Telia’s massive data centre uses ALMA for its maintenance

Telia opened the largest telecommunication centre Helsinki Data Centre (HDC) in June 2018. The data system supplied by ALMA facilitates efficient documentation necessary for HDC, its maintenance and repair ticketing, reporting and use of training materials, and serves as a support for running financial matters of the facility.

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Telia HDC, situated at Helsinki’s Pitäjänmäki, is an open data centre, which means that any company or association may bring their servers to tap into its high-speed telecommunication links. This is the feature that sets HDC apart from many other large data centres. The equipment pool of large data centres often caters only to certain organisations or their individual network services.

"Such a larger facility and its equipment base need a reliable maintenance system, which provides all necessary information easily and in real time. We chose ALMA to provide this service, because this is where we found exactly the system that we wanted. ALMA’s price/quality ratio is also spot on, and moreover, ALMA’s Finnish pedigree was another a benefit in comparison with its international competitors", says Petteri Hellsten, Telia HDC Facilities Manager.

Security, speed and reliability

Helsinki and Pitäjänmäki were selected as the location for Telia HDC due to security consideration, and good fibre connections. There are no major geopolitical risks in Scandinavia and in Finland, and neither do earthquakes pose threat to the delicate equipment located here.

"Particular attention has been paid to security of Telia HDC. Thus, its level of security satisfies the requirements of a high-level security standards. Moreover, the service ALMA provides for us has been swift, efficient and secure. We at Telia HDC see ALMA as one of the key strategic partners", admits the head of the data centre construction project Juha Ekman of Telia Finland.

Telia HDC’s location in Helsinki is also essential in terms of environmental benefits. Heat generated by servers is not actually lost, instead Fortum can use it in their own district heat generation process.

Development is ongoing

Around 30 persons use ALMA’s data system in Telia HDC. The system facilitates the management and maintenance of the facility, but thanks to ALMA the thousands of units and systems in HDC can be documented to become parts of the integrated whole. Furthermore, efficient use of the maintenance calendar, as well as fast repair and maintenance ticketing of equipment are additional benefits offered by ALMA’s data system to Telia HDC.

ALMA was first commissioned in Telia HDC as early as in April of 2018, i.e. a couple of months before the official launch of the centre. The experience of Telia HDC’s staff with the use of ALMA have been positive.

"We are currently developing and tailoring the content of ALMA to make it even better. We continuously gather the best practices related with the system. They are then used to adjust and modify ALMA such that it could meet our needs even better", says Hellsten.

Telia HDC is also looking for possibilities to implement ALMA’s new applications and solutions in future. These include, inter alia, applications connected with planning and project management, as well as documentation of spare parts. It is intended to take the decisions extending the system in the spring of 2019.

ALMA brings winds of change to Helen’s power and automation maintenance

The power company Helen Oy is focusing on long-term and comprehensive solutions for information management at its existing and future production facilities. This was emphasised also when they were selecting a partner for their information management project. ALMA proved to be successful.

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Helen is one of the largest power companies in Finland, offering new energy solutions. Its innovative energy solutions have been awarded as the most efficient in the world, and the company has nearly 400,000 customers throughout Finland. The company produces electricity and district heating in its power plants in Vuosaari, Hanasaari and Salmisaari.

Developing the company’s business operations has always been important, and there have been plenty of innovations. That is true even now, as digitisation has created the need to focus on and improve production facility information management and relevant information management processes.

When the old ways no longer work

For Helen, the impulse towards a better management of technical information and lifespan started from problems with the overall management of information.

If our own competent staff is telling us that changes should be made to the operational and working models of our automation processes, we can’t just brush it aside. It was also clear that as far as technical information management was concerned, the documentation could do with much greater precision. Not everyone who needed to access the information was able to, and finding the right information took way too much time, said Panu Oksman, Development Manager.

First, the power and automation maintenance information from the A and B facility at Salmisaari, Helsinki, was recorded. A lot of the source material was incorrect, and not all previous amendments were visible. People were having to look for files from scratch, because they did not know exactly where to find what they were looking for.

Well, it was a bit difficult. In maintenance and servicing situations, it has been anything but sensible, because the information was entered into the system retrospectively. It wasn’t really possible to talk about real-time information at that point, Oksman stated.

A strong life-cycle of technical information management is an advantage to everyone

With ALMA, Helen moved on to completely new kinds of working methods and documentation. Now, all information can be entered into the system while things are being done. There is no need for separate stages, and all works and records have a consistent rhythm. Future maintenance works will also be recorded directly in ALMA.

This results in significant implications on the use of time, and work speeding up. Any new information is available immediately, and can be promptly shared with all parties: with our own employees, with engineering offices and subcontractors, Oksman listed.

The energy industry is going through big changes, with regard to environmental requirements, the development of electricity prices, and challenges related to energy production for peak consumption periods. These issues have a considerable effect on what information is used to modernise and perform maintenance on a production facility, and how much extra work is necessary for keeping information up to date.

Technical information management plays a key role in the work productivity of those involved with production processes, as well as in achieving the quality, volume and information security of production processes. Many organisations use several applications and various information systems, which does not always make things easier. 

ALMA provides a single integrated system even for complicated fields of information, including everything required. The flow of information can be assuredly efficient, safe and fast. In the energy industry, stability and persistence are important factors. ALMA Consulting can also give us a long-term vision of how we can strengthen our information management and relevant practices together, to ensure a great and high-quality end result. This is something we value greatly, Panu Oksman said.

 

Text: Tia Härkönen

Photos: Tia Härkönen and Helen Oy

 

 

Kuopion Energia required a single system to handle everything maintenance-related

Documentation was hard to find, placing work orders was difficult, and the user experience was rigid. These were the issues that prompted the update of Kuopion Energia’s maintenance system, which will now cover the entire Group. All management is now harmonised and accessible through ALMA.

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For a long time already, Kuopion Energia had acknowledged the need to harmonise maintenance systems, for the business operations of power grids, district heating and energy production. In practice, the situation was such that two of the units had reached the end of the road with the old system, and one unit did not have a system in use at all.

“We had a specific need for a new system in the energy production branch. The old system worked for some things, but in other aspects, it was very impractical. We also needed the new system to be very user-friendly, as it wasn’t always possible to find what you were looking for on the old system – at least not very quickly.  For the past 10 years, we have invested extensively in the power plant, and there have been a lot of modern projects. All of their documentation is in electronic format. The old system was obtained in the 1990s, when it was still very much a world of paper. That has also put us in a difficult position,” said Markus Laukkanen, the maintenance manager of the Haapaniemi power plant. 

Clear vision about the project – a successful result

As the mass of electronic documentation increased, Kuopio started having earnest discussions about the need for an update. The end result was that the new joint maintenance system would include three business branches, and it must include stock and material management as well as mobile functions, and the required commissioning services and integrations with other group systems.

One of the most significant cornerstones for the success of this project was systematic groundwork and needs analysis. It also helped with choosing a supplier: in the end, it was almost self-evident that it would be ALMA.

“We did a thorough requirement specification and overview. There were several supplier candidates, and we had more specific discussions with a few of them. It became clear quite quickly that ALMA understood us the best, and they were able to offer solutions that were perfect for us. They also kept discussing the details of the new systems with us, so that it would cover everything the field workers would need. They aren’t using desktop computers out there”, the ICT manager Jami Miettinen and Markus Laukkanen both stated.

Miettinen admitted that on the group-level, this project was IT-driven.

“We were looking for the complete package – that the servers and the terminals would work well, and that everything could have easy maintenance, and that information security issues would be dealt with. The district heating and power grid operations cover a large area. Likewise, the power plant is a huge area. The new system has to be suitable for all of them. The ease of the implementation was also very important!”

Getting things done, even after the project has ended

The project has now progressed to the normal operation stage at Kuopio, and everything is working as it should be. According to the feedback Miettinen has received, using the system is easy, quick and logical. 
He also highlighted how during the first six months of the project implementation, there was plenty of flexibility all around.

“There are always small complications in projects, it’s just a matter of fixing them. However, ALMA kept all of their promises. The worst thing would have been to have to exclude some things we need. As the project progressed, ALMA always found a solution. There was a focus on getting things done. We have also already agreed on future meetings, and that the system will be developed further if we need new features, or if any practical issues have to be solved,” he summarised.

Both men were particularly pleased with the benefit for the entire Group:

"We got a single system with more total users compared to every business branch having its own system.  This makes it a more extensive ecosystem. When there are more users in many units, the system can be developed and grown, to serve the needs of the entire company and of the individual employees better.”

Kuopion Energia’s project with ALMA started in summer 2016, and the new system was implemented in late 2016.

 

Text: Tia Härkönen
Picture: Kuopion Energia



 

Information is everything

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. 



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