References

Kainuun Voima enhances its production using ALMA

Maintenance
Kainuun Voima Oy, an energy company operating in Kajaani, acquired from Vitec ALMA a modern information system for enhancement of its operations. Versatility, usability, reliability, and flexibility decided the tendering in favour of Vitec ALMA.

The city of Kajaani needs heat and electricity. In addition, Kajaani-based companies need steam for their production processes. Kajaanin Voima Oy produces all of these. The company has two thermal power plants and three hydropower plants, the condition and upkeep of which require constant monitoring.

- We acquired the ALMA information system to replace several of our older systems. For us, increasing the efficiency of our production and providing services to our customers is paramount. Acquisition of the Vitec ALMA system is part of our development work. It is a modern and versatile IT system characterised by good usability and reliable operation. Compared to ALMA, the rest of the systems that participated in the tendering seemed stiff, says Mika Paakkari, Operation Manager at Kainuun Voima.

Kainuun Voima uses hydropower to produce electricity and thermal power plants to produce district heating, electricity, and steam. Of the thermal plant energy sources, wood accounts for about 80% and peat for about 20%. The annual production of the company’s power plants is around 500-700 GWh, somewhat depending on the year.

Support service for outsourced functions

ALMA was introduced at Kainuun Voima in April 2020. Last autumn, a tendering procedure was arranged, after which substitution of the old systems with ALMA began. The first stage focused on the equipment maintenance system, communication, and document management. Stock accounts and materials management will be properly introduced in the near future.

- We have only four people on the company’s payroll. The rest of our functions have been outsourced. The new IT system is really important for our subcontractors as well. We can monitor their operations almost in real time and they can conveniently report us the developments in the field at any time. From now on, equipment maintenance history can be accessed through ALMA, which facilitates maintenance of the machinery. Installers no longer need to cast about for information on the maintenance procedures carried out during previous sessions, Paakkari says.

Paakkari has only good things to say about the commissioning project. Learning new things is always a little complicated, but ALMA’s excellent clarity of use made this easier.

- Our staff have already mastered ALMA and our subcontractors will soon catch up as well. Currently, there are about 40 users. The data volume and user count have increased significantly, but this is no problem for the new system.

Mobile features facilitate fieldwork

Paakkari praises the system’s user interface, which is “state-of-the-art”. Since the software is Windows-based, data are easy to copy and transfer between devices and systems.

- The mobile user interface works well, and the maintenance installers have all the necessary information with them on-site. If necessary, in-depth data and images can also be viewed more conveniently from the larger computer monitor, says Paakkari.

- From the viewpoint of maintenance, granting and limiting access rights is easy. This is an enormous change as compared to the past.

The system will be expanded in the future

Kainuun Voima intends to expand the use of ALMA gradually in the company and to integrate new systems and features into the software. These developments are to take place in the coming autumn.

- Not all of our power plants are yet included in the system, but they will be in the near future. All things considered, my estimate is that a few more years will pass before we get all the features we want. ALMA would certainly deliver it all to us much faster, but the change will take more time here at our end, partly because of the large number of our subcontractors, says Paakkari.

 

Kainuun Voima Oy is a power company producing thermal power and hydropower, especially for the residents and companies of the city of Kajaani. At full capacity, a Kainuun Voima thermal power plant burns about 470 cubic meters of fuel per hour. 95-97% of this fuel is of domestic origin. The power plant’s overall electric output is 88 MW, which would allow, for example, lighting almost 1.5 million 60W lamps at the same time.