A chemical plant as a workplace requires a high level of safety from the employees. The chemicals are stored and processed in the premises, which, for example, poses a risk of vaporization and explosion when handled incompetently. Adherence to defined policies is essential.
Maintpartner has been in charge of the comprehensive maintenance at the Synthomer chemical plant in Oulu, Finland, for the past eight years. "The costs and failures of basic maintenance have been reduced through better systematic planning, and we have not had any lost-time injuries at the plant during this time," says Jussi Uusitalo, Service Manager at Maintpartner.
Synthomer Finland Oy manufactures and markets latex for coating paper and board. The Oulu plant has several production lines and a high degree of automation, which has contributed to reducing human errors - but on the other hand, increased the need for special maintenance and competence requirements.
The equipment must be kept in good condition at all times. If something breaks, it cannot be repaired instantly at a chemical plant. The device must first be brought in a safe state by means of risk assessment and work permits, and the repairs must be carefully monitored and documented.
“Our cooperation with Maintpartner goes a long way back. Basic maintenance and daily communication run smoothly,” says Plant Manager Ismo Hourula at Synthomer.
At the start of the co-operation, the maintenance management system was changed and a criticality classification was made for the production to identify the most important processes. Preventive equipment maintenance actions were added to the maintenance system, as well as information on spare parts and their availability for each device. In the event of a fault, spare parts can be found on the shelf, but no unnecessary parts are left in stock. This helps to manage the costs better.
By tracking costs, a better understanding of failing devices has been achieved. Thus, the most critical and expensive devices have been paid due attention to and root cause analyses have been made to solve problems.
Cost management was also improved by allocating resources from the regional HUB on a needs basis, while the standard workforce at the plant is optimal.
24-hour emergency service is available for the plant’s mechanical and electrical automation. Purchasing, spare parts inventory and electrical drive control for high voltage equipment are the responsibility of Maintpartner.
The factory has always been provided with the necessary additional manpower, for example for project management, cost monitoring, tendering and implementation. The Maintpartner professionals have also taken care of pump maintenance as well as installation and welding work.
In the future, the systematic activity will continue. “Clear plans, roadmaps, have been created for development purposes, and the agreed operating models are introduced and their implementation is monitored. These will bring maintenance up to the next level,” concludes Jussi Uusitalo.
Photo: Synthomer's plant in Oulu, Finland (c) Synthomer
Jussi Uusitalo, Service Manager, HUB Oulu, Maintpartner
Mika Riekkola, President (acting), Service Agreements, Maintpartner