing market, which will be the subject of the next blog in this series.
In 2007, ESCO Technologies, Inc. acquired Doble Engineering Company. This provided Doble with the resources necessary to continue to innovate and bring new technologies to market that ensured grid reliability, safety and security – such as dobleARMS® for enterprise asset management, PatchAssure™ for managing cybersecurity updates to critical assets, and our condition monitoring platform. Under new ownership, Doble also welcomed several companies – ENOSERV (2015), Morgan Schaffer (2017), Vanguard Instruments (2017), and Manta Test Systems (2018) – with best-of-breed technology offerings into the Doble family.
Looking ahead (the next fifty years)
The world is changing, requiring power companies to confront new challenges. Whether it’s keeping up with the Internet of Things (IoT), re-engineering the grid with new technology, meeting the growing demand for electricity, dealing with evolving regulatory requirements, or adopting distributed energy or renewable power, Doble is committed to guiding the industry along this journey. We have an entrepreneurial spirit that has enabled us to consistently meet the needs of our customers and solve their biggest problems. That dedication will continue as we start the next chapter in our company story.
There are so many memorable moments in our company’s history it was hard to condense 100 years of accomplishments into one blog entry. It’s a true testament to the dedicated and talented team we’ve had over the years.
Check back frequently as we celebrate the innovations, people and events that have made Doble Engineering Company what it is today.
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