Forchem refines tall oil for the world – ALMA supports in maintenance

Maintenance and Service
Technical Documentation & Management
When Forchem Oyj's old data system started showing serious signs of fatigue, it was time to update to a new one. With ALMA’s maintenance system all important data are available for all users in real time, and in one and the same place at that.

Forchem Oyj distils tall oil to produce rosins and fatty acids that are used, inter alia, for production of paints and adhesives. Fractions produced from multi-purpose tall oil can be used, for instance even as chicken feed additive. 90% of the production is exported.

‘Our earlier maintenance and documentation management system had reached the end of its life cycle. We did not use the previous maintenance program for documenting and thus every once in a while, it was quite arduous to find information. We studied carefully various available options and finally ended up with the ALMA system. This satisfied all our needs,’ says Jaana Valtanen, Forchem project manager.

‘ALMA's system was the most flexible one, and it was tailored exactly into what we had expected. Maintenance and documentation management are not simple tasks, but ALMA has succeeded in creating a versatile system, which at the same time is simple and easy to use,’ she adds.

Professionals at work

According to Valtanen, the team from Alma had a good grasp of what Forchem actually needed from the very beginning. Their expertise was evident from how quickly the Alma team were able to tackle the company’s practical problems and challenges.

‘Professionals were handling the case. It became clear quite soon. Moreover, word of mouth played a role in the selection of the data system. We had heard a lot of good things about ALMA through the grapevine”, Valtanen continued.

Electronic automation aspects integrated in the system

The new system provides links between different functions. Once added or updated, the data are available to everyone right away. The old system could not handle this, which caused a lot of problems as well as unnecessary work.

‘The old system provided electronic automation only at the equipment level, but now – thanks to the linking and productisation option – it has been integrated comprehensively into the system. Documents are now easy to find and can be conveniently updated,’ the project manager admits.

Well-arranged training – easier deployment

Training is an essential aspect of the commissioning of the new data system. Even a system that is easy to operate needs instruction, because over the years the staff have become accustomed to the old ways of doing things. Forgetting the old ways is not always easy.

‘We started using the ALMA system in February 2019 after completing training. The training was provided by installers and production specialists. The second round of training took place a month later. Then we discussed in a customer-oriented manner these questions about the system and its properties, which we had come across during the first weeks of use. Some of us, who are the main users of the system, have been provided even more in-depth specialist training,’ Valtanen says.

Altogether the new data system has over 20 users. 15 of them are from the production unit, and six more work in the maintenance, which is outsourced.


Text: Kai Tarkka
Photo: Forchem Oyj

Forchem Oyj is a company producing tall oil and its refinery products operating at Rauma. It was established in 2002. Additional information