Automation engineer prevents expensive mistakes - if given a chance

New machines are purchased annually for industrial facilities, for example, when improving the production process or updating the machinery. Purchases often have pain points, which result in unnecessary costs and schedule overrun. Big problems are caused by inadequate or completely missing pre-engineering, and lack of information when choosing a supplier. How can the problems be prevented?

Automation engineering pic

Picture: Complementary equipment acquisitions from the point of view of automation engineering

 

Lack of pre-engineering leads to guesswork and non-comparable bidding

If you are asking for a quotation without specifying your needs - like what a new machine is supposed to do and how it links with existing machines and processes - you get a bunch of offers that are not comparable. Each bidder understand a call for tenders in his own way.

If the most inexpensive of the offers is chosen but is the wrong kind, it is often necessary to add items that were overlooked, because you are in a hurry to allow production to continue. Additions and the work they require are not included in the budget, which can result in unnecessary disputes with suppliers and subcontractors.

In the preliminary design phase, an expert engineer can still ask questions that the customer has not been able to take into account. Specifications improve the procurement and ensure its suitability as a whole to the plant’s processes.

The cost of pre-engineering in bigger machine purchases is typically a few percent, while compromised schedules and additional work are usually considerably more expensive.

A maintenance trap may close in the bargaining situation

Sometimes when purchasing a new machine, there are no requirements for machine documentation. In this case, the vendor may provide useless documents on the application programs for electrical installations and automation, for example only on paper or as a bad machine translation. This makes the incorporation and maintenance of the machines difficult - sometimes even impossible.
The quality of the documents must be assured at the latest when concluding the deal. These mistakes can also be avoided by consulting an electric and automation expert in good time.

Suppliers have also made password-protected parts for automation application programs that cannot be accessed by your own or your partner's maintenance. In such case, there is nothing that local staff can do to repair faults or make alterations, but the customer is fully dependent on the availability of the supplier's pricing and the availability of services.

In addition, it would also be good to examine the types of components included in the delivery to avoid very exotic makes and types for which it would hard to find spare parts.

By updating the control system even an old device can undergo a facelift

There is often no need to replace machines to improve productivity. By upgrading the old machine's automation system production line disturbances can be reduced and capacity increased. The machine interface can be programmed to be easier to manage. Such changes often pay for themselves quickly. Machine safety can be improved by adding safety devices and by updating the safety-related steering system.

- If the risks caused by old systems are not well-known and you have not prepared for them in critical locations, a machine breakage may cause the production to stand for a surprisingly long time. As an automation engineer, one would like to be able to support the customer already in the pre-engineering phase, solving a large part of the machine life cycle costs, emphasizes the automation team leader Janne Laitinen from Maintpartner.

- Overall, electrical and automation engineering have a significant impact on how quickly the cause is found when faults and disturbances occur.

Maintpartner, a company specialized in industrial operation and maintenance, has several experienced electric and automation experts in Finland and Sweden. - We have a full range of services. Many of our longstanding engineers have also process engineering skills, so one person can, for example, in the mechanical wood industry handle both automation and process engineering assignments," Janne sums up.

Additional information:

Janne Laitinen, Team Leader, Maintpartner
+358(0)400 171 615, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Markku Leinonen, President, Project, Installation & Engineering Services, Maintpartner
+358 (0)46 851 6195, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Maintpartner is a leading industrial operation and maintenance company in Northern Europe and the leading actor in the energy sector in the Nordic countries. We help our customers improve the productivity of their production facilities and minimize process disruptions. In addition to long-term operation and maintenance agreements we offer development, installation and engineering services. Our digital solutions represent the best-in-class development in the field.
Maintpartner Group employs approximately 1,900 people. Our net sales in 2016 amounted to some EUR 160 million. The Group has offices in Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia. More information at www.maintpartner.com

Should oil be cleaned? Deteriorated oil to blame for 90 percent of the damages in the hydraulic systems of machinery and equipment

Such an invisible thing as lubricating oil is important for industrial processes. It is estimated that nine out of ten damages in hydraulic systems occur due to deterioration of the oil which, in addition to damages, may also lead to unplanned downtime in production.

Within industrial plants oil lubricates the process equipment, such as valves and switch gear. If we forget to replace and clean the oil, there may occur many problems in machinery and equipment.

Oil deteriorates in use

Wear particles from appliances and other contaminants accumulate in the oil over time. Oil suffers from condensation and aging by oxygen, temperature and catalytic substances such as metals, water and coolants. When the oil ages, resinous compounds accumulate on surfaces and cause warming and valve disorders.

Impurities get in oil via different routes. Within the process, the particles from deteriorated parts, painted surfaces and seals end up in the oil circulation. Chemical reactions involve oxidation of the lubricant and reactions with foreign substances.

External contaminants end up in oil, for example, because of missing air filters or through shaft seals and maintenance hatch in the oil container. There may be impurities even in fresh oil - or possibly wrong type of oil is used.

Oil

 

Regular analysis prevents uncontrolled production shutdowns

When oil quality is regularly followed, preventive service measures can be taken during a planned downtime. Field laboratory can immediately provide the first response and a more detailed analysis we receive from a qualified laboratory within a week.

The sampling shall be done professionally to avoid distorted results. The equipment must be clean and appropriate. If a test is not made correctly it can do more harm than a sample that has not been taken at all, if incorrect actions are taken on the basis of the results.

It is possible to clean oil on an operating machinery

To clean the oil during operation an electrostatic purifier is installed in the oil container by-pass. It will remove most of the contaminants and particles.

The water that has accrued in the oil over time can be removed by using a low-pressure vaporizer, which is installed in the oil container by-pass.

Cleaning reduces friction, saves energy and extends the service life of parts and oil - saves both costs and the environment.


Further information:

Ari Moilanen, Work Coordinator, Maintpartner
phone +358 (0)43 216 0274, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hannu Leskelä, President, Service Agreements, Maintpartner
phone +358 (0)40 546 8580, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Maintpartner is a leading industrial operation and maintenance company in Northern Europe and the leading actor in the energy sector in the Nordic countries. We help our customers improve productivity at their production facilities and minimize process disruptions. In addition to long-term operation and maintenance contracts we offer development, installation and engineering services. Our advanced digital solutions represent the best-in-class development in the field.


Maintpartner Group employs approximately 1,900 people. Our net sales in 2016 amounted to some EUR 160 million. The Group has offices in Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia. More information at www.maintpartner.com.

Tomasz Olszewski appointed Director, Maintpartner Energy Poland

Tomasz Olszewski has been appointed Director of Maintpartner's energy business in Poland. Mr. Olszewski has an extensive experience from international industrial companies. His in-depth expertise of energy plant O&M is a valuable asset to our energy teams and operations in Poland.

Tomasz Olszewski will be responsible for Maintpartner energy business in Poland, including business planning and development. His main focus in in profitable growth, and he will report to Kosti Rautiainen, President of Maintpartner Energy Business.

“I am confident that Tomasz’s good network on the Polish industrial market will benefit us all in finding new business cases and building success with our energy teams in Poland,” says Kosti Rautiainen.

Growth continues – we are hiring in all our countries


As an industry forerunner, we offer our customers value-adding and reliable services for industrial maintenance and operation. Our good reputation also brings about growing demand.

Our customers across energy and industry are showing great confidence in our expert services that help them achieve their targets on operational reliability, productivity and safety. We are very thankful and proud of this – and at the same time, it is opening up new opportunities for potential employees to join our professional teams in Finland, Poland and Sweden.

We have vacancies for both entry and senior level employees and anything in between in various industries. If you come directly from vocational school, you will learn your trade to perfection in our teams with the support of your experienced co-workers. If you are an experienced professional of industrial maintenance or engineering, we surely will have a place for you, too.

Please visit the career section of our local websites to see our openings:

Fingrid has chosen Maintpartner to operate and maintain their reserve power plants


Finland's main grid company Fingrid Plc has selected Maintpartner as the provider of operation and maintenance services for their nine reserve power plants. The services cover maintenance and repair of equipment and property at the reserve power plants, test runs and operation as required, as well as general supervision.

Reserve power plants are part of the disturbance reserve of the power system in Finland, which aims to ensure that electricity is produced at any given moment as much as it is consumed. They are started if there is not enough commercial power supply available on the market, for example, in a situation where a major plant has become inoperative.

"We are proud to take care of the disturbance reserve of the Finnish power system, and grateful for Fingrid's confidence in us," says Kosti Rautiainen, head of Maintpartner's energy business. "We have over a thousand industrial professionals in Finland and the country's highest knowledge in the operation and maintenance of power plants – the expertise of our personnel and our geographic coverage ensure that we can quickly respond to disturbances and ensure the adequacy of electricity in the event of power failures as Fingrid's partner."

"The service contract was awarded as a public procurement in 2017 and we invested heavily in the procurement process. The contract model was renewed and, in addition to costs, we emphasized the quality of service. Our ambitious goal is to further improve our operational reliability, making reserve power plants more useful for electricity consumers with lower expenses,” says Sampsa Holmberg, Fingrid's power plant manager, on the goals of the contract.

The value of the three-year contract, which will be effective from 1 July 2018 onwards, is about EUR 3.3 million.

Further information

Kosti Rautiainen, President of Energy Business, Maintpartner
Tel. +358 50 374 8172, kosti.rautiainen [at] maintpartner.com

Mika Riekkola, Sales Director, Maintpartner
Tel. +358 40 739 6607, mika.riekkola [at] maintpartner.com

 

Maintpartner is a leading industrial operation and maintenance company in Northern Europe and the leading actor in the energy sector in the Nordic countries. We help our customers improve the productivity of their production facilities and minimize process disruptions. In addition to long-term operation and maintenance agreements we offer development, installation and engineering services. Our digital solutions represent the best-in-class development in the field.

Maintpartner Group employs approximately 1,900 people. Our net sales in 2016 amounted to some EUR 160 million. The Group has offices in Finland, Sweden, Poland and Estonia. More information at www.maintpartner.com.

Wojciech Serafin appointed President of Maintpartner Poland


Wojciech Serafin, B.Sc. Econ., has been appointed President, Maintpartner Poland starting 14 December 2017. He has a nearly 20 year experience of leadership positions in industrial companies, with background in technology development, production, line maintenance, and supply chain and project management.

Mr Serafin’s focus will also be strongly on sales and growing the Maintpartner’s industrial operation and maintenance business in Poland.

“Wojciech’s expertise in international companies’ way of operations will be of great value for our organization in Poland. He also has strong experience in team management, cost optimization and development programs,” says Pasi Tolppanen, CEO of Maintpartner Group.

“I rely on mutual communication and co-operation with the business partners while leading us towards growth that results in the satisfaction of all parties,” says Wojceich Serafin.

Wojciech Serafin will be located in Zabrze, Poland.

Previous President, Maintpartner Poland, Dariusz Kowalczyk is leaving the company to pursue his career outside Maintpartner.

Further information:

Pasi Tolppanen, CEO, Maintpartner Group
Tel. +358 40 541 6656, pasi.tolppanen [at] maintpartner.com