When Raahen Voima Oy's new power plant was first switched on, the maintenance unit of the plant already had all the information needed during 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.
by Markku Rimpiläinen
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
About ALMA Consulting:
ALMA Consulting Oy, established in 1986 in Finland, specializes in information systems and related services in the industrial sector. The customers are mainly from process and energy industries. Their systems are delivered to 48 countries.
ALMA® is a totally integrated engineering and knowledge management system for both developing and maintaining, covering the whole life-cycle of the plant.
The growth areas of the past years have been different maintenance management systems including, for example, preventive maintenance, troubleshooting, logging, work resourcing, planning, warehouse management, and life-cycle management.
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