New, intelligent life-cycle information management from the beginning of the project - Case: Raahen Voima
When Raahen Voima Oy's new power plant was first switched on, the maintenance unit of the plant had already in their use all the information needed of the plant's life-cycle.
The tool in this revolutionary method was ALMA Consulting's integrated ALMA® maintenance management system, which was able to receive and combine all formats of the technical data used by the different system providers.
The new Finnish Raahen Voima Oy power plant, located next to the Raahe steel factory, is highly modern and advanced. This new boiler plant uses the blast furnace and coke gases — created as a by-product of the steel production — as its energy source for power generation. The operating efficiency of the power plant meets the highest technical demands of the iron and steel industry. The maintenance management system of the plant was also executed with an exceptional model.
All information needed for the plant’s maintenance was already fed to the new ALMA Consulting Oy’s ALMA® system during the plant’s construction. This ensured that the maintenance unit already had all the information available when the power plant was first launched in the summer 2016.
“Even though this may seem very simple, most of the projects are not executed in a similar manner. Usually, the data is gathered from several different systems for the maintenance people after the project. It often takes years for all the needed information from the project to be integrated into the system and for the maintenance staff to use,” says Niko Pahkala, ALMA Consulting Oy’s Operations Director.
Intelligent Integration Platform
During the project, data collection was enabled by ALMA® system’s ability to act as an intelligent integration platform,
”Our system is able to receive and process all the technical information, not just documents but also complete information elements. The machine information cards for maintenance are created also already during the project.” In addition to data collection, the system can also combine the data from multiple machines into reasonable information, “For example, the technical information of a pump is enriched with other necessary details, such as its electricity source, its physical location, and its monitoring.”
The linkages of information also reveal possible errors,
“A lot of mistakes on the surfaces can be eliminated. The system tells if there is, for example, false or contradictory information in the pipeline identification,” says Pekka Mäyrä, client's ALMA user.
All Data in One Place
Data collection during the project demands a new kind of operational model,
“Often, the co-suppliers of the technical systems cannot provide the documentation in the format the customer’s maintenance system would require. Thus, the information needs to be adjusted into compatible format, afterwards.”
“As ALMA is a very adaptive system, it can receive and process information in all formats the suppliers are using.”
Niko Pahkala is very satisfied with the way information management can now be executed,
“All the data created during the project can be delivered to the customer intelligently in the right format and are well-organized.”
Exact Information Leads to Cost Reductions
The working method ALMA Consulting is using in their information management is taking into consideration the whole life-cycle of the plant,
“It needs to be remembered that the information system is used by dozens of different people over time. Now the information is available in one location for everybody.”
Pahkala estimates that comprehensive and accurate information pool will bring significant cost savings over the years,
“When the needed information is immediately available, the maintenance and repair is faster and more efficient, work planning is more accurate, and shutdowns can be prevented and shortened. Shutdowns are critical hours leading to expensive bills, but the situation can be significantly improved if the information is easily accessed. All in all, unnecessary work can be reduced the next 20 years,” Pahkala concludes.
Raahepolis – ALMA - An agile system for all real estate management
Having over 20 leased properties and almost 100 tenants requires accurate, up-to-date information on where things are, what is done over time, and what has been agreed on with clients.
Raahepolis owns over 50 000 m² of office, production and logistic spaces in the Raahe region. As a result of municipal mergers, the organization is made up of several companies. Several different external actors have provided the maintenance services of these premises over the years. It is thus not surprising that the documentation of the different buildings and any work conducted was deficient or even non-existent.
Managing its property information caused Raahepolis a great deal of problems and extra work, until in 2016 it began collaboration with ALMA, and everything changed.
“Drawings, operating documentation, electrical and authority inspections, maintenance logs, reminders and lately, fiber optic network management. All these are now in one place and the whole thing works logically. We are also able to save important client emails together with their attachments in the system. This is really useful, as these often involve contractual issues. In this way, we are able to record them immediately, and easily find them again when needed,” Kari Malkamäki thanks ALMA for its diversity and ability to scale its services to the needs of real estate operators.
Raahepolis trusts ALMA with its real estate maintenance information and documentation
ALMA, which is much used in industrial production plant maintenance, was customized to answer to the needs of Raahepolis as regards, for example, terms and specific
“We are extremely satisfied with how ALMA took on Raahepolis and its problems. We didn’t really know ourselves what we specifically needed, but it’s the sign of a true expert when someone listens and is able to tell you and guide you on what you might need. ALMA and its system meet our needs perfectly,” says Malkamäki.
Text: Tia Härkönen / Photo: Raahepolis Oy
ALMA brings winds of change to Helen’s power and automation maintenance
The energy company Helen Oy is developing the information management of its existing and future production facilities in a long-term and comprehensive manner. This also shows in the choice of the partner for its technical information management project, for the choice fell to ALMA.
A lifecycle technical information management system allows a company or entity to monitor and maintain its equipment, machines and information networks. With the information system, all available information is real-time and available to all persons and departments using the system. The system administrator can assign different roles to users, as well as give subcontractors access to certain information in the system.
Helen is one of the largest energy companies in Finland, with more than 500,000 customers across the country. Helen has a strong and continuously improving product and service business in electricity, heating and cooling, constantly building new solutions related to decentralised energy production, smart housing and electric transportation. Helen’s goal is carbon-neutral energy production by 2035. The company owns and manages a variety of equipment, facilities, machinery, and networks. These are constantly generating new and updated technical information that needs to be shared efficiently between Helen’s own staff and its subcontractors. While Helen is investing heavily in achieving carbon-neutral operations, the company is also investing in its asset management. When assets are well-maintained and used efficiently, it also translates into environmental benefits and a better business result.
Carbon-neutral projects are in everyone’s best interests
The information system that Vitec ALMA supplied to Helen includes everything that Helen requested in the tender. In terms of asset management, the most important features of the system are document management and a project bank. When these are in the same system, it solves many practical problems related to data transfer and transmission.
We really have a lot of data, and fortunately, the ALMA system has a lot of features. Despite its versatility, the system is user-friendly. It also allows for any future expansion needs we might have. The implementation project has been uncomplicated, and carried out with professionalism, says Kirsi Raami, Head of Energy Production and Asset Management at Helen.
Helen is actively developing production methods that support carbon neutrality and solutions that optimise energy. The new information system is involved in enhancing Helen’s projects that support carbon neutrality, thanks in part to its mobile interface. Project and asset management tasks can be done regardless of the time and place. This reduces unnecessary travel and lowers emissions.
When the old ways no longer work
At Helen, the drive for better management of technical information and life cycle at production facilities was initially induced by problems in general data management.
When our own competent people claim that a change is needed in the operating and work models of our automation, this is not something to be ignored. It was also clear that in regard to technical information management, there was room for improvement in the accuracy of documentation. Not everyone who needed access to information had the access, and far too much time was spent on looking for information, says Panu Oksman, Development Manager.
Electricity and automation maintenance data of the A and B plants at Salmisaari, Helsinki, were the first to be taken over. The source material was inaccurate in many respects, and not all of the changes made earlier had been properly recorded. The materials had to be searched from scratch, since information on their whereabouts was lacking.
It was difficult. In terms of service and maintenance, the operation had been anything but sensible, since the data were input to the system afterwards. It had nothing to do with the concept of real time, Oksman notes.
Strong and extensive life cycle for technical information management
With ALMA, a transfer to an entirely new way of working and documenting took place at Helen. Today, all of the data can be input into the system immediately after generation. There is no need for separate steps and the work and recording proceed at a harmonised pace. Future maintenance jobs are also transferred directly to ALMA.
The impact on the use of time and work acceleration is considerable. All of the data generated are at our disposal right away and are also communicated in a timely manner to all the parties involved: our personnel, design offices, and subcontractors, Oksman points out.
The energy industry is facing major changes amid energy production challenges brought about by environmental emission requirements, electricity price development, and peak consumptions. These matters exert significant influence on which information is used for production plant modernisation and maintenance, as well as on the volume of extra work required for updating the information.
Technical data management is of key importance when it comes to the productivity of the people involved in production processes, and for achieving appropriate production process quality, quantity, and data security. Many organisations use numerous solutions and different information systems, which do not necessarily make life easier.
ALMA offers a single integrated system that includes everything you need even for complicated information islands. The flow of information can be ensured efficiently, securely and quickly. For the energy industry, continuity and long-term approach are important. ALMA is also prepared to offer us a long-term vision on how we could strengthen our information management and the related functions together so as to achieve a good and high-quality outcome. We appreciate this, says Panu Oksman.
Text: Tia Härkönen
Photos: Tia Härkönen and Helen Oy
Information and know-how are your assets. Do you know who uses them and for what?
The ALMA® system ensures that the invaluable information and know-how generated over the plant’s lifecycle is not lost to the organisation. Instead, it will be stored in a single system and be available on a real-time basis to all who need it.
Vitec ALMA Ltd offers a full range of software services from commissioning and development to maintenance, support and training. ALMA® is registered trade mark and it has been in the market since 1986.
According to Niko Pahkala from Vitec ALMA, reliable asset management ensures that the company’s assets critical from the viewpoint of production are in good condition throughout its entire life cycle.
Tuomas Känsäkoski, Product Development Engineer, is engaged in development of Vitec ALMA’s services and maintains our customers’ servers. Känsäkoski’s tasks also include automation of his duties to the maximum extent possible.
Hannu Raudasoja has worked for Vitec ALMA Oy for more than three decades. Hannu’s praiseworthy career encouraged ALMA to apply for the award of the Medal of the White Rose of Finland to him.