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