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Kotkan Energia: “ALMA’s flexibility has been a surprise for us.”

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At Kotkan Energia, the ALMA information system was introduced three years ago. New features have been incorporated along the way, flexibly and whenever required.

Kotkan Energia is an energy group operating in the Kotka region and employing more than 100 people working at several different offices and subsidiaries. Three years ago, the Group decided to get rid of its multiple overlapping information systems and loose Excel spreadsheets. The systems were gradually removed from use and information centralised into the single ALMA information system.

The entire Group uses the ALMA information system; over the years, it has expanded more and more clearly from the maintenance domain to an enterprise resource planning system used by everyone. Information is transparent and at everyone’s disposal in real time. We have introduced new features along the way; personally, I’m impressed at how flexibly all of them have been incorporated into a single system, says Jari Mäkelä, Production Director at Kotkan Energia Oy.

All of the new features we craved for have been successfully integrated into the system. None of them proved to be unachievable, Mäkelä continues.

During maintenance shutdowns, efficient information flows are required

Once a year, Kotkan Energia’s power plants are routinely shut down for maintenance. The shutdowns must be planned and organised with special care. All maintenance and repair procedures are planned in advance as far as possible. Reliable schedule, resource, spare part, and cost information is required for the planning. A shutdown may only last for as long as absolutely necessary.

For the first time, we utilised ALMA in our shutdowns in 2017, right after its introduction. Its role has grown over the years, in the context of shutdowns and all our other operations as well. Work tasks are carried out on time and as planned. Today, we receive a lot of information about the condition of machinery and equipment in the form of various reports and key figures. These facilitate taking of the necessary measures, which play an important role in supporting decision-making, says Mäkelä.

Today, changes made at Kotka are often based on own resources

After the introduction of the system three years ago, Kotkan Energia’s responsible persons and Vitec ALMA’s experts have regularly participated in development meetings. The aim of the meetings was to make sure the system functions as required. At the same time, ideas for more versatile use of the system were sought for. The meetings are still taking place, but less frequently.

-The skills of our organisation have gradually improved, and so we can implement many ALMA-related modifications on our own as well. For example, the dashboards introduced in early 2020 were originally incorporated into our procedures with the assistance of ALMA. Now, however, we are capable of making and modifying them on our own, Mäkelä notes.

The dashboards have been made for the individual needs of each business area of the company. They provide a concise view of key business information and meters at a glance.

Information is the same for everyone and accessible for everyone regardless of place or time, Mäkelä points out.

RCM analysis results into the system

In spring 2020, Kotkan Energia launched a development project introducing in the Group a criticality classification for equipment and spare parts based on reliability-centred maintenance (RCM). During the project, all power plant equipment are inspected, their condition classified and pre-maintenance programmes updated according to equipment criticality. In the same connection, equipment-related spare parts and documents are examined. In practice, the project will start at the Hovinsaari power plant.

– This is a big and significant development step for us. We defined our own model for equipment criticality classification and reliability-centred maintenance analysis. In practice, Vitec ALMA has implemented a solution for us in which the results of RCM analysis can be functionally classified into our own information system. In my opinion, this is a good example of ALMA’s excellent flexibility and adaptability to different usage needs, Mäkelä emphasizes.

 

Text: Kai Tarkka

Picture: Kotkan Energia

Kotkan Energia Oy is a company owned by the City of Kotka. The Kotkan Energia Group includes the parent company Kotkan Energia Oy and the subsidiaries Karhu Voima Verkko Oy and Karhu Voima Palvelu Oy. The Group employs more than 100 people working at several different offices and subsidiaries. https://www.kotkanenergia.fi/