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Case Study: Enhanced Reliability with the KOHLER KD800

Kohler Medical case study

Case Study: Enhanced Reliability with the KOHLER KD800 Generator at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rockford, IL


Customer: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc.
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Industry: Manufacturing
Objective: Provide reliable emergency standby power for a continuous production facility.


KOHLER® KD800 generator
KOHLER KEP-DMTC-1200S-TR automatic transfer switch
KOHLER integral sub-base fuel tank
KOHLER APM802 controller
KOHLER sound level 1 enclosure with heater


Thermo Fisher Scientific chose KOHLER® generators due to their quality and reliability, proven by years of dependable operation.

ATS Medical

Comprehensive Background

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. stands at the forefront of scientific innovation, aiming to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. Operating across life sciences, diagnostics, and applied sciences, the company accelerates research, advances patient diagnostics, and enhances laboratory productivity. A significant player in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector, Thermo Fisher Scientific has been instrumental in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic through testing, therapy, and vaccine development.

While headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, the company’s operations in Rockford, Illinois, have a storied history. The Rockford facility, recognized for its strong workforce, specializes in providing instruments, equipment, reagents, consumables, software, and services crucial for research and diagnostics. This site attracts global protein research experts and consistently pushes the boundaries of scientific research.

The Challenge of Consistent Power Supply

The nature of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s work necessitates uninterrupted power supply. Any unplanned outage could result in significant financial impact and disrupt critical research. Although the site already operated four KOHLER generators, the expansion of the facility mandated an additional reliable emergency power system.

The challenge was to find a reliable contractor to analyze, propose, install, and commission a new emergency standby system within a stringent timeline.

Kohler Medical case study 2

The Solution

KOHLER KD800 Generator

Engineered Excellence: At the heart of the solution lies the KOHLER KD800 generator, a diesel-powered juggernaut with an 800 kW standby rating. The KD800, part of the KOHLER KD Series, is renowned for its high power density and low fuel consumption compared to competitors within the 800 to 4000 kW range. These attributes make the KD800 exceptionally cost-effective, offering superior performance during peak and off-peak periods.

APM802 Controller:

This advanced controller ensures seamless operation, delivering real-time data and intuitive diagnostics to operators. Such features enhance maintenance, optimize performance, and prolong the generator’s lifecycle, making it a reliable choice for demanding environments like that of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Sound Level 1 Enclosure:

Noise management is crucial in research settings. The KD800 generator’s aluminum sound level 1 enclosure significantly reduces noise and vibration, even under extreme conditions. The design includes an internal silencer, adding another layer of noise reduction. Its robust construction guards against environmental elements, ensuring the generator’s longevity and reliability.

Integral Sub-Base Fuel Tank:

The KOHLER manufactured sub-base fuel tank, with a capacity of 1749 gallons, allows for continuous operation during outages. Its secondary containment feature addresses environmental concerns, embodying Thermo Fisher Scientific’s commitment to safety and sustainability. Emergency relief vents in both the inner and outer tanks further secure operations.

KOHLER KEP-DMTC 1200S TR Automatic Transfer Switch

Rapid Transition: In emergencies, speed is of the essence. The transfer switch ensures swift transitions from grid power to generator power, minimizing downtime. Featuring MPAC 1500 control capabilities, the switch operates with precision, guaranteeing reliable performance.

Durability: Housed in a NEMA 3R rated enclosure, the switch is safeguarded against environmental elements, assuring operational integrity regardless of external conditions.

Results and Feedback

The customer expressed immense satisfaction with the KOHLER emergency standby power solution. Since installation, the system has proven indispensable, allowing Thermo Fisher Scientific to direct focus towards their core scientific endeavors, including COVID-19 response activities.

“The project has been a great success. The emergency standby power solution from Kohler has been in service for several months, and its presence helps us focus on our COVID-19 and other scientific efforts with confidence”.

This case study not only emphasizes the technical advantages of KOHLER power solutions but also showcases the collaborative effort and expertise at play, ensuring Thermo Fisher Scientific’s operations remain uninterrupted and efficient.

In-Depth Analysis of Installed Components

KOHLER KD800 Generator

Performance Metrics: The KOHLER KD800’s diesel engine sets industry standards, outpacing competitors in efficiency and reliability. The ability to provide 800 kW of standby power ensures that even during large-scale outages, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s operations can continue without interruption.

Energy Efficiency: Fuel consumption is a critical concern for any facility aiming for operational cost efficiency. The KD800’s design optimizes fuel use, delivering the most energy per unit of fuel among comparable generators. This efficiency translates to lower operational costs over the lifespan of the generator.

KOHLER APM802 Controller

Smart Operations: The APM802 controller stands out with its operator-friendly interface, delivering comprehensive diagnostics and real-time system status. This level of control and insight significantly reduces downtime caused by maintenance and operational issues, ensuring continuous productivity.

Advanced Diagnostics: On-board diagnostics are a feature of the APM802 controller, enhancing the generator’s reliability. Operators can access critical system information instantly, facilitating proactive maintenance strategies that prolong equipment life and ensure consistent performance.

KOHLER Sound Level 1 Enclosure

Noise Mitigation: In research environments, maintaining a controlled and quiet setting is vital. The sound level 1 enclosure achieves this through a combination of robust construction and internal silencers, addressing the critical need for noise reduction in sensitive work areas.

Environmental Protection: The enclosure’s ability to resist extreme weather conditions is backed by KOHLER Power Armor. This protection ensures that no matter the external conditions, the KD800 generator operates without compromise, safeguarding critical research activities.

KOHLER Integral Sub-Base Fuel Tank

Extended Operation: With a substantial 1749-gallon fuel capacity, the integral sub-base fuel tank ensures long-term generator operation during power outages. This feature is crucial for facilities like Thermo Fisher Scientific, where even short interruptions can disrupt sensitive experiments and processes.

Environmental Safety: The secondary containment system within the fuel tank safeguards against potential spills, aligning with environmental regulations and the company’s sustainability goals. Emergency vents in both the primary and secondary tanks add an extra layer of safety.

KOHLER KEP-DMTC1200S-TR Automatic Transfer Switch

Seamless Transitions: The automatic transfer switch’s rapid transition capabilities ensure minimal downtime, a feature critical to maintaining continuous operations in a high-stakes environment. The switch’s MPAC 1500 control offers precision and reliability, essential for operational security.

Robust Construction: Protected by a NEMA 3R rated enclosure, the switch is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions, ensuring reliable performance regardless of climate. This durability is essential for facilities in regions with variable weather patterns.

Thermo Fisher Scientific’s decision to integrate the KOHLER KD800 generator and its associated components underscores the importance of reliable power solutions in critical industry settings.

The robust, efficient, and reliable KOHLER power solution empowers Thermo Fisher Scientific to advance its mission, epitomizing the symbiotic relationship between cutting-edge technology and pioneering scientific research. Each component, from the KD800 generator to the APM802 controller, works in harmony to support uninterrupted, critical operations, crucial for a facility at the zenith of global scientific advancement.

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