Maintpartner implements safety-enhancing improvements at UPM Energy's floodgates

In recent years, Maintpartner has renovated several of UPM Energy's hydropower floodgates at river Kymijoki, Finland. Maintpartner typically carries out the entire project including construction, engineering, dismantling, coating and installation works. The fourth renovation project will be completed this summer at Kaltimo hydropower plant in eastern Finland.

During the basic renovation, the motor drive, seals and other wear parts of the floodgate are renewed. The gate itself is sandblasted and re-coated. After the work is completed, the gate is as good as new - and operates better and safer with modern and environmentally-friendly technology.

The upgrade includes heating and venting systems in the gates to protect the gate surface structures from ice formation. New oil-free bearing solutions for raising and lowering side guides minimize the risk of environmental damage. Additional instrumentation accurately identifies the position of the gate and the need for adjustment that is controlled remotely.

The environment and safety are carefully taken into account in the renovation. The site is fully covered to prevent the blasting sand and paint waste ending up in the water. The gate is carefully supported in an upright position, and on the downstream side there are guardrails to prevent workers from falling into a steep rapid. Survival crafts and life buoys are always available at site.

“Continuous maintenance and upgrading of hydropower plants are important for maintaining plants so that they are efficient and environmentally safe. The amount of oil in the equipment has been significantly reduced, and the well-maintained plant works as planned also in exceptional situations – for example, during floods,” says Hydropower Manager Pekka Pollari from UPM Energy.

“We have personnel specialised in dam projects, and their expertise is crucial. Our project manager Pekka Nokelainen and our skilled technicians work in close cooperation with UPM Energy,” says Team Manager Teemu Torvikoski from Maintpartner’s Kouvola office.

The Voikkaa hydropower plant was originally completed in 1923 as the power plant of the paper mill of the then Kymmene Oy. Other tenants now occupy the former paper mill premises, and the electricity of the Voikkaa power plant is sold on the market. With a production capacity of 1,500 MW, UPM Energy is Finland's second largest producer of electricity who generates electricity in hydropower, nuclear power and CHP plants. The company's goal is to grow as a producer of CO2-free electricity and as an expert in industrial energy efficiency.

How the work progressed on the dam of the Voikkaa hydropower plant last summer:

First, the divers built a temporary wooden dam between the floodgate and the reservoir. The wood material was transported to the site on a ferry.

When the gate had been raised up and supported, the old seals were removed. The side guides were renewed, the rack rails repaired and the old motor drives removed. The new motor drives and their transmissions were installed on the newly-built foundations.

The floodgate technology was renewed including the heating and venting systems. The gate was sandblasted, the damaged parts repaired, spackled and painted.
Finally, the leak tightness was secured by adjusting the new seals, and the renewed gate was put into service.

Photos below: The downstream side of the floodgate before the renovation. The gate is supported up and the seals have been removed from the bottom. Behind it is shown the temporary wooden gate.

Alussa tuettuna web 20180717

The renewed floodgate in lowered position; in the middle is the service door for accessing the gate for e.g. electrical and automation maintenance work.

Valmis patoluukku web 20180928

Further information:

Teemu Torvikoski, team leader, Maintpartner Voikkaa/Kouvola
Tel. +358 50 505 2145, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kari Aalto, President, Project, Installation & Engineering Services
Tel. +358 40 566 2127, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Piotr Sokalla appointed President of Maintpartner Poland

Piotr Sokalla has been appointed Acting President of the Polish operations and Managing Director of Maintpartner ASI S.A.

Piotr Sokalla has held the position of Technical, Development & Integration Director from 2016, and is located in Zabrze office. He will join the Maintpartner Group’s Management Group.

Previous President of Maintpartner Poland, Wojciech Serafin, has decided to pursue his career outside Maintpartner. The transition of duties and the related knowledge has already been smoothly done.

The appointment is effective immediately.

“With Piotr’s long and deep experience of the local industrial maintenance market, I have full confidence in him succeeding in the new position. I would also like thank Wojciech for his contribution to this company and wish him all the best in his future career,” says Pasi Tolppanen, CEO, Maintpartner Group.

Further information: Pasi Tolppanen, CEO

Energy audits - an inspiration to people, good for the environment

Maintpartner regularly conducts energy audits of its operations. In 2018–2019, the audits were carried out entirely under the guidance of our own experts - the latest in Sweden, where energy use and its potential for savings in Karlskoga and Degerfors sites were examined. They employ the majority of Maintpartner employees in Sweden, some 170 people from over 250. In addition, Maintpartner has eight other smaller offices in Sweden.

In general, energy audits generate many ideas for improving energy efficiency in an industrial environment. Maintpartner's customers can also benefit from this experience, as it is available for them as a service.

“People are often somewhat astonished at how simple methods can make a big impact. When this is noticed, they become keen on taking on more actions. The most important thing, however, is that there is a named person responsible for energy efficiency in the company – someone to ensure continuous development,” says Matti Yliknuussi, Maintpartner's energy and environmental expert.

Most of the challenges are related to being located in industrial facilities, which may have been designed and built decades ago with the primary purpose of providing protection to production machinery. At the time of construction, no attention was necessarily paid to environmental and energy issues. Furthermore, understanding the impact of conditions on both production and the life cycle of equipment as well as on human well-being and occupational safety was not at the current level.

What can be done? Often, the first measures concern the management and tendering of electricity contracts and the selection of renewable electricity. Exterior doors and hatches of old premises can be easily sealed, and window glazing increased.

“The old infrastructure brings its own challenges, and it has to be recognized that not all measures are realistic - especially if you are operating in leased premises,” says Matti Yliknuussi from Maintpartner.

Clear choices include the purchase of heat pumps, the replacement of old radiator thermostats, ventilation machines and lighting, and the addition of controls. At Maintpartner, the teams had already independently made environmentally friendly upgrades on e.g. lighting and windows.

“An energy audit is a great opportunity to truly develop the environmental responsibility of operations. There are always opportunities for development. At Maintpartner, we even went further and chose a broader scope for the audit than required by the European Energy Directive, so that we can certainly make the most of our potential and will be able to develop our operations in a more systematic way in the future,” concludes Yliknuussi.

Further information:

Matti Yliknuussi, Development Manager, Energy & Environment, Maintpartner
Tel. +358 50 469 7774, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mika Riekkola, Managing Director, Maintpartner in Finland
Tel. +358 40 739 6607, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maintpartner’s operating model commended in audits

Maintpartner’s operating model (MP Way), competence and expertise received a lot of positive feedback in the annual audits. Also the safety work was found to be at a good level.
At Maintpartner, the high level of operation and maintenance has been achieved through systematic work which is verified by the certificates ISO 9001 for quality, OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety, ISO 14001 for the environment.

The Maintpartner employees do important work every day - and often in a risky environment - to keep the industry running and well-maintained. “Since we have nearly 1,800 professionals and we operate in one hundred different locations, we have had a clear goal to standardize the working environment. Standardization improves both the safety, quality and environmental responsibility of our own operations and the service we give to our customers ”, says Laura Kauppinen, EVP Administration at Maintpartner.

”It is important for us to continuously develop our work for safety and the environment. We will continue to invest heavily in occupational safety. We are also going to bring forward our environmental development ideas more strongly in our customers' facilities. For years, we have encouraged our staff to make development proposals by rewarding them in concrete terms, for example ”, says Kauppinen.

Further information:
Saija Pottala, HSEQ Manager, Maintpartner Group
tel. +358 (0)43 820 0064, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laura Kauppinen, Executive Vice President, Corporate Administration, Maintpartner Group
tel. +358 (0)45 264 6686, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Realiability is vital for chemical industry in all circumstances

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.

Re-thinking maintenance

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.

Synthomer Oulu IMG 2328 31 LI

Photo: Synthomer's plant in Oulu, Finland (c) Synthomer

Further information:

Jussi Uusitalo, Service Manager, HUB Oulu, Maintpartner
phone +358 (0)40 485 1487, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mika Riekkola, President (acting), Service Agreements, Maintpartner
phone +358 (0)40 739 6607, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to select the best maintenance management system for your needs, and use it efficiently?

Industrial maintenance management systems (CMMS) offer numerous ways to support the plant production and maintenance management. Every system has its strengths, and a solution that is ideal for one particular plant does not best cater for another.

The threshold to change current system to another may be big – it does bring along a massive data transfer project and training needs. Therefore, it is advisable to consider first, whether the current CMMS has been utilised in the best possible way. For instance:

  • Is the system’s equipment hierarchy built so that the information on increasing failures and maintenance costs is easily available?
  • Can replacement investments be handled in a proactive manner, while also having clear financial grounds for them?
  • Is there a master user who sees to that information on maintenance needs as well as signing in completed work are done properly?
  • How high level of automation is required in work processes?
  • Does the system provide operations with required support, e.g. by ensuring that there are spare parts in the inventory for critical equipment at all times?

Moreover, if the time has come to consider implementing of a new CMMS, what kind of alternatives there are on the market, and which functionalities would be the most important at your plant? How is the implementation of the new CMMS organised and completed in the most efficient way?

The information package put together by Maintpartner’s specialists answers to these questions. Through our customer sites we have a deep understanding and practical experience of several maintenance management systems and the best ways of using them. We collected together the best functionalities and tips to enhance the use of the CMMS.

Download your free information package by filling in your name and email address to the form below. And do contact us, whenever you require our expertise:

FINLAND: Juuso Nurmi, Sales Manager, tel. +358 40 525 2299
SWEDEN: Stefan Altkvist, Manager, tel. +46 72 961 0791
POLAND: Krzysztof Biliński, VP Sales, tel. +48 60 956 7191 

EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The information package on CMMS power-use was put together by Tommi Nyrkkö, Maija Rossi and Kalle Jylhä, who all have an extensive experience of developing industrial maintenance, and Lotta Kinnunen from Maintpartner Communications.