Maintworld Magazine 3/2023

- maintenance & asset management

- maintenance & asset management


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3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld.com<br />

maintenance & asset management<br />

Biohydrogen<br />

powers<br />

future industry<br />

p 30<br />

Redefining<br />

industrial<br />

maintenance<br />

p 38<br />

Asset Social<br />

Networks<br />



Predicve Maintenance<br />

is Shaping the Future<br />

of Industry<br />

A<br />

major shift is underway in the<br />

field of industrial maintenance.<br />

In this issue of <strong>Maintworld</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong>, we explore the gamechanging<br />

role of predictive maintenance<br />

and its impact on modern industry.<br />

Manufacturing and industrial landscapes<br />

have evolved massively over the past few<br />

decades. Reactive fixes are no longer viable<br />

in today's cost-sensitive and safety-conscious<br />

environments. Adopting predictive maintenance<br />

is also no longer a choice for manufacturers<br />

who want to succeed. It's a necessity.<br />

Predictive maintenance helps companies<br />

avoid costly unplanned downtime. According<br />

to a Deloitte report, on average, predictive maintenance increases productivity<br />

by 25%, reduces breakdowns by 70% and lowers maintenance costs by<br />

25%. However, implementing predictive maintenance is not without hurdles<br />

for many manufacturing companies. It requires massive investments in new<br />

technology, data management systems, security measures and a change in<br />

maintenance culture.<br />

In this issue of <strong>Maintworld</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong>, we bring you interviews with industry<br />

leaders, expert insights, and the latest technology trends. I particularly recommend<br />

reading the article “Celebrating Synergy: Asset Social Networks<br />

Unleashed” written by Professors Diego Galar, Ramin Karim and Uday Kumar<br />

from the Luleå University of Technology<br />

in Sweden. This article examines<br />

the future of industrial systems.<br />

“Prognostics and Health Management<br />

(PHM), and Condition-based<br />

Maintenance (CBM) have eclipsed<br />

traditional reactive and scheduled<br />

maintenance, particularly for<br />

high-value critical assets. Yet these<br />

methods grapple with a significant<br />

Adopting predictive<br />

maintenance is no<br />

longer a choice for<br />

manufacturers who<br />

want to succeed.<br />

limitation: they are typically engineered to maintain individual assets, not the<br />

interconnected web of assets integral to manufacturing,” the article states.<br />

<strong>Maintworld</strong> invites you now to join the conversation. Your unique insights<br />

on themes related to industrial maintenance can help shape the future of<br />

our industry. We want to be the platform for you to share your experiences,<br />

knowledge, and ideas to inspire, educate and empower others.<br />

To submit your expert article, or learn more about this opportunity, please<br />

contact the Editor in Chief of <strong>Maintworld</strong> at editor@maintworld.com. We look<br />

forward to hearing from you and featuring your non-marketing, expert article<br />

contributions in our upcoming issues!<br />

Nina Garlo-Melkas<br />

Former <strong>Maintworld</strong> Editor-in Chief (2016-2022)<br />

Current Technology and Industrial Maintenance Enthusiast and <strong>Maintworld</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> contributer, Communications Manager/Journalist at Finnish health<br />

tech company Koite Health Ltd.<br />

38<br />

Technological<br />

change will<br />

inevitably affect not only<br />

the work of maintenance<br />

professionals, but also the<br />

image of the maintenance<br />

industry.<br />

4 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

IN THIS ISSUE 3/<strong>2023</strong><br />

12<br />

The<br />

global COVID-19 pandemic<br />

ushered in a new era of<br />

challenges for European<br />

industrial firms, with a particular<br />

impact on small and mediumsized<br />

enterprises (SMEs).<br />

26<br />

Although<br />

energy<br />

technological and digital<br />

solutions might be the same<br />

or similar for all countries,<br />

their implementation is not.<br />

4 Editorial<br />

6 News<br />

12<br />

16<br />

18<br />

Celebrating Synergy: Asset Social<br />

Networks Unleashed<br />

Sizing pumps and pump motors<br />

How fixing methane leaks from the oil<br />

and gas industry can be a game-changer<br />

22<br />

24<br />

26<br />

30<br />

34<br />

SDT International announces transition<br />

to high-performance leak detection<br />

The added value of digitalisation –<br />

Market Survey<br />

Thoughts about systemic challenges in<br />

energy transition<br />

Biohydrogen powers future industry<br />

and circulation<br />

Using technology to improve<br />

manufacturing<br />

36<br />

How much air leaks really cost – Leak<br />

Survey Examples<br />

38<br />

43<br />

Redefining industrial maintenance in<br />

the tech-driven era<br />

Feature engineering-based operational<br />

state recognition of rotating machines<br />

Wood dust at the workplace<br />

46<br />

challenges occupational health<br />

Changes do happen; more and more<br />

48<br />

women enrol in technical colleges<br />

Issued by Promaint (Finnish Maintenance Society), Messuaukio 1, 00520 Helsinki, Finland, tel. +358 29 007 4570. Editor-in-chief Jaakko<br />

Tennilä, Promaint. Publisher Avone Oy, avone.fi, executive producer Vaula Aunola, editor@maintworld.com, producer Nina Garlo-Melkas.<br />

Advertisements Kai Portman, Sales Director, tel. +358 358 44 763 2573, kai@maintworld.com. Layout Avone. Subscriptions and Change of<br />

Address: toimisto@kunnossapito.fi. Printed by Savion Kirjapaino Oy Frequency 4 issues per year, ISSN L 1798-7024, ISSN 1798-7024 (print),<br />

ISSN 1799-8670 (online).<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 5

In Short<br />

Robotics As A Service (RaaS) market size<br />

to increase by USD 1.50 billion during<br />

2022-2027. Rapid industrialisation in<br />

developed countries to drive the growth.<br />

Source: Technavio<br />

Ericsson works with AWS and<br />

Hitachi America R&D to showcase<br />

smart factory potential<br />

THREE OF THE BIGGEST names in<br />

global technology have joined forces<br />

to highlight the ability of alreadyavailable<br />

5G, artificial intelligence<br />

(AI) and automation solutions to<br />

transform manufacturing and improve<br />

productivity, efficiency, environmental<br />

impact and safety, while reducing<br />

costs.<br />

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Amazon Web<br />

Services (AWS) and Hitachi America R&D<br />

enabled the private 5G infrastructure trial at<br />

Hitachi Astemo Americas’ electric motor vehicle<br />

manufacturing plant in Berea, Kentucky, USA.<br />

– The best news about this collaboration is that it<br />

is not about capabilities that will be available at some distant<br />

point in the future, Thomas Noren, Head of PCN Commercial and<br />

Operations, Ericsson, says.<br />

– These solutions can be deployed today in manufacturing<br />

and enterprise environments to deliver a range of early<br />

adopter competitive advantages. As global technology<br />

leaders, Ericsson AWS and Hitachi America<br />

R&D have shown how collaboration can<br />

drive innovation.<br />

The solution leverages Ericsson Private<br />

5G side by side with the AWS Snow Family<br />

to provide the private cellular networks<br />

that were foundational in establishing<br />

machine learning (ML) models within the<br />

Hitachi manufacturing complex. Using<br />

Hitachi video analytics, real-time video<br />

of the component assembly operation was<br />

fed across the Ericsson private 5G network<br />

to help detect defects earlier, reducing wasted<br />

material and lost production.<br />

– We explored and validated new use cases enabled<br />

by private 5G to show how smart factories can<br />

already function, Sudhanshu Gaur, Vice President of R&D for<br />

Hitachi America and Chief Architect at Hitachi Astemo Americas, says.<br />

– The combination of private 5G, cloud and artificial intelligence/machine<br />

learning automated technologies has the potential<br />

to revolutionize the way we manufacture products, and we<br />

are excited to be at the forefront of this innovation.<br />

Karlstad secures the future of water supply and<br />

wastewater maintenance with HxGN EAM<br />

While many municipal<br />

water and wastewater<br />

systems are aging, the demands<br />

on capacity and performance<br />

are increasing.<br />

WHILE MANY MUNICIPAL WATER and wastewater systems<br />

are aging, thus, becoming increasingly maintenance-intensive,<br />

the demands on capacity and performance are increasing. The<br />

Municipality of Karlstad, in Sweden, in collaboration with Prevas,<br />

has streamlined and optimized maintenance and planning of<br />

the municipality's water and wastewater system through the<br />

introduction of HxGN EAM.<br />

HxGN EAM is a web-based maintenance solution that helps<br />

enterprises to monitor the condition and performance of their production<br />

resources<br />

– We have many water and wastewater facilities, many of which<br />

are of an older vintage, and until now we've had also several different<br />

ways of managing the maintenance processes, says Veronica<br />

Adrian, who heads the water and wastewater department for the<br />

Municipality of Karlstad.<br />

– Given the increasing need for maintenance, we believe that it's<br />

high time to move from the current lists and calendar system to a<br />

more coherent, robust and efficient solution, she adds.<br />

By introducing HxGN EAM, the Municipality of Karlstad, together<br />

with Prevas, has been able to streamline and automate large parts<br />

of its maintenance activities. The system makes it easier for staff<br />

to plan and schedule maintenance, follow up completed work and<br />

monitor relevant maintenance KPIs.<br />

6 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

6.27%<br />

The<br />

global infrastructure sector is poised for substantial growth, with<br />

the market estimated at USD 2.57 trillion in <strong>2023</strong> and projected<br />

to reach USD 3.48 trillion by 2028, boasting a commendable<br />

compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.27% during the forecast<br />

period from <strong>2023</strong> to 2028. Source: ResearchAndMarkets.com<br />

KONE, a global leader<br />

in the elevator and<br />

escalator industry, has<br />

committed to a 50%<br />

reduction in emissions<br />

from its own operations.<br />

KONE is the first in the industry<br />

to achieve carbon neutral<br />

manufacturing units globally<br />

KONE Corporation, a global leader in the elevator<br />

and escalator industry, has reached a major<br />

milestone 18 months ahead of schedule, when<br />

KONE’s manufacturing units became carbon<br />

neutral at the end of June <strong>2023</strong>. The company<br />

has ten manufacturing units in seven countries across the<br />

globe. All of them have actively worked to reduce their scope<br />

1 & 2 emissions by 71% compared to the 2018 baseline.<br />

KONE says in a statement that it has invested in energy<br />

efficiency and manufacturing line robotics and automation<br />

and has among others invested in heating, ventilation and<br />

air conditioning systems increasing energy savings. In 8<br />

out of 10 factories, forklifts have been replaced with electric<br />

powered forklifts, and most of the remaining diesel-powered<br />

forklifts are now powered by biofuels.<br />

In addition, KONE has installed solar panels in nine out<br />

of ten of its manufacturing units, and all units have been<br />

purchasing 100% renewable electricity since the beginning<br />

of <strong>2023</strong>. Two manufacturing units have switched to green<br />

district heating partners.<br />

– This is a significant step in KONE’s ambition to have<br />

the most resilient, sustainable and competitive supply chain<br />

in the industry, says Mikko Korte, EVP, KONE Supply<br />

Chain.<br />

In 2020, KONE announced its climate pledge with<br />

science-based targets for the significant reduction of GHG<br />

emissions by 2030, in line with limiting global warming to<br />

1.5°C.<br />

– KONE has pledged to have carbon neutral operations<br />

by 2030, with our manufacturing units reaching this target<br />

already 18 months ahead at end of June <strong>2023</strong>, the company<br />

said in a statement.<br />

KONE has committed to a 50% reduction in emissions<br />

from its own operations. This includes direct GHG emissions<br />

that occur from sources that are controlled or owned<br />

by the company.<br />

In addition, KONE has said it targets a 40% reduction<br />

in emissions related to its products’ materials and lifetime<br />

energy consumption (Scope 3) over the same target period,<br />

relative to products ordered.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 7

In Short<br />

The global market for Aerospace Additive<br />

Manufacturing estimated at US$932.5<br />

Million in the year 2022, is projected to reach a<br />

revised size of US$3.5 Billion by 2030, growing at a<br />

CAGR of 18.1% over the analysis period 2022-2030.<br />



ABS, a leading maritime classification and certification<br />

organisation, and U.S. shipping and<br />

logistics company Crowley have partnered to<br />

explore the use of visualisation technologies in<br />

augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)<br />

environments.<br />

The partnership builds on Crowley's existing AR technology,<br />

which involves wearable devices enabling 360-degree<br />

video and remote access to ship equipment through Kognitiv<br />

Spark. It allows for real-time digital collaboration, enhancing<br />

maintenance and upgrade processes.<br />

The joint pilot project will focus on class-related survey<br />

support activities, including annual and special surveys, task<br />

crediting, virtual walkthroughs, and livestreaming. These<br />

efforts will involve surveyors, engineers, and back-office<br />

support, incorporating fully remote and hybrid survey techniques.<br />

Crowley, with its diverse fleet, plans to leverage this collaboration<br />

with ABS to enhance operational efficiency and<br />

sustainability through technology.<br />

– Augmented reality technology is a field technology, so in<br />

collaborating with forward-looking companies like Crowley,<br />

we can explore what is possible for future survey operations<br />

as well as for safety in use. ABS class services are leading the<br />

industry and finding ways to enrich the data used to both<br />

streamline the class process and also keep mariners and our<br />

surveyors safe, said Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President<br />

and Chief Technology Officer.<br />

Electronics industry<br />

supply chains look<br />

healthy; Inventories<br />

expand<br />

DESPITE ONGOING cost pressures affecting the electronics<br />

industry, IPC's August <strong>2023</strong> Global Sentiment of the Electronics<br />

Supply Chain Report reveals that positive product demand and<br />

inventory levels are contributing to a robust supply chain.<br />

– Over the next six months, electronics manufacturers expect to<br />

see continued increase in both labor and material costs, although to<br />

a lesser extent than current conditions, commented Shawn DuBravac<br />

IPC chief economist following the release of the report.<br />

– Conversely, while backlogs and profit margins are expected to<br />

improve, ease of recruitment is likely to remain challenging.<br />

For the report, IPC surveyed hundreds of companies from around<br />

the world, including a wide range of company sizes representing<br />

the full electronics manufacturing value chain.<br />

8 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

3.74 billion<br />

Turbine<br />

Control System Market size is anticipated<br />

to grow by USD 3.74 billion from 2022 to<br />

2027. Universal turbine monitoring and control<br />

systems enable cross-company compatibility to<br />

drive the growth. Source: Technavio<br />

Global digital twin market sees strong<br />

growth amidst pandemic challenges<br />

The global Digital Twin<br />

Market is experiencing<br />

remarkable growth,<br />

transforming industries<br />

and revolutionizing<br />

decision-making processes across<br />

healthcare, pharmaceuticals, automotive,<br />

transportation, and aerospace<br />

sectors, a report from Verified<br />

Market Research® indicates.<br />

According to the report, the digital<br />

twin market size is expected to<br />

teach USD 133.7 billion, globally,<br />

by 2030 representing a compound<br />

annual growth rate (CAGR) of<br />

38.1%.<br />

– Amid the challenges posed<br />

by the COVID-19 pandemic, the<br />

healthcare and pharmaceutical<br />

sectors have embraced Digital<br />

Twin technology, leveraging its<br />

capabilities for drug experimentation,<br />

patient monitoring, and medication<br />

impact assessments. The<br />

energy & power sector is emerging<br />

as a significant driver of Digital<br />

Twin adoption, with the manufacturing<br />

industry optimizing<br />

operations through its integration,<br />

Verified Market Research® said in<br />

a statement.<br />

The global Digital Twin market's<br />

outlook remains promising,<br />

driven by the need for data-driven<br />

decision-making and enhanced operational<br />

efficiency.<br />

– Through real-time data<br />

analysis and predictive modeling,<br />

Digital Twins enable organizations<br />

to anticipate and optimize<br />

the performance of products and<br />

processes throughout their lifecycle.<br />

The market's growth is further<br />

propelled by ongoing advancements<br />

in technology, fostering a<br />

landscape of innovation and strategic<br />

collaborations.<br />

North America stands at the<br />

forefront of the Digital Twin revolution,<br />

serving as a key innovation<br />

center and early adopter of Digital<br />

Twins and associated technologies.<br />

Major industry players, including<br />

General Electric (US), have significantly<br />

invested in the sector,<br />

underlining the region's market<br />

leadership.<br />

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In Short<br />

The industrial maintenance services market<br />

is expected to reach USD 81.2 billion,<br />

at a CAGR of 5.90% between <strong>2023</strong> and<br />

2032. Source: Market Research Future<br />

(MRFR).<br />

Rejlers<br />

and Elmea<br />

collaborate<br />

to electrify<br />

Lofoten<br />

REJLERS NORWAY has signed an<br />

agreement with Elmea, part of the<br />

Lofotkraft Group, regarding technical<br />

expertise in connection with the<br />

reinforcement of the electricity supply<br />

in the Lofoten archipelago in<br />

Norway. The collaboration includes<br />

the design of several 22kV line and<br />

cable routes.<br />

Elmea, which manages an electricity<br />

grid of 2500 kilometres, aims<br />

to ensure a reliable power supply<br />

in the region. Rejlers will contribute<br />

with expertise in the design of<br />

ground-, sea-, overhead- and substations.<br />

– This project is complex due to<br />

the region's unique geography and<br />

climate. But with our experience,<br />

we are well positioned to handle<br />

these challenges, says Frank Huset,<br />

Project Manager at Rejlers Norway.<br />

During the period 2009 to 2021,<br />

Elmea invested NOK 1.7 billion in<br />

the electricity grid and in 2022<br />

an additional NOK 73 million was<br />

invested to make the grid more<br />

robust.<br />

– This is a long-term investment<br />

that will benefit both residents<br />

and businesses in Lofoten, says<br />

Pål Martinussen, CEO of Elmea.<br />

The project is part of the ongoing<br />

green transition in Lofoten,<br />

where tourism, fisheries and aquaculture<br />

are in a transition phase to<br />

more sustainable practices.<br />

Virtual reality helps<br />

effectively develop<br />

occupational<br />

safety skills<br />

A PROJECT CONDUCTED by the University<br />

of Lapland and the Finnish<br />

Institute of Occupational Health sheds<br />

light on the possibilities that virtual<br />

reality offers for occupational safety<br />

training. Training sessions carried out<br />

in accordance with the research-based<br />

model improved occupational safety<br />

competencies effectively. The model<br />

uses the Finnish Institute of Occupational<br />

Health’s Virtuario learning environment.<br />

In immersive virtual reality (IVR),<br />

the learner gets acquainted with factors<br />

that promote occupational safety<br />

by using a VR headset to participate in<br />

learning scenarios that resemble real<br />

work life, with its typical challenges.<br />

The training sessions promoted an<br />

increased focus on learning. The participants’<br />

motivation to promote occupational<br />

safety increased and their<br />

understanding and ability to perceive<br />

dangers was strengthened. The participants<br />

also felt increasingly in control of<br />

promoting occupational safety.<br />

– The research results provide<br />

guidelines for the development of<br />

future safety training. As the participant<br />

is more actively engaged in how<br />

events unfold in the VR environment,<br />

they are better able to recognise the<br />

impact of their own safety actions,<br />

says Kristian Lukander, Senior Specialist<br />

for the Finnish Institute of Occupational<br />

Health.<br />



In the course of the project, a total of<br />

22 occupational safety training sessions<br />

were carried out at different<br />

locations of Fortum Power & Heat Oy<br />

and the Finnish Customs. The research<br />

group developed a model that supports<br />

safety learning and enables organisations<br />

and training providers to use<br />

immersive virtual reality in a pedagogically<br />

appropriate way. The model also<br />

aids in connecting the exercises and<br />

the participants’ own experiences with<br />

the occupational safety practices of the<br />

work community.<br />

– The Finnish Institute of Occupational<br />

Health’s Virtuario immerses the<br />

user in a virtual situation by efficient<br />

use of the strengths of virtual reality:<br />

presence, bodily experience and the<br />

learner’s own agency, says Lukander.<br />

The training sessions had a total of<br />

76 employees as participants and five<br />

trainers, who were trained to independently<br />

carry out the actual exercises<br />

while the researchers monitored and<br />

gathered information on the progress<br />

of the learning event. A key research<br />

topic for the study was the level of<br />

interactivity between the user and the<br />

IVR environment. The results show that<br />

increased interactivity of the immersive<br />

virtual environment improved the<br />

learning results significantly.<br />

Two versions of three different<br />

occupational safety exercises were<br />

developed for the purposes of the<br />

study: a highly interactive one and one<br />

with limited interaction. The exercises<br />

involved learning about occupational<br />

safety when working in traffic, executing<br />

a demanding lift operation in an<br />

industrial hall and adopting occupational<br />

safety knowledge related to x-ray<br />

examination in passenger traffic.<br />

– We studied how interactivity<br />

impacted factors that are important<br />

for learning, such as cognitive load<br />

and occupational safety learning. The<br />

stimulus interviews provided a deeper<br />

understanding of the participants’<br />

experiences and our analysis also utilised<br />

video and observation materials<br />

collected during the training, says Professor<br />

Heli Ruokamo from the University<br />

of Lapland.<br />

10 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

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Professors DIEGO GALAR, RAMIN KARIM and UDAY KUMAR from the Luleå University of Technology, Sweden<br />

Celebrang<br />

Synergy<br />

Asset Social Networks Unleashed<br />

Efficient maintenance and asset management are paramount for enhancing manufacturing<br />

productivity and curbing the total cost of ownership. In this realm, Prognostics and Health<br />

Management (PHM), and Condition-based Maintenance (CBM) have eclipsed traditional<br />

reactive and scheduled maintenance, particularly for high-value critical assets. Yet these<br />

methods grapple with a significant limitation: they are typically engineered to maintain<br />

individual assets, not the interconnected web of assets integral to manufacturing.<br />

Efficient maintenance<br />

and asset management<br />

are paramount for<br />

enhancing manufacturing<br />

productivity and<br />

curbing the total cost<br />

of ownership.<br />

12 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


Prominent industry players<br />

monitor the condition of<br />

their critical assets by scrutinizing<br />

data sourced from<br />

myriad sensors to pinpoint<br />

trends and anomalies. The resulting<br />

insights drive maintenance strategies<br />

grounded in simplistic rule-based algorithms.<br />

However, the effectiveness of the<br />

algorithms hinges on the expertise and<br />

knowledge of personnel analysing the<br />

data and devising rules, thus, rendering<br />

the algorithms resource-intensive and<br />

occasionally unreliable. Furthermore,<br />

they fail to identify issues tied to asset<br />

disparities, operating environments, and<br />

customer utilization patterns.<br />

Recent research has honed in on<br />

"stochastic dependence," modelling interactive<br />

asset behaviour within complex<br />

systems, dispelling the notion of independent<br />

and isolated silos. Nonetheless,<br />

for PHM and CBM to thrive, two pivotal<br />

challenges must be tackled:<br />

• Facilitating data and insight sharing<br />

among assets to foster system-wide<br />

visibility of deterioration and performance<br />

enhancements for optimal<br />

asset health.<br />

• Empowering assets to autonomously<br />

and collaboratively make maintenance<br />

and operational decisions grounded<br />

in overall system performance, rather<br />

than individual asset performance,<br />

ushering in not only comprehensive<br />

fleet and individual asset health<br />

assessment but also resource-efficient<br />

maintenance allocation.<br />

Embracing Resilience and<br />

a Human-Centric Approach:<br />

The Catalyst of COVID<br />

The global COVID-19 pandemic ushered in<br />

a new era of challenges for European industrial<br />

firms, with a particular impact on small<br />

and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) navigating<br />

a fiercely competitive manufacturing<br />

landscape, as economies worldwide reopen<br />

following a prolonged disruption. Concurrently,<br />

recent years have witnessed tumultuous<br />

shifts in the socio-political arena, alongside<br />

conspicuous signs of climate change<br />

and an ongoing energy dilemma. Bolstering<br />

competitiveness within EU industries rests<br />

on a critical imperative: industrial assets<br />

and systems must possess the capability to<br />

adapt to their intricate and costly operational<br />

demands through innovative designs<br />

and unwavering reliability throughout their<br />

lifecycles. Vigilant management of equipment<br />

and system health and the associated<br />

risks is paramount to safeguard a secure<br />

and thriving industrial sector.<br />

Consequently, European industries<br />

should channel their efforts towards<br />

astute asset management, improving<br />

availability, maintainability, quality, and<br />

safety. Within this framework, Europe's<br />

pursuit of global leadership hinges on<br />

establishing an internationally appealing,<br />

secure, and dynamic data-savvy<br />

economy, underpinned by a trustworthy<br />

artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem.<br />

Over the past decade, remarkable strides<br />

have been made in research and development,<br />

uniting novel data science methodologies<br />

in machine learning (ML) and AI<br />

to confront pivotal challenges in industrial<br />

automation and control. The technological<br />

evolution encapsulated by Industry 4.0 has<br />

advanced equipment diagnostics and prognostics<br />

from conventional physics-based<br />

models to data-driven ML techniques.<br />

Current strides in digitization, however,<br />

amplify the demand for human skill in dissecting<br />

extensive data sets. This calls for<br />

proficiency in data science, statistics, and<br />

programming, a paradigm shift that risks<br />

alienating the majority of "boots on the<br />

ground" - factory workers, maintenance<br />

engineers, and technicians - compelling<br />

them to either upskill or risk redundancy.<br />

Thus, humanizing digital technologies is a<br />

pressing imperative for this decade.<br />

Beyond the human aspects, several<br />

fundamental obstacles are slowing the<br />

widespread industrial adoption of these<br />

emerging technologies. Firstly, AI algorithms<br />

rely on operational data, confining<br />

their applicability to scenarios with copious<br />

volumes of data. Secondly, prevailing strategies<br />

for mitigating data scarcity or imbalance<br />

hinge on aggregating data from vast<br />

asset fleets, and this approach falls short of<br />

delivering an optimal solution because the<br />

average behaviour of assets in a fleet fails to<br />

represent the intricacies of any individual<br />

asset. Thirdly, integration poses a formidable<br />

challenge within a system-of-systems<br />

framework, where an industrial ecosystem<br />

comprises diverse equipment types, often<br />

originating from various original equipment<br />

manufacturers (OEMs). These heterogeneous<br />

assets must flawlessly collaborate<br />

to attain overarching system objectives.<br />

Achieving peak system performance necessitates<br />

pinpointing the ideal combination<br />

of actions across these assets in a dynamic<br />

and uncertain environment. Present-day AI<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 13


techniques cannot really learn the intricate<br />

interrelationships between diverse system<br />

assets, impeding their utility in supporting<br />

decision-support systems reliant on equipment<br />

cohesion to achieve system-optimized<br />

outcomes. Collaborative AI emerges as<br />

a pivotal enabler, facilitating asset communication,<br />

data sharing among kindred<br />

assets, collective failure pattern learning,<br />

and behavioural optimization. Nonetheless,<br />

these techniques remain underdeveloped<br />

and unrefined for industrial equipment.<br />

For instance, clustering assets based<br />

on dynamic behavioural data similarity<br />

remains an elusive endeavour. Once akin<br />

assets are identified, seamless communication<br />

and operational status exchange,<br />

coupled with control action dissemination,<br />

become imperative. In this context, a<br />

fundamental challenge arises in machineto-machine<br />

communications, exacerbated<br />

by a profusion of standards and protocols.<br />

This proliferation hampers communication<br />

between disparate equipment types from<br />

multiple OEMs—typical within intricate<br />

industrial systems.<br />

These multifaceted challenges collectively<br />

relegate system-level optimization<br />

to a distant aspiration. Yet system-level<br />

optimization constitutes the very essence<br />

of efficient and effective 21st-century enterprises.<br />

How can data, information, and<br />

insights be seamlessly shared among asset<br />

fleets and human stakeholders, culminating<br />

in system-level optimization?<br />

In the realm of consumer technology,<br />

data sharing through Internet of Things<br />

(IoT)-enabled devices via social networks<br />

is on the rise, offering avenues for benchmarking<br />

and performance optimization.<br />

Notably, companies like Garmin and Nike<br />

have pioneered platforms enabling consumers<br />

to share and compare data on their<br />

exercise routines. These data, collected<br />

through GPS and IoT-enabled wristbands,<br />

can provide an inherent health boost, as<br />

the exchange of health data, habits, and<br />

insights among peers promotes collective<br />

well-being. This social application of data<br />

holds immense promise in the realm of<br />

asset health management.<br />

Presently, the bulk of research and<br />

development attempts to leverage IoT<br />

and social media to target end-consumers.<br />

These endeavours range from smart<br />

home appliances to data mining to harness<br />

consumer data from social networks<br />

and drive more refined and targeted marketing<br />

strategies. Our overarching objective,<br />

however, is to channel the potential<br />

of these groundbreaking technologies<br />

into the domain of manufacturing and<br />

industrial systems.<br />

Elevating Digital Twins into<br />

Social Entities<br />

The advent of the Digital Twin (DT) concept<br />

has ushered in the era of digitally<br />

replicating physical assets. It endows<br />

assets with true intelligence by incorporating<br />

software agents, paving the way for<br />

machines to communicate, collaborate,<br />

and cooperate indirectly, through their<br />

digital doppelgängers within what is<br />

known as the metaverse. This innovation<br />

holds the promise of surmounting the<br />

challenge posed by incompatible data<br />

standards and protocols, while bestowing<br />

assets with collaborative learning and<br />

decision-making capabilities.<br />

Although a gamut of DT models with<br />

varying functionalities has emerged in<br />

the era of Industry 4.0, integrating these<br />

DTs for deployment in complex systems<br />

and fleets remains a formidable task. The<br />

detailed exploration of architectures that<br />

amalgamate collections of DTs is largely<br />

uncharted territory. The focus has been<br />

on individual assets, necessitating more<br />

concerted efforts to materialize an interconnected<br />

federation of DTs. In a complex and<br />

dynamic system, such as infrastructure<br />

networks or expansive industrial plants,<br />

we envision a hierarchical structure for<br />

DTs. DTs representing virtual collections<br />

(e.g., subsystems or sub-fleets) of assets<br />

will reside in the upper levels of the hierarchy.<br />

These collections may dynamically<br />

form based on the "friendships" cultivated<br />

among social assets. Within this hierarchy,<br />

a "supervisory" DT that encapsulates the<br />

entire collection becomes indispensable.<br />

The demand for cognitive DTs equipped to<br />

design and deploy other DTs dynamically<br />

and autonomously, coupled with seamless<br />

14 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


interaction with humans in close cooperation<br />

- integrating avatars as part of the process<br />

- is a commendable aspiration within<br />

this context.<br />

However, the technology for facilitating<br />

communication between DTs is still in its<br />

nascent stages; standardization is wanting,<br />

and industry-wide best practices are<br />

notably absent. Multiple disparate working<br />

groups have already developed a medley of<br />

standards describing heterogeneous assets<br />

at various levels. These standards offer<br />

generalized blueprints for DTs and have<br />

yet to gain substantial traction within the<br />

industry. Indeed, existing standards often<br />

suffer from overgeneralization or fall short<br />

of accommodating the swift evolution of<br />

DTs. Consequently, data shared across contemporary<br />

cyber-physical systems seldom<br />

adhere to a format readily comprehensible<br />

by human stakeholders beyond data specialists.<br />

Addressing this imperative entails<br />

devising solutions for sharing learning data<br />

and information. Messages exchanged<br />

between DTs and the social platform<br />

must incorporate ample context to ensure<br />

transparency, safety, and robustness, while<br />

enabling human agents to seamlessly participate<br />

in message processing. Augmenting<br />

transparency necessitates crafting a schema<br />

vocabulary for a standardizable information<br />

model, extending its capabilities to match<br />

the communication requisites between DTs<br />

and between DTs and human stakeholders.<br />

Safeguarding safety and robustness hinges<br />

on the implementation of explicit indicators<br />

for device health and data integrity.<br />

Cultivating a Collaborative<br />

Digital Ecosystem: The<br />

Vision of Social Networks for<br />

Industrial Assets<br />

Picture a world where individual machines<br />

in factories across the globe and infrastructure<br />

assets within vast networks compile,<br />

upload, and disseminate condition and<br />

operational performance data, alongside<br />

human-comprehensible “status updates,”<br />

via a purpose-built social network platform.<br />

The potential for learning and optimization<br />

within this landscape is immense. Assets<br />

spanning a system or network can engage<br />

in collaborative learning, pattern recognition,<br />

and problem diagnosis, harnessing<br />

collective wisdom to adapt their behaviour,<br />

alleviate the burden on ailing equipment,<br />

and bolster long-term system performance.<br />

Operators, maintenance engineers, and<br />

managers gain the ability to peruse these<br />

status updates, pinpointing opportunities<br />

for efficiency enhancements and orchestrating<br />

measures to optimize their system's<br />

performance.<br />

The industrial systems of the future<br />

will comprise genuinely intelligent collaborating<br />

assets, seamlessly leveraging<br />

AI in conjunction with human expertise,<br />

fostering heightened efficiency and judicious<br />

resource allocation. The underpinning<br />

models driving these systems will<br />

be fortified by explainable AI (XAI),<br />

instilling trust in autonomous behaviour<br />

among human managers.<br />

Realizing a vision of collaborative<br />

industrial assets through a social network<br />

within the realm of AI is a tough challenge.<br />

This interconnected and intelligent “social<br />

network” of assets draws inspiration from<br />

the social networks observed in biological<br />

entities. In its pursuit, the construction of<br />

a multi-agent ecosystem for a collaborative<br />

asset social network via a dedicated social<br />

network platform must duly acknowledge<br />

the indispensable presence of human<br />

stakeholders. This necessitates a robust<br />

foundation encompassing techniques<br />

for efficacious social network formation,<br />

algorithms empowering agents to cultivate<br />

contextual awareness, federated algorithms<br />

facilitating collaborative learning, and<br />

multi-agent reinforcement learning strategies<br />

for cooperative decision-making. The<br />

ultimate objective is to cultivate a network<br />

of diverse assets adept at collectively optimizing<br />

operations while mitigating climate<br />

impact and data vulnerabilities. The framework<br />

prominently involves humans, serving<br />

as essential contributors who both instruct<br />

and learn from software agents through<br />

cutting-edge data mining algorithms adept<br />

at deciphering intricate data and distilling<br />

actionable insights.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 15


Sizing pumps and<br />

pump motors<br />

End users or service centers often need to specify replacement pumps or pump motors,<br />

sometimes involving a retrofit or re-application project. A successful outcome depends<br />

on accurate assessment of application requirements and a good understanding of the<br />

parameters that govern pump performance. The information here relates to rotodynamic<br />

pumps (centrifugal and axial flow impellers) and not to positive displacement pumps.<br />

EUGENE VOGEL, Pump and vibration specialist at at the Electrical Apparatus Service Association (EASA, Inc.)<br />


EASA, Inc., St. Louis, MO<br />

USA is an international<br />

trade association of more<br />

than 1,700 firms in nearly<br />

70 countries that sell and<br />

service electromechanical<br />

apparatus.<br />

Sizing a pump and a<br />

pump motor for an<br />

application is not a<br />

trivial endeavor.<br />

Unlike motors, pumps are rated by head and flow, not<br />

by power. There’s no such thing as a 50 hp pump or<br />

a 100 kW pump. A pump can operate over a range<br />

of heads and flows, and the power required is determined<br />

by those and by the pump’s efficiency at<br />

the particular head-flow operating point. It’s helpful to know that<br />

“head” correlates to a measure of pressure. For water, it’s a simple<br />

conversion: 2.31 ft head = 1 psi (1 m head = 9.8 kPa). Here’s a simple<br />

formula that describes the relationship between head, flow, pump<br />

efficiency and pump power:<br />

(where k depends on chosen units)<br />

While this formula is helpful for quickly estimating<br />

the power required for a rotodynamic pumping application<br />

with known head and flow values, you can only get<br />

accurate power values from the manufacturer’s pump<br />

curve. How to read pump curves is beyond the scope of<br />

this article. What is important here is that the power requirements<br />

vary with flow rate, so knowing the range of<br />

flow rates for the pump is essential to sizing a motor to<br />

the pump.<br />


The process of sizing a pump and motor starts with sizing the<br />

pump for the application’s range of head and flow requirement.<br />

The following basic concepts are evident on the pump curve.<br />

16 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


Figure 1. A pump<br />

selection chart provides<br />

generalized data from<br />

the pump curves.<br />

Printed with permission<br />

from Hidrostal Pumps.<br />

Flow requirement. A pump may operate across a wide<br />

range of flow rates, known as the Allowable Operating Range.<br />

Ideally, the pump should be designed to operate as close as<br />

possible to the Best Efficiency Point (BEP) and within the Preferred<br />

Operating Range. Pump efficiency will drop dramatically<br />

as flow rates move away from the BEP, and turbulent flow<br />

will reduce the reliability of the pump.<br />

Head requirement. The head that a pump can deliver must<br />

match the application. If the maximum pump head is below the<br />

system demand, the pump will not produce flow (bad!). If the<br />

maximum pump head is much greater than the system demand<br />

(more than double), the operating point will not be near the<br />

BEP, and both efficiency and pump reliability will suffer.<br />

Cavitation. Another important concern when selecting a<br />

pump for a specific application is the possibility that cavitation<br />

may occur. If the pump is to operate across a range of flow rates<br />

(rather than always operating near a single flow rate), cavitation<br />

will be more likely at the higher flow rates. Pumps have Net<br />

Positive Suction Head Required (NPSHR) ratings, which allow<br />

evaluation of the likelihood of cavitation at any flow rate using<br />

NPSHR values from the pump curve. Generally, lower-speed<br />

pumps are less susceptible to cavitation than higher-speed<br />

pumps. If the application has low suction head demands, a lower<br />

operating speed will be an advantage. At lower operating speeds,<br />

a larger pump impeller diameter will be required, and thus a<br />

physically larger and more expensive pump may be needed.<br />


Once a pump of the proper size is selected for the application’s<br />

range of head and flow, the motor can be sized and selected to<br />

match the pump’s requirements.<br />

Minimum power requirement. For most pumps, the<br />

power requirement varies with flow rates. Power requirements<br />

may increase or decrease with increased flow. The<br />

pump curve will provide that information. Obviously, the motor<br />

must have adequate power to meet the pump demand at<br />

the application flow rate with the highest power requirement.<br />

That’s the minimum power requirement for the motor. But<br />

it is likely the pump will have an Allowable Operating Range<br />

wider than the application demands.<br />

Maximum power requirement. If application demands<br />

were to change at some future time, the pump might be<br />

expected to operate at a point where the power requirements<br />

are greater than the minimum power requirement.<br />

Therefore, it’s wise to consider the maximum power the<br />

pump could require under any operating conditions. This<br />

value is provided on the pump curve as the No Overload<br />

Power (NOL) rating. In some cases, the difference between<br />

the minimum power requirement for the application and<br />

the NOL rating may be absorbed by the motor service factor.<br />

In other instances, sizing for NOL power may require a<br />

higher power motor.<br />


Sizing a pump and a pump motor for an application is<br />

not a trivial endeavor. The application head and flow<br />

requirements must be known. The pump power formula<br />

provided above, with the “k” to match the selected units,<br />

will provide a good estimate of the size of the machine.<br />

Pump vendors have pump selection charts which are<br />

generalized versions of the pump curve that will help<br />

with pump selections. Those charts and related reference<br />

data will provide NOL power ratings. The person<br />

responsible for selecting a pump and motor should have<br />

the appropriate pump curves and motor data and know<br />

how to read them.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 17

HSE<br />

How fixing methane leaks<br />

from the oil and gas industry<br />

can be a game-changer –<br />

one that pays for itself<br />

This decade could be<br />

the one where methane<br />

emissions from the oil<br />

and gas industries are<br />

eliminated once and for all.<br />

MARK NAPLES, Managing Director at Umicore Coating Services Ltd.<br />

Reducing methane emissions<br />

from the energy sector may<br />

be one of the most effective<br />

methods for preventing<br />

further environmental<br />

damage. However, levels are not falling<br />

fast enough. Despite pledges to act<br />

on leaking pipelines and other failing<br />

infrastructure, the fossil fuels sector<br />

has so far failed to address the growing<br />

problem of methane escaping into the<br />

atmosphere.<br />

However, as technology<br />

advances, the industry has access to<br />

more and more tools that can help<br />

it not only seriously reduce emissions<br />

but do so for minimal cost.<br />

By helping refineries detect and act<br />

on methane leaks in a cost-effective<br />

way, laser absorption spectroscopy<br />

may be the solution suppliers need<br />

to make a real difference in the<br />

fight against climate change. All<br />

that is needed is the will to act.<br />

18 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

HSE<br />

The oil and gas<br />

industry alone<br />

has the potential to<br />

reduce methane<br />

emissions by 75%.<br />



Methane leaks in the energy sector are<br />

one of the biggest environmental problems<br />

facing humanity.<br />

The energy industry is responsible<br />

for around 40% of all methane emissions<br />

produced by any human activity.<br />

According to the International Energy<br />

Agency (IEA), 135 million tonnes of<br />

methane were released into the atmosphere<br />

by energy companies worldwide<br />

last year[1], and despite some progress<br />

in reducing emissions from the peak<br />

observed in 2019, levels are not falling<br />

quickly enough. This is particularly true<br />

in oil and gas operations, which account<br />

for almost 15% of all energy-related<br />

greenhouse gases.[2]<br />

This should be cause for concern.<br />

Methane has caused approximately<br />

30% of the rise in global temperatures<br />

since the Industrial Revolution[3], but<br />

its inherent properties mean that action<br />

to address it should be relatively cheap<br />

and simple to take.<br />

Cutting methane emissions is one<br />

of the most cost-effective options available<br />

for limiting global warming in the<br />

near-term. With the benefits of modern<br />

technology, the oil and gas industry alone<br />

has the potential to reduce methane<br />

emissions by 75%, requiring an investment<br />

of less than 3% of their total income<br />

worldwide in 2022[4]. As more and more<br />

energy businesses achieve record profits,<br />

addressing this ticking environmental<br />

time bomb would require at most a small<br />

allocation, as major gains are possible for<br />

essentially zero cost.<br />


CHANGE<br />

Although methane is often spoken of<br />

in the same sentence as other pollutants<br />

such as CO2, the two substances<br />

differ markedly in their environmental<br />

impact. Methane's molecular structure<br />

makes it better at capturing heat in the<br />

form of infrared radiation than other<br />

substances, trapping up to 100 times<br />

more heat than CO2 when released into<br />

the atmosphere.<br />

This negative is offset somewhat<br />

by methane's comparatively short<br />

lifespan. Typically, it breaks down in<br />

the atmosphere after just 10-12 years,<br />

while other gases like CO2 can last for<br />

centuries. As a result, acting on methane<br />

leaks is one of the most accessible<br />

and effective methods businesses<br />

have for limiting global temperature<br />

change.<br />

Governments worldwide are recognising<br />

the gains that can be made here.<br />

More than 150 countries have promised<br />

to reduce their methane emissions by<br />

a minimum of 30% by 2030. The IEA<br />

is more ambitious, calling for a 60%<br />

reduction in emissions by oil and gas<br />

companies over the same period[5] -<br />

above the 45% reduction that the<br />

United Nations claims is necessary to<br />

keep global warming below the targets<br />

set by world leaders[6].<br />


Successfully reducing methane emissions<br />

will require the industry to<br />

demonstrate its commitment to action<br />

while employing the latest technology<br />

to identify where the biggest leaks are<br />

occurring. By doing so, not only will oil<br />

and gas companies reduce their environmental<br />

impact, but they will also be<br />

able to achieve significant cost savings.<br />

Although leaks from oil and gas operations<br />

are being monitored, the scale<br />

and frequency of this activity is insufficient<br />

to address the problem at hand.<br />

Methane emissions in this sector can<br />

be broadly broken down into intentional<br />

and unintentional leaks. Intentional<br />

leaks during upstream production, often<br />

in the form of venting, are technically<br />

monitored but these records are rarely<br />

accurate. Researchers have found that<br />

across the oil and gas sector, the true<br />

scale of methane emissions released<br />

over the last decade is far higher than<br />

existing data says it should be.<br />

In the downstream segment of<br />

energy production, emissions are even<br />

harder to detect. Failing storage and<br />

pipeline infrastructure often leads to<br />

unexpected methane leaks and given<br />

the scale of the pipe networks in operation,<br />

anyone trying to locate a leak may<br />

have to search over a vast area.<br />

Leaks like this matter because they<br />

waste potential profit. Repairing them<br />

and preventing the escape of methane<br />

means more of the gas can be captured<br />

and sold, bolstering profit margins. The<br />

problem is in detecting where the biggest<br />

leaks are occurring. Regulators and<br />

energy suppliers alike would benefit<br />

from a more accurate overview of the<br />

level of methane being released – and<br />

this is where laser absorption spectroscopy<br />

comes in.<br />



Due to methane's infrared-trapping properties,<br />

infrared spectroscopy sensors can<br />

easily detect trace gases and determine<br />

their atmospheric concentrations, often<br />

at the range of parts per billion.<br />

In laser absorption spectroscopy,<br />

an emitter is used to produce infrared<br />

light that is passed through a sampling<br />

chamber containing a filter that only<br />

allows wavelengths absorbed by methane<br />

to transmit. This means only those<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 19

HSE<br />

wavelengths will reach the detector,<br />

and measuring the intensity or<br />

attenuation of those beams enables<br />

the precise quantity of methane to be<br />

monitored.<br />

By using different filters, users<br />

can change the wavelengths of light<br />

that reach the detector, meaning that<br />

the technology can also be used to<br />

detect different gases and particles.<br />

Recently, some suppliers of gas<br />

analyser instruments have enhanced<br />

the technology by mounting laser<br />

diodes on to thermo-electric coolers.<br />

This change enables the laser's<br />

wavelength to be tuned to the specific<br />

absorption wavelength of different<br />

molecules. By exploiting their highfrequency<br />

resolution, which provides<br />

enhanced sensitivity and discrimination,<br />

this technology lowers the risk<br />

of false alarms that can plague other<br />

common gas detection systems.<br />

Not only do these more<br />

advanced laser absorption spectroscopy<br />

systems provide faster<br />

response times, they also offer<br />

users more accurate results without<br />

requiring any additional gases<br />

to operate. With modern systems<br />

including the capability to continuously<br />

monitor for combustible<br />

gases and vapours, and with immunity<br />

to sensor poison, contamination,<br />

or corrosion, laser absorption<br />

spectroscopy offers an ideal tool for<br />

improving the safety of oil and gas<br />

industry sites.<br />


Through a network of localised<br />

methane sensors across oil and gas<br />

infrastructure, energy companies<br />

can improve the picture of where<br />

More than 150<br />

countries have promised<br />

to reduce their<br />

methane emissions<br />

by a minimum of<br />

30% by 2030.<br />

emissions are occurring and inform<br />

government action on the environment.<br />

In business terms, the data<br />

collected by laser absorption<br />

spectroscopy can be essential for<br />

ensuring compliance with environmental<br />

regulations, and in<br />

improving overall operational efficiency.<br />

Leaks may go undetected<br />

for months or even years at a time,<br />

causing significant costs – a study<br />

of one site in the US found that<br />

9% of all methane produced was<br />

leaking into the atmosphere, with<br />

potential profits literally vanishing<br />

into thin air[7]. Better leak detection<br />

would enable increased sales<br />

of the captured gas, which in turn<br />

would mitigate the cost of fixing<br />

the leaks in the first place.<br />

In preventing such losses, this technology<br />

could even quickly recoup the<br />

cost of investment. Researchers have<br />

found action with no net cost alone<br />

in the oil and gas sector could reduce<br />

emissions to 50% below today's baseline<br />

by 2030[8] - essentially, halving<br />

emissions for free. If all available technologies<br />

are employed, this could rise<br />

as high as 80%.<br />

The expense of methane leaks is<br />

not limited to lost revenue or damaged<br />

energy infrastructure. Research from<br />

2022 found that in the previous decade,<br />

gas leaks in the US were responsible<br />

for more than $4 billion dollars'<br />

worth of damage, and the deaths of<br />

122 people.[9] The ability to detect<br />

these leaks before a disaster occurs<br />

could prevent incalculable costs to<br />

human life and significant fines to the<br />

businesses responsible. Worldwide,<br />

the UN estimates that cutting methane<br />

emissions 45% by 2030 would avoid<br />

255,000 premature deaths per year<br />

and save 73 billion hours of lost labour<br />

caused by extreme heat[10].<br />

At Umicore, we specialise in<br />

helping companies build dependable<br />

climate strategies by enhancing<br />

their data sets. Our custom infrared<br />

designs, informed by more than 35<br />

years' experience in thin film design<br />

and manufacture, mean we can offer<br />

a range of bandpass optical filters<br />

that enable high-performance gas<br />

detection and analysis.<br />

As the deadlines to reduce global<br />

temperature rises rapidly approach, it<br />

becomes more important than ever that<br />

the oil and gas industry can take effective<br />

action on methane leaks. However,<br />

without a solid foundation of accurate,<br />

actionable data, any measures they can<br />

take will be limited. The sector needs a<br />

clear picture of where methane emissions<br />

are occurring – only then will suppliers<br />

be able to take the action that is<br />

needed to make a difference.<br />

Laser absorption spectroscopy<br />

is the tool that industry needs to<br />

improve its data on methane leaks.<br />

By embracing this technology, suppliers<br />

can identify where emissions are<br />

occurring, and take action to prevent<br />

untold environmental damage, at<br />

essentially zero cost to themselves.<br />


[1] https://www.iea.org/news/methane-emissions-remained-stubbornly-high-in-2022-even-as-soaring-energy-prices-made-actions-to-reducethem-cheaper-than-ever<br />

[2] https://www.iea.org/news/new-iea-report-highlights-the-need-and-means-for-the-oil-and-gas-industry-to-drastically-cut-emissions-fromits-operations<br />

[3] https://www.iea.org/reports/global-methane-tracker-2022/methane-and-climate-change<br />

[4] https://www.iea.org/news/methane-emissions-remained-stubbornly-high-in-2022-even-as-soaring-energy-prices-made-actions-to-reducethem-cheaper-than-ever<br />

[5] https://www.iea.org/news/new-iea-report-highlights-the-need-and-means-for-the-oil-and-gas-industry-to-drastically-cut-emissions-fromits-operations<br />

[6] https://www.unep.org/resources/report/global-methane-assessment-benefits-and-costs-mitigating-methane-emissions<br />

[7] https://news.stanford.edu/2022/03/24/methane-leaks-much-worse-estimates-fix-available/<br />

[8] https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abf9c8#erlabf9c8s3<br />

[9] https://environmentamerica.org/center/resources/methane-gas-leaks-2/<br />

[10] https://wedocs.unep.org/bitstream/handle/20.500.11822/35917/GMA_ES.pdf<br />

20 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


Benoit Degraeve from SDT International SA and Jason Cao from HANGZHOU CRYSOUND ELECTRONICS CO., LTD shaking hands after signing<br />

their collaboration agreement.<br />

SDT International SA Announces Transition<br />

to High-Performance Leak Detection<br />

Solution in Partnership with HANGZHOU<br />


SDT<br />

International<br />

SA, a global<br />

leader in<br />

ultrasound<br />

solutions for energy management and<br />

condition-based maintenance applications,<br />

is pleased to announce its transition<br />

to a new cutting-edge solution<br />

in collaboration with HANGZHOU<br />


This collaboration marks a significant<br />

step in SDT International SA's ongoing<br />

commitment to providing customers<br />

with the most innovative and highperformance<br />

solutions.<br />

The new solution, replacing the previous<br />

offering, represents a remarkable<br />

advancement in compressed air leak<br />

and partial discharge detection technology<br />

within industrial environments.<br />

This solution is the culmination of the<br />

expertise of SDT International SA and<br />


TRONICS CO., LTD, two renowned<br />

players in the acoustic detection field.<br />

The collaboration is spearheaded<br />

by the respective CEOs, André DE-<br />

GRAEVE for SDT International SA,<br />

and Jason CAO for HANGZHOU CRY-<br />


Together, they will offer a revolutionary<br />

ultrasonic range of acoustic cameras<br />

that excel in sensitivity, durability, and<br />

versatility.<br />

André DEGRAEVE, CEO of SDT<br />

International SA, commented, "This<br />

transition to our new solution underscores<br />

our ongoing commitment to innovation<br />

and customer satisfaction. We<br />

are confident that this new solution will<br />

provide our customers with more precise<br />

and reliable detection, contributing<br />

to their energy-saving goals. Its price<br />

and manufacturing quality immediately<br />

convinced us that it was, in our opinion,<br />

by far the most successful solution on<br />

the market."<br />

Jason CAO, CEO of HANGZHOU<br />


added, "We are thrilled to collaborate<br />

with SDT International SA to offer a<br />

22 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


• FOCUSING FUNCTION: The focusing<br />

function eliminates environmental<br />

interference, enabling precise identification<br />

of leakage sources.<br />


a PRPD mapping function for<br />

partial discharge diagnosis and intelligent<br />

gas leak detection.<br />

Agile<br />

• COMPLETE: Range of 3 acoustic<br />

cameras easy to use with multiple<br />

modes, language support, and<br />

expandable memory.<br />

• REPORTING: Template-based data<br />

processing and recording for easy<br />

report generation.<br />

• PRO VERSION: LEAKChecker and<br />

LEAKReporter CMS aid in pinpointing<br />

leaks and creating reports.<br />

For more information on SDT International<br />

SA's new leak detection solution,<br />

please contact Benoit DEGRAEVE,<br />

General Sales Manager, benoit.degraeve@sdtultrasound.com.<br />

cutting-edge solution that pushes the<br />

boundaries of ultrasonic technology.<br />

Our dedication to innovation and quality<br />

is evident in every aspect of this new<br />

ultrasonic camera."<br />

The transition to the new solution<br />

is aligned with both companies' shared<br />

mission to deliver solutions that cater<br />

to the evolving needs of industries while<br />

promoting energy efficiency and preventive<br />

maintenance for air leaks and<br />

electrical applications.<br />



Adaptable<br />

• IP54: With a high level of protection<br />

(IP54) against dust and humidity, this<br />

solution is designed to operate flawlessly<br />

in demanding industrial environments.<br />

• ATEX: The CRY2624 is a portable<br />

explosion-proof industrial acoustic<br />

imager in ATEX version, suitable<br />

for hazardous flammable gases and<br />

areas with strict explosion protection<br />

restrictions.<br />

• RUGGED: Made of an aluminum<br />

alloy shell, this industrial acoustics<br />

imager is robust and adaptable to<br />

complex working environments.<br />

Accurate<br />

• 128 MEMS: With 128 advanced<br />

MEMS sensors, this ultrasonic camera<br />

offers ultra-sensitive detection of compressed<br />

air leaks with reliable results<br />

at a distance range of up to 120 m.<br />



SDT International SA is a global<br />

leader in the development,<br />

manufacture and marketing of<br />

ultrasonic measuring devices<br />

dedicated to energy savings and<br />

condition-based maintenance<br />

solutions, offering cutting-edge<br />

technologies to address diverse<br />

industry needs.<br />



CO., LTD:<br />


ELECTRONICS CO., LTD is a Global<br />

leading provider of acoustic<br />

testing solutions with more than<br />

25 years of continuous efforts.<br />

CRYSOUND provides professional<br />

acoustic services to solve the<br />

world's most complicated<br />

acoustic testing challenges for<br />

the industry. They are committed<br />

to realizing their mission to make<br />

acoustic measurements easier<br />

than ever.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 23



The added value<br />

of digitalizaon –<br />

Market Survey on Digital Trends in<br />

Maintenance & Asset Management<br />

A lot is said and written about digitalization in<br />

the field of Maintenance & Asset Management.<br />

We see inspiring presentations and read<br />

articles about the effective use of digital<br />

solutions. So, we talk the talk, but do we walk<br />

the walk? In other words, to what extent are we<br />

implementing digital techniques and realizing<br />

their full potential?<br />

Mobile maintenance, predictive<br />

maintenance,<br />

digital twins, augmented<br />

reality and 3D printing<br />

are modern digital<br />

techniques that can be of great value to<br />

the maintenance and asset management<br />

(M&AM) department. However, market<br />

research by Mainnovation and PwC shows<br />

that these digital techniques are hardly<br />

used within M&AM.<br />

24 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

GIS<br />

Mobile<br />

PPM<br />

PdM<br />

AIP<br />

Next<br />

Generation<br />

EAM<br />

BI<br />

APM<br />


We surveyed 127 companies in various industries in<br />

Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and also<br />

in South Africa, which is an emerging country from a<br />

digital point of view. "This provided valuable information",<br />

says Mark Haarman, Managing Partner of Mainnovation,<br />

"because it gave us an insight into the level<br />

of implementation of these digital techniques. " Annemieke<br />

Moerkerken, Director Supply Chain & Manufacturing<br />

at PwC Netherlands, adds: "We also wanted to<br />

know what companies are using these techniques for<br />

and what they consider to be critical success factors.<br />

It was also very interesting to find out why companies<br />

are deliberately not implementing these techniques."<br />

BIM<br />

AI<br />


The research clearly shows that mobile maintenance<br />

already has a strong position within maintenance<br />

and asset management. Compared to the other techniques,<br />

this solution benefits from more than 20 years<br />

of evolution. Haarman: "The first iPhone came out<br />

in 2007. Since then, the development of applications<br />

and mobile technologies - such as security, Wi-Fi, user<br />

interface and available devices - has increased rapidly.<br />

It is clear that mobile maintenance is benefiting from<br />

these developments. Our own cell phone has become<br />

a useful tool in the field. This, along with the development<br />

and professionalization of enterprise asset<br />

management systems, has led to more reliable, secure,<br />

user-friendly and valuable applications within maintenance."<br />


Mobile maintenance is therefore clearly at the forefront<br />

compared to the other technologies. Haarman:<br />

"Companies have various reasons for not implementing<br />

a digital technique. They do not see a good business<br />

case or a certain technique is not relevant for<br />

their type of assets. Could be... but we also see good<br />

examples where the implementation proved to be very<br />

fruitful." The results of the research, four inspiring<br />

case stories of top performers and a 'Roadmap to Digitalisation'<br />

are bundled in a 40-page report. This report<br />

can be downloaded via www.mainnovation.com<br />

Many companies use their Enterprise Asset Management<br />

(EAM) system mainly as an electronic card index or a<br />

digital work order system, unaware of the possibilities it<br />

has for Asset Management. EAM Systems like Maximo,<br />

IFS Ultimo, HxGN EAM and SAP EAM have evolved<br />

<br />

Investment Planning, Project Portfolio Management,<br />

Asset Performance Management, Business Intelligence<br />

and Predictive Maintenance. Major steps have also been<br />

<br />

Are you ready for Next Generation EAM?<br />

Our VDM XL experts can assist you with further<br />

professionalisation and automation of your Maintenance<br />

& Asset Management organisation.<br />



PETRA BERG – Postdoctoral Researcher School of Marketing and Communication and VEBIC, University of Vaasa<br />

Thoughts About the Ongoing<br />

Energy Transion and<br />

the Importance of Listening<br />

We are witnessing a global transition from fossil-based energy<br />

to new, supposedly emission-free sources. For people involved<br />

in the energy sector, be it on a local, national, or global level,<br />

it might feel like the change is increasingly speeding up at the<br />

same time as the complexity and uncertainty keeps growing.<br />

The ongoing energy transition<br />

is fundamental, affecting<br />

all levels of society. It is<br />

also highly political, challenging<br />

existing markets<br />

and business models. Not to forget<br />

that digitalisation adds a third "cyber"<br />

layer to the more traditional sociophysical<br />

systems. Digitalisation is<br />

being considered the primary solution<br />

to control the increasingly electrified,<br />

fragmented and sector coupled energy<br />

production and consumption systems.<br />

The concept of energy transition<br />

does not automatically equal the use<br />

of renewables nor sustainability outcomes.<br />

It can also entail the change<br />

from one polluting source or unsustainable<br />

behaviour to another.<br />

Historically, energy transitions have<br />

been driven by the need and availability of<br />

energy sources. For example, Fouquet and<br />

Pearson (2012) define energy transition<br />

as "the switch from an economic system<br />

dependent on one or a series of energy<br />

sources and technologies to another".<br />

Research shows that most transitions<br />

seem to have unfolded over long<br />

periods of time; for example, oil was<br />

drilled from the first commercial well<br />

in the US in 1859, but the market share<br />

of 25% was passed in 1953. Then, there<br />

is evidence of quick energy transitions<br />

as well. For example, Brazil managed<br />

to increase ethanol production and<br />

substitute ethanol for petroleum in<br />

conventional vehicles so that in 1981,<br />

six years after the Proálcool program<br />

started in November 1975, over 90% of<br />

26 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


all new vehicles sold in Brazil could run<br />

on ethanol (see Sovacool 2017). One<br />

could suggest that the ongoing European<br />

"Green Deal" or the global "Grand<br />

transition" (a name coined by the World<br />

Energy Council) seem to be moving<br />

relatively fast compared to most historical<br />

transitions. Time will tell how they<br />

compare to them.<br />

Considering the current global geopolitical<br />

situation and its effects on the<br />

investment landscape, countries dealing<br />

with energy scarcity and security<br />

issues, shifting power balances between<br />

big economies, as well as new innovations<br />

entering the markets, we are definitely<br />

in the middle of a great shift. The<br />

Paris Agreement (COP21), with its aim<br />

to halt global warming, is still working<br />

as a backbone for international cooperation<br />

and guiding national energy<br />

strategies in many countries. The outcomes<br />

of what has been put into motion<br />

by these international agreements are<br />

being materialised at the national and<br />

local level.<br />

It has been suggested that energy<br />

transitions are becoming more of a<br />

social or political priority in ways that<br />

previous transitions have not been.<br />

In earlier times, the transitions may<br />

have been accidental or circumstantial,<br />

whereas future shifts have become<br />

more planned and coordinated. It is<br />

important to remember that something<br />

inherent to the consumption<br />

and production of energy is human<br />

power dynamics. According to Avelino<br />

(2017), understanding the politics of<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 27


transitions requires careful attention<br />

to the question of who wins or loses<br />

when new innovations emerge and get<br />

implemented and which vision(s) of<br />

the future predominate in deciding the<br />

direction of energy transitions. Politics<br />

is linked to issues of power and agency<br />

and are closely related to the theme of<br />

governance and the implementation of<br />

transitions.<br />

The last ten years have introduced<br />

us to concepts such as prosumers, energy<br />

communities, microgrids, smart<br />

cities, carbon sinks, net zero buildings,<br />

energy poverty, flexibility markets and<br />

so on, involving "ordinary" people with<br />

energy issues, compared to what was<br />

earlier considered something of a "plug<br />

in the wall" commodity. Especially now,<br />

in the aftermath of the so-called EU<br />

energy crisis (I am writing this paper in<br />

September <strong>2023</strong>), many Finns, together<br />

with the rest of the EU, are probably<br />

wondering how the coming winter<br />

weather will affect the electricity prices<br />

after the first "expensive winter".<br />




On the EU level, the Roadmap 2030 and<br />

European Green Deal are shaping the<br />

energy market towards, for example, a<br />

massive growth in wind power investments<br />

and instalments of solar power<br />

(also on household level). The next step<br />

seems to be the roll-out of hydrogen solutions,<br />

all in the support of the increasing<br />

electrification and digitalisation of<br />

the energy sector. As new technologies,<br />

modes of operating, actors, services, and<br />

applications enter local markets, they<br />

inevitably cause positive and negative<br />

disruptions to people's lives.<br />

The age of specialisation in a highly<br />

technological society, such as the<br />

Western society, means that our daily<br />

lives are embedded in technology that<br />

requires expertise and different outside<br />

services. Even if most of us agree that<br />

modern society has come a long way<br />

in making life comfortable and safe,<br />

it seems we might forget some of the<br />

basics that humans are psycho-physical<br />

beings. Our senses capture information<br />

on many levels and the rational mind<br />

is just the tip of an iceberg compared<br />

to the subconscious mind. We are<br />

also creatures of habit and "cultural<br />

animals" formed by our socio-cultural<br />

contexts. This means many shared collective<br />

beliefs set the base for our wellbeing<br />

and a sense of belonging to cer-<br />

28 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


tain landscape(s), nature, music, family,<br />

and community. When something disrupts<br />

the existing order of things, it also<br />

challenges our inner (subconscious)<br />

feeling of safety – whether we are aware<br />

of it or not.<br />

It still seems to surprise many tech<br />

developers that suddenly – "out of the<br />

blue" – people start opposing a solution<br />

which seems perfectly straightforward…<br />

at least from the perspective of<br />

the person designing it. Still, there is a<br />

good chance that it disrupts something<br />

of intrinsic value to people. As in, for<br />

example, wind parks built in a popular<br />

outdoor area where local people have<br />

hunted, picked berries, or just wandered<br />

for generations. Thus, the technological<br />

function and its usefulness are<br />

understood, but they collide with other<br />

values, leading to adverse feelings and<br />

reactions.<br />


Although the energy technology and<br />

digital solutions are the same (or similar)<br />

in most countries, their implementation<br />

is not. This is because society,<br />

culture, habits, institutions, and geography<br />

differ. The so-called socio-cultural<br />

aspects of a nation and region affect<br />

how people use or accept new innovations<br />

brought to their doorstep.<br />

Knowing your customer-citizen is<br />

an obvious element of the fundamental<br />

understanding required for a company<br />

or policymaker to successfully manage<br />

transitions in the desired direction. But<br />

there are certain pitfalls and challenges,<br />

especially if the business or governance<br />

approach is geared towards "one size fits<br />

all" solutions, meaning that the segmentation<br />

and target group is very narrowly<br />

defined and understood.<br />

For example, research on municipal<br />

energy transition (Berg et al 2021)<br />

shows that it is quite common that only<br />

a small group of decision-makers and<br />

experts, as well as some energy-inter-<br />

ested inhabitants, are consulted when<br />

planning local energy solutions. The<br />

majority of local people do not participate;<br />

they will not sign up for discussion<br />

and workshop events even if the events<br />

are open for everyone. Still, the main<br />

users of the future energy solutions or<br />

those who could benefit economically<br />

might be in those groups remaining<br />

outside the discussions and planning,<br />

thus affecting the actual realisation of<br />

them. Examples of negative outcomes<br />

include protests against new instalments<br />

such as wind power, solar power<br />

and smart meters or non-compliance to<br />

agreements.<br />

Even if renewable, clean energy<br />

solutions could present opportunities<br />

to boost regional wealth and livelihoods,<br />

there is always a chance of the<br />

actual gain landing somewhere else,<br />

on someone else's<br />

plate. Whilst<br />

there might be<br />

a significant<br />

investment in a<br />

new renewable<br />

energy facility in<br />

a municipality,<br />

the economic<br />

gain might go to<br />

a multinational<br />

company. The<br />

locals are left with the negative side<br />

effects of the construction phase, restricted<br />

land use and other changes<br />

in the living environment. Unwanted<br />

externalities are unfortunately commonplace<br />

in most market systems, and<br />

the energy sector is no exception.<br />

So, why do so many people remain<br />

outside important planning processes,<br />

one might ask? Especially if there has<br />

been a clear invitation to join? One<br />

explanation, outside the lack of personal<br />

interest and knowledge, might<br />

be found in the hidden and/or visible<br />

power hierarchies. Power dynamics<br />

are inherent to energy transitions.<br />

When something<br />

disrupts the existing<br />

order of things, it also<br />

challenges our inner<br />

feeling of safety.<br />

The social and cultural structures of a<br />

country, region and local context affect<br />

who will be heard and considered an<br />

expert. How can we break these invisible<br />

hierarchies and power structures<br />

so that more people can have a say in<br />

development that is clearly affecting<br />

their lives? There are many positive<br />

examples of local (energy) communities<br />

where many different actors have<br />

started working together towards a<br />

common goal. These groups are usually<br />

"bottom-up", created by a clearly defined<br />

need or challenge.<br />

We as humans need connection<br />

to each other, nature, and our roots<br />

(culture). A safe place for well-being<br />

might look different to different<br />

people, but it is usually connected to<br />

what we consider our home. What if<br />

there was more focus on the local and<br />

"home" levels<br />

in the planning<br />

phase of new energy<br />

solutions?<br />

Would it make<br />

a difference to<br />

the success of<br />

projects and new<br />

innovations, or<br />

maybe people<br />

would choose<br />

differently?<br />

Smart cities, smart households,<br />

digital IDs, electric vehicles, and ultimately<br />

people are becoming part of<br />

the Internet of Things at a time when<br />

global policies and "big tech" are driving<br />

the Western energy market(s) towards<br />

electrification.<br />

All of this is taking place in the<br />

name of sustainability. One can wonder<br />

whether there is a "stop button",<br />

i.e. a right to opt out and find alternative<br />

solutions to our energy futures.<br />

Perhaps there are alternative possibilities<br />

or visions accessible to us that<br />

would equally encourage a healthier<br />

world?<br />


¬ Avelino, F. (2017). Power in sustainability transitions: Analysing power and (dis) empowerment in transformative change towards sustainability.<br />

Environmental Policy and Governance, 27(6), 505-520.<br />

¬ Berg, P., Narayan, R., and Rajala, A. "Ideologies in energy transition: Community discourses on renewables." Technology Innovation Management Review,<br />

11(7/8), (2021): 79–91.<br />

¬ Fouquet, R. & Pearson, P. JG (2016). Past and prospective energy transitions: Insights from history. Energy Policy, 50, 1-7.<br />

¬ Sovacool, B. (2017). The History and Politics of Energy Transitions. Comparing Contested Views and Finding Common Ground. Arent, D., Arndt, C., Miller, M.,<br />

Tarp, F., & Zinaman, O. (Eds.), The Political Economy of Clean Energy Transitions. : Oxford University Press.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 29

ENERGY<br />

Hybrit Development is a joint<br />

venture between the steel<br />

manufacturer SSAB, the mining<br />

company LKAB and the energy<br />

company Vattenfall. The objective<br />

of the joint-venture is to develop<br />

the world’s first fossil-free,<br />

ore-based steelmaking process.<br />

The byproduct of using fossilfree<br />

electricity and hydrogen<br />

in steelmaking, instead of coke<br />

and coal, will be water instead of<br />

carbon dioxide. The initiative has<br />

the potential to reduce Sweden’s<br />

total carbon dioxide emissions by<br />

10 percent.<br />

Biohydrogen powers<br />

future industry and<br />

circulaon<br />

ELIAS HAKALEHTO, PhD, Adj. Prof., Microbiologist,<br />

Biotechnologist, CEO and inventor, Finnoflag Oy<br />

When our societies and industries look for alternative<br />

solutions to fossil energy, it is good to remember that the<br />

latter still cover almost 80% of the current global energy<br />

needs and 65% of the electricity generation.<br />

30 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

ENERGY<br />

Hydrogen gas is one of the<br />

most realistic complementary<br />

ways to sustain<br />

our modern lifestyle.<br />

It is the most abundant<br />

element in the universe (15%)<br />

and applies to industrial energy and<br />

processes in its gaseous form. This<br />

molecular Hydrogen is increasingly<br />

produced as "green hydrogen" by<br />

using renewable energy, such as solar<br />

or wind, for splitting and liberating<br />

it from water. Alternatively, it could<br />

be produced in the low-energy route<br />

as biohydrogen, exploiting the metabolic<br />

potentials of anaerobic bacteria.<br />

This method is the most sustainable<br />

and can also be used in a localized<br />

pattern. This ensures maintenance<br />

security for unit plants as biomasses<br />

and side streams could be used as raw<br />

material sources.<br />



Some fifteen years ago, the US Environmental<br />

Protection Agency estimated<br />

that in the year 2025, the USA would<br />

move into a "Hydrogen economy,"<br />

meaning that Hydrogen would produce<br />

more energy than fossil sources. This<br />

has yet to happen since there has been<br />

a transition period where numerous<br />

sustainable energy sources have been<br />

developed. There have also been some<br />

issues with, for example, the storage<br />

Hydrogen could be<br />

produced an energyefficient<br />

way as biohydrogen,<br />

exploiting the<br />

metabolic potentials of<br />

anaerobic bacteria.<br />

of Hydrogen. However, at the moment<br />

it provides a promising solution for<br />

energy storage. Hydrogen can also be<br />

further processed into methane or<br />

methanol. "Green ammonia" can also<br />

be produced from green Hydrogen or<br />

biohydrogen, and it can be used for storing<br />

energy and then being converted<br />

back to Hydrogen when needed. In the<br />

future, the use of these gaseous compounds<br />

will grow intensely. They can<br />

also provide solutions for boat, air, and<br />

heavy road traffic.<br />

The Industrial networks for distributing<br />

Hydrogen have already been<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 31

ENERGY<br />

established in places like the Ruhr area<br />

in Germany, the Midwest in England,<br />

and industrial Japan. For instance, traffic<br />

solutions are also tested and implemented<br />

in California and South Korea.<br />

In Luleå, Sweden, SSAB Ab started a<br />

steel factory in 2020 using Hydrogen<br />

gas as the reducing agent.<br />

This is important from the climate<br />

point of view since 7% of the global<br />

emissions come from steelmaking industries.<br />




Compared with the vast energy and<br />

chemical needs described above, biohydrogen<br />

is in the very first stages of<br />

development. However, it could offer<br />

a flexible solution for decentralized<br />

energy sources that serve unit plants<br />

ecologically and sustainably, providing<br />

increased maintenance security as the<br />

production units can be protected better<br />

than pipelines, for example. Moreover,<br />

the local biomass raw materials and<br />

side streams offer flexible sources for<br />

the processes and production. Economically,<br />

combining bacterial biohydrogen<br />

production with the manufacturing of<br />

organic chemicals and fertilizers is easy.<br />

Thus, the biohydrogen way could be an<br />

essential future avenue for industrial<br />

development globally. It could also pro-<br />

The bubbling flow of the pilot plant broth. Biohydrogen consisted of a large part of this<br />

emission, but it was diluted into the ambient gas atmosphere. Its collection and storage<br />

could be arranged with modern technologies. Photo: Finnoflag Oy.<br />

Tampere biorefinery pilot that was in use during the "Zero waste from zero fibre" project.<br />

The biohydrogen emission from the process fluid was generated by the anaerobic bacteria<br />

that were used as biocatalysts in converting the cellulosic side stream deposits into<br />

products. The pilot reactor was planned by Nordautomation Oy and Finnoflag Oy together.<br />

32 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

vide energy and reduce the power needed<br />

for recycling materials and cleaning<br />

up pollution or contamination in ecosystems,<br />

cities, or agricultural fields.<br />

In some countries, biohydrogen<br />

production has been started in smaller<br />

units like big animal farms or other<br />

distributed units. The diminished<br />

scale in such cases provides flexibility.<br />

In other words, the strong point of<br />

microbial biotechnology can be utilized,<br />

as the same installation could<br />

easily apply various biomass sources.<br />

In this sense, biohydrogen production<br />

could resemble, for some parts, biogas<br />

production, which has been taken into<br />

use besides the agricultural or smaller<br />

industrial units and the municipal water<br />

treatment systems in many places.<br />


Since biological materials are found<br />

almost everywhere, it is relatively easy<br />

to imagine their use for biohydrogen<br />

production, which will not produce<br />

waste but diminish or shrink its volumes.<br />

The numerous bacterial strains<br />

could be used in various processes for<br />

different organic raw materials. This<br />

versatility of planning options of the<br />

bioprocess could make biohydrogen<br />

the mainstream technology in future.<br />

This easiness of planning could<br />

make biohydrogen the mainstream<br />

technology in future. It could provide<br />

multiple industries with flexible and<br />

secured energy sources and options<br />

for future development.<br />



In recent decades, our R&D company,<br />

Finnoflag Oy, has carried out more than<br />

ten industrial pilot projects using microbes<br />

or their enzymes as biocatalysts. In such<br />

trials as the European Union Baltic Sea<br />

Biorefinery Project ABOWE, we realized<br />

that cohesively with the production of<br />

biochemicals, we could obtain significant<br />

amounts of biohydrogen.<br />

The project was participated by six<br />

countries: Germany, Lithuania, Estonia,<br />

Poland, Sweden and Finland. The<br />

movable pocket-sized biorefinery was<br />

tested for potato industry side streams<br />

in Poland, agricultural and abattoir<br />

waste in Sweden, and Paper and Pulp<br />

industry side streams in Finland. In all<br />

cases, biohydrogen was emitted into<br />

the carrier gas in the bioreactors with<br />

a maximal concentration of 3-4%. Sa-<br />

Interior of the ABOWE biorefinery pilot plant. This unit was tested in processing various<br />

side streams in Poland, Sweden and Finland. Biohydrogen was emitted into carrier gas<br />

flow at all testing sites. The recovery of energy gases could facilitate novel energy sources<br />

for biorefineries. For instance, it could be combined with biogas methane to form hythane,<br />

an industrial fuel gas. The caution and instructions for handling the easily flammable and<br />

reactive Hydrogen gas should be stringent. Photo: Ari Jääskeläinen, Savonia.<br />

The numerous<br />

bacterial strains could<br />

be used for various<br />

processes with different<br />

organic raw materials.<br />

vonia University of Applied Sciences<br />

constructed the movable biorefinery<br />

unit in Kuopio under the supervision<br />

of the undersigned and Finnoflag Oy in<br />

2013, and its testing in three countries<br />

took place in 2014. Besides biohydrogen,<br />

many organic acids were formed,<br />

such as lactate, butyrate, acetate and<br />

valerate, and alcohols or sugar alcohols<br />

like ethanol, butanol, propanol, pentanol,<br />

and 2,3-butanediol. The residual<br />

fraction could be refined into organic<br />

soil improvement. The reliable and accurate<br />

NMR method (Nucleic Magnetic<br />

Resonance) was used for measuring the<br />

products by the School of Pharmacy of<br />

the University of Eastern Finland.<br />

A few years later, in 2018-19, we<br />

produced biochemicals, energy gases,<br />

and fertilizing agents from environmentally<br />

deposited cellulosic waste in<br />

the lake bottom sediment in Tampere,<br />

Finland. In these trials, the biohydrogen<br />

levels exceeded 1-2% in the outflowing<br />

gas. Mälardalen University of<br />

Västerås, Sweden, participated in the<br />

downstream processing of chemical<br />

commodities such as lactate. The gas<br />

levels were detected from the airspace<br />

of the horizontal bioreactor unit of 15<br />

cubic meters of liquid space. In this<br />

case, the gas flow space was even more<br />

significant. These production levels<br />

could be elevated, and the current productivities<br />

are a good start for novel<br />

biological process thinking by the<br />

Finnoflag method using non-aseptic<br />

fermentation. This approach lowers<br />

the investment expenses to about 25<br />

% of the traditional industrial fermentation<br />

costs at best.<br />


Most importantly, biohydrogen and<br />

its associated products of microbial<br />

biorefineries could make it possible<br />

to establish various novel industries<br />

which would act economically and<br />

sustainably. They could be used for<br />

cleaning up the environment in ecosystem<br />

engineering projects. The biohydrogen<br />

approach is also compatible<br />

with developing Hydrogen and other<br />

energy production, storage, security,<br />

transfer and equipment maintenance<br />

techniques at any scale.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 33


Using<br />

Technology<br />

to Improve<br />

Manufacturing:<br />

4 Ways Big Data<br />

and AI Affect<br />

Manufacturing<br />

Processes<br />

The manufacturing world continues to rebound after<br />

shutdowns and allied disruptions of the COVID-19<br />

pandemic. Competition remains intense in most<br />

industries, so businesses must make every effort to be<br />

as efficient and as productive as possible.<br />

BRYAN CHRISTIANSEN, founder, and CEO of Limble CMMS.<br />

Emerging technologies are<br />

playing an increasingly<br />

important role in efficiencyrelated<br />

strategies. Artificial<br />

intelligence (AI) may be<br />

well-known, but a precise definition<br />

is still helpful: AI is the simulation<br />

of human intelligence processes by<br />

machines, in particular IT systems. AI<br />

encompasses systems such as machine<br />

learning (ML), natural language processing<br />

(NLP), and computer vision (CV).<br />

AI capabilities have led to an explosion<br />

of Big Data, which Oracle refers<br />

to as: "data that contains greater variety,<br />

which arrives in increasing volumes<br />

and with more velocity, which<br />

arrives in increasing volumes and<br />

with more velocity." The result is far<br />

more data in more complex data sets.<br />

AI-enhanced algorithms can make<br />

sense of all the data, providing invaluable<br />

insights across multiple business<br />

functions.<br />

With the above in mind, this article<br />

will explore four ways in which Big Data<br />

and AI can improve manufacturing processes.<br />



Big Data and AI are needed more than<br />

ever to improve the efficiency of manufacturing.<br />

A Deloitte survey found that<br />

45% of manufacturing executives expect<br />

that increases in operational efficiency<br />

will be derived from investments in the<br />

industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),<br />

whereby digitally interconnected machines<br />

communicate with each other on<br />

the plant floor. 50% of the respondents<br />

were convinced that investments in<br />

robots and cobots would improve their<br />

efficiency in 2022.<br />

Further efficiencies soon will also be<br />

gained with 5G, the next generation of<br />

34 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


cellular communications. The ultra-reliable,<br />

low-latency connections (goodbye,<br />

buffering!) offered by 5G will be a boon<br />

for manufacturers. 5G will enable the<br />

proliferation of IIoT on production floors<br />

and the widespread use of small, cost-effective<br />

sensors across machines and processes.<br />

According to the Manufacturer's<br />

Alliance, 5G has "the potential to become<br />

the core communication platform for<br />

many manufacturing companies".<br />


Few things negatively impact production<br />

costs and revenue targets in a manufacturing<br />

facility as much as unintended downtime<br />

does. According to Deloitte, unplanned<br />

downtime costs industrial manufacturers as<br />

much as $50 billion a year in the US alone.<br />

Furthermore, poor plant maintenance can<br />

reduce productivity by as much as 20%.<br />

The beauty of IIoT is that it provides<br />

always-on, always-monitoring capabilities<br />

that enhance maintenance. The maintenance<br />

reach of IIoT is immense.<br />

However, IIoT can be immensely<br />

data-heavy, which is why it makes sense to<br />

pair it with a computerized maintenance<br />

management system (CMMS). This software<br />

provides a facility with a centralized,<br />

AI-enhanced platform that can store and<br />

effectively manage all the incoming data<br />

regarding physical assets.<br />

Examples abound of what can be<br />

achieved. In Germany, the country's national<br />

railway company, Deutsche Bahn,<br />

has partnered with Siemens to devise<br />

AI and Big Data solutions that help improve<br />

the railway company's preventative<br />

maintenance regime. One such example<br />

is intelligent braking systems that can be<br />

monitored for optimal replacement time,<br />

while sensors monitor the state of the<br />

track to predict needed repairs.<br />

It gets even more exciting: soon, machines<br />

will have self-maintenance abilities.<br />

AI, coupled with technology such as<br />

3D printing, will take maintenance even<br />

beyond the already-impressive capacity of<br />

IIoT applications.<br />


AI and Big Data can dramatically improve<br />

risk management, in everything from occupational<br />

health and safety to securityrelated<br />

risks and environmental impacts.<br />

These enterprise risks can sometimes be<br />

disastrous and difficult to predict. The cognitive<br />

capabilities of AI can therefore be invaluable<br />

in reducing risk. For example, ML<br />

algorithms can assess past risky behaviors<br />

of employees in hazardous locations and<br />

build predictive models to reduce the risk.<br />

Although not a manufacturing facility,<br />

one of Canada's largest medical research<br />

facilities provides an excellent case study of<br />

Applications of IIoT in maintenance<br />

Real-time<br />

condition<br />

monitoring<br />

Augmented<br />

reality for<br />

maintenance<br />

and repair<br />

Predictive<br />

and prescriptive<br />

maintenance<br />

Remote<br />

maintenance<br />

Equipment-as<br />

a-service<br />

Digital<br />

twins<br />

Just-in-time<br />

parts<br />

management<br />

Source: limblecmms.com<br />

the power of AI: the facility was experiencing<br />

failures with its air-handling units. A<br />

medical research facility simply cannot have<br />

'downtime' due to malfunctioning ventilation<br />

systems. An AI solution was selected<br />

that provided live data on the condition<br />

of fans within air extraction units. Among<br />

multiple benefits was the fact that the solution<br />

provided 100% uptime of a critical<br />

ventilation system that ensured acceptable<br />

laboratory air quality at all times.<br />


'BIG ISSUES'<br />

Manufacturers cannot only be concerned<br />

with production costs and efficiency rates.<br />

Today, sustainability is imperative, both<br />

strategically and operationally. AI and Big<br />

Data can do much to help a manufacturer<br />

tackle its sustainability goals and initiatives.<br />

The United Nations itself advocates<br />

the use of Big Data in reaching its Sustainable<br />

Development Goals (SDGs). The UN<br />

notes how AI-enabled smart metering can<br />

help attain affordable and clean energy<br />

(SDG 7) by allowing utility companies to<br />

manage electricity or gas consumption<br />

levels more intelligently, at both peak and<br />

non-peak levels.<br />

Climate change mitigation and carbon<br />

management are also more easily attained<br />

with the assistance of AI, particularly<br />

regarding the all-important energy efficiency<br />

targets. The Indiana Economic<br />

Development Corporation has collaborated<br />

with Amazon Web Services (AWS)<br />

to develop Energy INsights, which is being<br />

rolled out at over 100 manufacturers<br />

in the Hoosier state. The Indiana program<br />

integrates the I4.0 Accelerator from AWS,<br />

which gathers data from legacy factory<br />

equipment and energy systems. It then<br />

optimizes energy efficiency by using AI<br />

and data analytics, with projected energy<br />

reductions of between 8 and 20%.<br />

Production efficiency is paramount for<br />

any manufacturing business. It ensures that<br />

production costs are minimized relative to<br />

revenue. However, operational costs have<br />

been impacted by adverse factors beyond<br />

the control of manufacturers, such as labor<br />

shortages and supply chain instabilities. The<br />

war in Eastern Europe has only exacerbated<br />

costs. These inflationary factors are expected<br />

to continue well into <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

As seen, AI and Big Data improve production<br />

and will be key in making manufacturing<br />

increasingly sustainable as well.<br />

Manufacturers will do well to appreciate<br />

the positive ROI of investing in these fastevolving<br />

technologies.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 35


We all know that compressed<br />

air leaks are a huge source<br />

of energy (and money)<br />

waste, but do you know how<br />

much they really cost? After<br />

conducting around 60 surveys<br />

in different facilities from<br />

different industries, using<br />

an ultrasound camera, we<br />

concluded that the average<br />

leak would cost around 1200€<br />

per year. When you think that<br />

any industrial site will have<br />

dozens or even hundreds of<br />

leaks, you can quickly realize<br />

the savings potential.<br />

How much air leaks really cost –<br />

Leak Survey Examples<br />

PETER BOON, Product Specialist, UE Systems<br />

As energy prices rose up to historical<br />

peaks, compressed air<br />

leaks have also become more<br />

expensive than ever. In these<br />

times, finding and repairing<br />

those wasteful leaks must be a priority for<br />

any maintenance team looking to cut down<br />

on energy waste.<br />

Knowing that, on average, approx. 10%<br />

of all energy supplied to an industrial facility<br />

will be used for compressed air; and that the<br />

average leak rate across a site in industry is<br />

30%, you can quickly realize that compressed<br />

air leaks will be one of the greatest sources of<br />

waste in industry.<br />



It is well established that using ultrasound<br />

inspection instruments is the most effective<br />

way of finding leaks. Digital instruments will<br />

also record the decibel level at the leak point,<br />

which will be the basis to calculate the leak<br />

cost and elaborate reports.<br />

Normally these are handheld and listenonly<br />

instruments – still very effective in<br />

detecting leaks, but more recently, with the<br />

deployment of ultrasound cameras, you can<br />

also see the leaks, in real time, turning leak<br />

surveys into a much more effortless and<br />

quick task.<br />

36 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


Thus, when considering that:<br />

1. Air leaks are more expensive than ever –<br />

one leak costs an average of 1200€ per year<br />

2. Finding air leaks is now easier and<br />

quicker than ever<br />

We can conclude that having an ultrasound<br />

camera is a no-brainer for most industrial<br />

facilities.<br />

As these cameras are working by simply<br />

showing the leaks on the screen, you can find<br />

dozens of leaks in minutes.<br />



The examples of leak surveys below were<br />

conducted using the UltraView camera from<br />

UE Systems, one of the most advanced leak<br />

detection devices available today. You can<br />

clearly see how, in a matter of hours (sometimes<br />

even minutes), the UltraView can<br />

detect and quantify leaks worth thousands.<br />

1. Commercial Printing Facility – 1<br />

single leak costing 1650€ per year<br />

The printing industry uses a lot of<br />

compressed air (especially when printing<br />

newspapers and magazine, like this facility),<br />

making these facilities perfect candidates<br />

for an efficient leak detection device. With a<br />

proper leak detection program in place, cost<br />

avoidance can be huge. One single leak was<br />

estimated to cost 1650€ per year! A 30-minute<br />

survey at this facility carried out with the<br />

UltraView detected 6 leaks amounting to a<br />

cost of 7000€ per year. This is only a small<br />

part of the total amount of leaks estimated at<br />

this site, since almost all printing machines<br />

will need compressed air.<br />

Besides the energy waste, these leaks<br />

bring other issues: as leaks on the printing<br />

machines will bring down the system<br />

pressure, this will compromise the printing<br />

quality. Thus, finding and repairing leaks in<br />

the printing industry is not just a matter of<br />

energy savings, but also of assuring the final<br />

product quality.<br />

2. Costly compressed air and argon/<br />

nitrogen leaks found at pharmaceutical<br />

company<br />

Pharma uses a lot of compressed air, as well<br />

as special gas, which means leaks can quickly<br />

become a huge source of energy waste. We<br />

could attest exactly that when surveying a<br />

pharmaceutical plant using the UltraView.<br />

During the demonstration we were able to<br />

pinpoint and report 29 compressed air leaks<br />

in about 2 hours of survey.<br />

The total cost for these leaks is estimated<br />

at a costly 28313€ per year. This includes<br />

some major leaks, including one huge leak<br />

which was undetected so far and was costing<br />

the company 5809€. The UltraView was able<br />

to easily pinpoint it even at a 5 meter distance.<br />

Besides compressed air, we could also<br />

detect some very expensive argon and nitrogen<br />

leaks. Special or innate gas leaks can<br />

become quite expensive, as the price for these<br />

is usually 3 or 4 times more expensive than<br />

compressed air.<br />

In the video we can see how the UltraView<br />

could find an argon leak at a tank. This is a<br />

leak losing 9 liter per minute of argon, meaning<br />

that, if it would be left undetected, the<br />

tank would be empty in about 3 to 4 days.<br />

3. Food packaging plant: detecting<br />

compressed air, vacuum and vent<br />

leaks<br />

At a food packaging plant we did a quick survey<br />

using the UltraView camera. Packaging<br />

facilities normally rely heavily on compressed<br />

air, so it was no surprise that we were able<br />

to quickly find 22 leaks amounting to almost<br />

13000€, including 2 leaks at hard to reach<br />

locations which we could easily detect even<br />

at a 5 meter distance. These would be much<br />

more difficult to pinpoint using traditional<br />

listen-only ultrasound instruments.<br />

On top of that, the UltraView could also<br />

detect 3 vacuum leaks and 1 leak in the ventilation<br />

system, as we can see in the video. Vacuum<br />

leaks are a big issue in many industries,<br />

as they are very hard to detect and can quickly<br />

lead to product quality loss and increase in<br />

production time.<br />

Also, interesting to note that leak at the<br />

ventilation system, which is not a typical<br />

application for the UltraView but was very<br />

important at this facility, since the maintenance<br />

team wants to assure the vents are<br />

completely sealed, otherwise dangerous gas<br />

might not be expelled from the facility as they<br />

should.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 37


38 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


Redefining Industrial Maintenance<br />

in the Tech-Driven Era:<br />

From Mandatory Cost<br />

to Value Generator<br />

New intelligent technologies offer numerous opportunities to improve the efficiency<br />

of business operations in various sectors – including the maintenance industry,<br />

However, the ongoing technological revolution also raises concerns such as – will there<br />

be enough jobs in the sector in the future? Is it possible to guarantee the operational<br />

reliability and safety of fully automated production plants of the future?<br />


Juha Ryödi, Vice President of Life Cycle<br />

Services at Vaisala Oyj, sees that technological<br />

change will inevitably affect not<br />

only the work of maintenance professionals,<br />

but also the image of the maintenance<br />

industry. This is a good thing, especially now that<br />

the industry fears a growing labour shortage in the<br />

future due to retirement trends and cuts in training<br />

spending in technical fields.<br />

Ryödi says that new modern technologies and<br />

maintenance tools are making the job of a maintenance<br />

technician more specialised than routine<br />

tasks. New technologies are also making the industrial<br />

maintenance sector an attractive career option<br />

for young people entering the<br />

engineering field. The potential<br />

of machine vision, for instance,<br />

is being widely explored and<br />

tested in the manufacturing<br />

industry today. Many believe<br />

that it has almost limitless<br />

potential for use in condition<br />

monitoring and, for example,<br />

in improving the efficiency of<br />

logistical operations.<br />

According to Ryödi, new technologies are also<br />

bringing a new level of transparency to maintenance<br />

operations. Consequently, the results of<br />

maintenance activities are more readily visible to<br />

other organisations.<br />

– I think maintenance is becoming a fascinating<br />

field because it was a somewhat "dark<br />

Despite recent<br />

progress, technological<br />

advancement has not<br />

yet reached its full<br />

potential.<br />

area" for many years. Thanks to today's technologies,<br />

we can now view maintenance as a productive<br />

unit that adds value to the company, rather<br />

than just being seen as an obligatory expense,<br />

Ryödi says.<br />



Despite recent progress, technological advancement<br />

has not yet reached its full potential, Ryödi<br />

states. Much of this is because companies have not<br />

yet been able to fully monetise their maintenance<br />

services to customers because the benefits of maintenance<br />

are more long-term than quick wins.<br />

At the same time, the<br />

maintenance sector – like<br />

many other sectors – still<br />

struggles with the challenge<br />

of recruiting sufficient qualified<br />

personnel, especially<br />

tech-savvy younger generations<br />

equipped with the skills<br />

needed to adopt new technologies<br />

effectively.<br />

– However, as the baby<br />

boomer generation retires, skills and knowledge<br />

must be transferred and replicated within organisations.<br />

This will require adopting different systems<br />

and, for example, new digital tools. It will also<br />

create future competitive advantage and scalability,<br />

which will act as drivers for the evolution of the<br />

service business, says Ryödi.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 39


The time for cost efficiency is here, Ryödi<br />

continues. On the other hand, industry is undergoing<br />

a major energy transition that is creating<br />

new investment needs. This situation is creating<br />

even more demand for the efficiency of maintenance<br />

operations and, ultimately, the adoption<br />

of new technologies.<br />

– Traditionally, industrial maintenance has<br />

been viewed as a necessary but costly function.<br />

It typically involved routine inspections, repairs,<br />

and downtime management. However, the<br />

advent of cutting-edge technologies is reshaping<br />

this narrative, turning maintenance from a<br />

liability into a strategic asset.<br />


Factories of the future are forward-looking<br />

manufacturing facilities that take full advantage<br />

of Industry 4.0 opportunities. Factories of the<br />

future focus on digitising their processes, making<br />

the most of new production technologies,<br />

and managing energy and materials increasingly<br />

circularly. What do such factories look like<br />

today?<br />

Ryödi stresses that although the word<br />

"hybrid" is currently a very overused term, it<br />

could be used as a metaphor when describing<br />

factories of the future.<br />

– Increasingly, factories are looking for solutions<br />

where technology enables as much as<br />

possible but still under human control in some<br />

aspect – either in terms of physical assembly<br />

or through a process control system. The Covid<br />

pandemic has greatly boosted the potential for,<br />

for example, remote monitoring. Meanwhile,<br />

various types of measuring and data collection<br />

are a growing trend that allows scaling knowledge<br />

in factory control, for example.<br />

What is the role of machine learning in<br />

factories of the future?<br />

Machine vision is a very quality-focused technology<br />

in industry, and many applications are still<br />

related to quality, quality monitoring and reporting,<br />

Ryödi says.<br />

Machine vision still has<br />

much potential, especially<br />

when combined with AIbased<br />

decision-making, as<br />

different cameras and sensors<br />

are becoming more accurate<br />

and faster. One exciting area<br />

to follow is chip manufacturing<br />

and how machine vision<br />

will be able to serve – and<br />

potentially control – these very high-frequency<br />

processes even more efficiently in the future.<br />

Are manufacturing facilities moving<br />

towards full automation?<br />

Ryödi notes that there are still relatively few factories<br />

that can be called fully automated due to<br />

the level of intelligence of the technology and its<br />

replicability in relation to repeatable processes.<br />

Meanwhile, manufacturing chains are currently<br />

struggling a bit to find their place on a global<br />

scale. This affects the level of automation in<br />

industry because increasing the level of automation<br />

means making significant<br />

investments, and large<br />

Modern<br />

investments almost always<br />

technologies are<br />

mean showing a return on<br />

investment.<br />

making the industrial However, at the same<br />

maintenance sector an time, evolving technology<br />

is enabling more and<br />

attractive career option<br />

more, and as component<br />

for young people.<br />

shortages ease, the prices<br />

of industrial robots,<br />

for example, will continue to decline and<br />

accelerate their uptake. Highly repeatable<br />

and heavy processes have already achieved<br />

a high degree of automation. However, how,<br />

and when they reach a fully automated level<br />

remains to be seen.<br />

40 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


How will the role of the maintenance manager<br />

change in a fully automated factory?<br />

The role of a maintenance manager is crucial in<br />

ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of<br />

machinery, equipment, and facilities within an<br />

organisation. Their primary responsibilities have<br />

traditionally included a wide range of tasks to<br />

preserve assets, minimise downtime, and promote<br />

safety and reliability.<br />

Ryödi anticipates a definite shift in the role of<br />

maintenance managers within organisations as<br />

automation levels continue to rise.<br />

– I think there is a clear trend here to be more<br />

proactive in understanding and planning. Many<br />

industries, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing,<br />

will soon move to so-called continuous processes<br />

instead of batch production, and this will<br />

also change the role of maintenance to be more<br />

proactive and planned.<br />

– In the future, the maintainer will have to be<br />

able to interpret more data and better plan their<br />

work, and, on the other hand, to carry out and<br />

document it very accurately. However, many things<br />

remain constant, such as understanding mechanics<br />

or electrical engineering. This is still highly valued.<br />

– A skilled workforce enables us to overcome<br />

the small margins that distinguish us from other<br />

countries in comparison, Ryödi says.<br />



Juha Ryödi has studied automation and<br />

electrical power engineering alongside<br />

his job and commercial studies (MBA).<br />

He started his career at the automation<br />

and power engineering technology giant ABB<br />

as a plant engineer in the year 2000. After ABB, Ryödi joined<br />

Sataservice Oy, a provider of maintenance and optimisation<br />

services to industry.<br />

"I have been working more or less continuously in the<br />

engineering field since I turned 18," Ryödi says.<br />

In 2017, Ryödi joined Vaisala to be responsible for technical<br />

services globally. Ryödi is a keen sportsman and played<br />

competitive ice hockey in his youth.<br />


Juha Ryödi adds that although technological<br />

change will benefit the sector, it is not without<br />

risk. One of the biggest fears associated with<br />

increasing automation is currently security.<br />

– In my opinion, information security is the<br />

most significant single risk now. Whenever we<br />

talk about automation and its connectivity and<br />

integration with different systems, we must consider<br />

information security and its requirements.<br />

The so-called Hyppönen's law is also good to<br />

remember in maintenance (If It's Smart, It's Vulnerable<br />

- Mikko Hyppönen), Ryödi says. Mikko<br />

Hypponen is a global security expert, speaker, and<br />

author. He is the Chief Research Officer at WithSecure<br />

and Principal Research Advisor at F-Secure.<br />

Maintenance tools, such as maintenance systems,<br />

have become much more cloud and webbased,<br />

and on the other hand, many practical tools<br />

or customer processes are connected to the web.<br />

– A major transformation is taking place, but<br />

so far there have been relatively few security incidents.<br />

This is partly because the interconnection<br />

of different systems and tools is just reaching its<br />

acceleration point, and partially because industrial<br />

companies are taking information security risks<br />

very seriously. In maintenance, it is also worth<br />

remembering that the responsibility of maintenance<br />

workers is often greater than that of many<br />

others. Maintenance personnel may have greater<br />

access to many systems, which puts them in a<br />

more critical position.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 41



JUKKA JUNTTILA (MSE, MSE) works as Research Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd<br />

Feature Engineering-<br />

Based Operaonal<br />

State Recognion of<br />

Rotang Machines<br />

One might think that the era of<br />

large internal combustion engines<br />

(ICE) as electric power producers<br />

would soon be over due to the<br />

ongoing green transition.<br />

Such an assumption is being proved wrong by<br />

the engineers who work hard on finding solutions<br />

to convert these fossil fuel-consuming<br />

machines to also operate on renewable fuels.<br />

ICE-based power plants have a crucial role in<br />

the green transition as a balancing element for the fluctuating<br />

nature of wind and solar energy production.<br />

42 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>



Jukka Junttila works as Research<br />

Scientist at VTT Technical Research<br />

Centre of Finland Ltd. He has<br />

over ten years of experience in<br />

structural analyses of rotating<br />

machines and other dynamic<br />

mechanical structures using finite<br />

element method. He has also<br />

come across research topics such<br />

as internal combustion engine<br />

technology, experimental structural<br />

analysis, topology optimisation,<br />

additive manufacturing and laser<br />

scanning during his studies and<br />

his career at VTT. During the last<br />

few years he has broadened his<br />

expertise into the fields of Big data<br />

analytics, machine learning and<br />

systems simulation.<br />



The future goals impose new requirements<br />

and raise uncertainties considering the whole<br />

lifecycle of the power plants. They generate<br />

a need for the development of new tools and<br />

methods in a wide range.<br />

Within the operational<br />

phase of the lifecycle,<br />

particularly in the domain<br />

of structural condition<br />

monitoring, vibration<br />

analysis techniques have<br />

long been the cornerstone<br />

of getting precise insights<br />

into the health of rotating<br />

machinery and along with<br />

the operational data estimating<br />

their remaining<br />

useful life. On the other<br />

hand, increased computing power, and the<br />

emergence of the industrial internet of things<br />

(IIoT) have created a foundation for continuous<br />

operational monitoring in real-time, or at<br />

least in near real-time. In this context, vibration<br />

analysis (VA) and machine learning (ML)<br />

methods can be used to build precise and<br />

efficient state recognition models for rotating<br />

machines as shown in this case.<br />



SET<br />

This article introduces simple and computationally<br />

light models for the operational state<br />

recognition of a generating set (genset). The<br />

Figure 1. Tangential force at crank pin due to gas forces for different loads.<br />

(percentage of the rated power).<br />

models were developed in a research project<br />

(Digibuzz-VTT) forming part of a joint research<br />

effort called DigiBuzz financed by Business Finland<br />

and are thoroughly described in a master’s<br />

thesis [1]. DigiBuzz was led by LUT University<br />

between 10/2019 and 01/2022. One of the<br />

partner companies<br />

in DigiBuzz, Wärtsilä<br />

Vibration analysis<br />

techniques have long<br />

been the cornerstone<br />

of getting precise insights<br />

into the health<br />

of rotating machinery<br />

and estimating their<br />

remaining useful life.<br />

Finland Oy, provided<br />

the dataset for building<br />

the operational<br />

state recognition<br />

models. The data<br />

consists of accelerations<br />

acquired from<br />

a Wärtsilä 20V31SG<br />

genset measured<br />

at various constant<br />

power output levels,<br />

as well as during<br />

some occasional<br />

fault situations. Gensets combine an ICE and<br />

an electric generator. They are typically used<br />

for producing power to the electric grid. While<br />

the electric grids have constant frequency,<br />

the power demand fluctuates. As a result, the<br />

gensets operate at constant speeds but with<br />

variable power output. The grids may encounter<br />

occasional disturbances which cause abnormal<br />

operation of a genset. Thus, the dataset effectively<br />

covers the acceleration response of a genset<br />

within its typical operational range.<br />


FORCES<br />

The operational state recognition models discussed<br />

in this article are built around the cyclic<br />

nature of the operation of ICEs. The general<br />

assumption is that the dynamic behaviour, at<br />

steady load and constant rotational velocity<br />

across engine cycles, repeats itself and that<br />

load variation can be seen as a notable change<br />

in the dynamic response. Thanks to Newton,<br />

most of us know that acceleration and vibration<br />

is caused by force, and think that the relation<br />

between them is linear. Considering ICEs,<br />

the principal forces exciting vibrations can be<br />

divided into inertia and gas forces. The origin<br />

of the inertia forces are the moving parts of the<br />

engine, namely the crank and piston mechanisms.<br />

Thus, at constant rotation speed the<br />

inertia forces remain periodically stationary.<br />

However, due to the virtual linearity between<br />

force and acceleration, the gas forces, provoked<br />

by the cylinder pressure, do vary in sync with<br />

load variations, even though the rotation speed<br />

remains constant, since they are responsible of<br />

making the engine run and they must adjust to<br />

the load demand. Normalized tangential forces<br />

at crank pin for different loads during one<br />

engine cycle (four-stroke) are presented in<br />

Figure 1.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 43


Therefore, if the detection of variations<br />

in the load is of interest, it is crucial<br />

to extract only the effect of the gas forces<br />

on the vibration response. Unlike the gas<br />

forces, the inertia forces have an analytic<br />

solution which happens to be periodic. It<br />

states that the inertia forces have cyclic<br />

components only at the frequency of<br />

rotation and its second multiple, which<br />

then leads to all the other frequency<br />

components of the vibration response to<br />

depend only on the gas forces. The harmonic<br />

frequency components of a signal<br />

can be efficiently computed using fast<br />

Fourier transform (FFT). The harmonic<br />

coefficients of the torque of a four-stroke<br />

gasoline engine at full load and at idle<br />

presented in Figure 2 were determined by<br />

Porter as early as in 1943 [2]. For a fourstroke<br />

engine one engine cycle equals two<br />

rotations of the crankshaft. In Figure 2<br />

order 1.0 equals the rotation frequency<br />

and hence order 0.5 the engine cycle frequency.<br />

Accurate ML models are seldom<br />

trained using raw data. The training of<br />

ML models often needs features that<br />

are sensitive to changes in the quantity<br />

being predicted by the model. Considering<br />

ICEs (and all the previous explanations),<br />

a feature sensitive to power<br />

output variation is extracted from the<br />

vibration response by simply computing<br />

the harmonic coefficient at order<br />

1.5. This feature extracted from the<br />

three signals of only one suitably placed<br />

triaxial accelerometer can be used for<br />

training an accurate classifier of different<br />

power output levels of a Wärtsilä<br />

20V31SG genset. The accuracy of the<br />

classifier model can be increased by<br />

adding the signal power of the three signals<br />

to the features of the model.<br />

Figure 2 Harmonic coefficients by Porter [2] , a and b are the Fourier coefficients..<br />

Figure 3. Confusion matrix for a classifier<br />

trained with features extracted from two<br />

engine cycles long signal segments. [1]<br />

Therefore, the<br />

right balance between the<br />

accuracy and<br />

timeliness of the model<br />

must be sought<br />

depending on the application<br />

and needs.<br />



However, the operation of an ICE in<br />

practice is never perfectly constant<br />

between engine cycles even at steady<br />

load and therefore there is always cyclic<br />

variation in the acceleration response<br />

as well. This is typical especially considering<br />

spark ignited engines, such as the<br />

Wärtsilä 20V31SG, for which the peak<br />

cylinder pressure between consecutive<br />

cycles varies significantly. Considering<br />

the presented state recognition models<br />

the effect of the cyclic variation can be<br />

smoothened by extracting the feature<br />

values from signal segments that are<br />

multiple engine cycles long. By extending<br />

the length of the signal segment<br />

the prediction given by the model gets<br />

further away from real-time. Therefore,<br />

the right balance between the accuracy<br />

and timeliness of the model must be<br />

sought depending on the application<br />

and needs. In this case the accuracy is<br />

very high even when using signal segment<br />

length of two engine cycles. At the<br />

nominal operation speed of the genset,<br />

that is at 750 rpm, one engine cycle<br />

lasts 0.16 seconds.<br />

The confusion matrix of a classifier<br />

trained with features extracted from<br />

two engine cycles long signal segments<br />

is presented in Figure 3. Logistic<br />

regression was used as the classifier<br />

algorithm and the features were the<br />

acceleration amplitude at order 1.5 and<br />

the signal power extracted from the<br />

signals of one triaxial accelerometer.<br />

The classes are different power output<br />

levels givens as percentages of the rated<br />

power of the genset: 0 %, 50 %, 75 %,<br />

90 %, 95 %, and 100%.<br />

44 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>





The recognition of abnormal operation<br />

can be done using novelty detection. Novelty<br />

detection is a subtype of binary classification<br />

in which a trained model predicts<br />

if a data sample belongs to the same class<br />

of the data it was trained with or not. The<br />

same features that were used for training<br />

the classifier model can be used for<br />

training the novelty detection models as<br />

well. Separate novelty detection models<br />

can be built for each power output level.<br />

The result of two novelty detectors trained<br />

using different algorithms, One-class support<br />

vector machine (OC SVM) and local<br />

outlier factor (LOF), are presented in Figure<br />

4. Features extracted from continuous<br />

one-minute-long signals of one triaxial<br />

accelerometer were given as input for the<br />

novelty detectors. The novelty detector<br />

value 0 represents normal operation and<br />

value 1 abnormal operation. The result is<br />

given as a moving average taken over a<br />

window of one engine cycle and step size<br />

of one. The abnormal operation of the<br />

genset took place at around 30 seconds<br />

which is clearly detected by both novelty<br />

detectors. [1]<br />



An ambitious future goal is not only the<br />

timely detection of abnormal operation<br />

but also the recognition and classification<br />

of different types of faults. The scarcity<br />

of data measured during fault situations<br />

hinders the development of such models.<br />

However, one possible solution could be<br />

the production of data through simulations<br />

of fault situations. In fact, the first<br />

steps in that direction have already been<br />

taken using finite element method simulations<br />

of a genset (Figure 5) [3]. Further<br />

development of the operational state<br />

recognition models and their deployment<br />

in industrial settings has been planned<br />

to take place soon as part of new joint<br />

development projects between Wärtsilä,<br />

VTT, and (hopefully a long list of) other<br />

interested parties.<br />

Figure 4. Abnormal operation detected by novelty detectors. [1]<br />

Figure 5. Finite element model of a genset. [3]<br />


[1] Junttila, J., 2021, Operational State Recognition of a Rotating Machine Based on Measured Mechanical Vibration Data. Master's thesis, Arcada University<br />

of Applied Sciences (2021)<br />

[2] Porter, F.P., 1943, Harmonic Coefficients of Engine Torque Curves. In: ASME, Journal of Applied Mecchanics, 10(1): A33-A48. DOI: https://doi.<br />

org/10.1115/1.4009248<br />

[3] Junttila, J., Sillanpää, A. Lämsä, V.S., 2022, Validation of Simulated Mechanical Vibration Data for Operational State Recognition System, 2022 IEEE<br />

23rd International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration for Data Science (IRI), San Diego, CA, USA, 2022, pp. 138-143, doi: 10.1109/<br />

IRI54793.2022.00040.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 45

HSE<br />

at the workplace challenges<br />

occupational health<br />

The inhalation of wood dust is an occupational safety risk. Approximately 40,000 employees are<br />

exposed to wood dust in their job causing potential health hazards. This can lead to prolonged<br />

respiratory infections which, in turn, can result in longer sickness absences. Exposure to<br />

hardwood dust also increases the risk of rare nasal and sinus cancers.<br />

TUULA LIUKKONEN, Chief Specialist at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health<br />

TUULA RÄSÄNEN, Senior Specialist at Finnish Institute of Occupational Health<br />

Wood is a widely used<br />

material all over the<br />

world. The main components<br />

of wood are<br />

cellulose, hemicellulose<br />

and lignin. In addition, depending on the type<br />

of wood, it can also contain hundreds of different<br />

chemical compounds such as terpene<br />

compounds, fatty acids, resin acids, phenolic<br />

compounds, alcohols, tannins and flavonoids.<br />

Botanically, tree species are divided into<br />

deciduous and coniferous. The deciduous<br />

trees are also called hardwoods. Similarly,<br />

conifers can be referred to as softwoods, although<br />

these designations are not directly<br />

related to the "hardness", i.e. density, of the<br />

wood. When working with wood, dust is<br />

released into the air, and the particle size of<br />

the dust varies widely due to, for example,<br />

the machining method, the type of wood<br />

and the humidity of wood. The dust particles<br />

which can enter the human respiratory<br />

system are called inhalable dust.<br />

In Finland, approximately 40,000 employees<br />

are exposed to wood dust at their<br />

work, e.g., at sawmilling and planing of wood,<br />

in the wooden board industry, and the manufacture<br />

of wood products and furniture. In<br />

addition, exposure to wood dust can occur<br />

in many other industrial sectors, such as the<br />

manufacture of paper pulp, the construction<br />

industry, the manufacture of vehicles, pattern<br />

making in the manufacture of metal and<br />

concrete products, as well as in educational<br />

institutions.<br />



In Europe, exposure to hardwood dust is<br />

regulated by the EU Directive (2017/2398)<br />

on the protection of workers from the<br />

risks related to exposure to carcinogens or<br />

mutagens at work. The binding limit value<br />

46 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

HSE<br />

for the inhalable hardwood dust in air was<br />

earlier 5 mg/m3, but the directive set it at<br />

2 mg/m3. In Finland, the national indicative<br />

occupational exposure limit value for<br />

the dusts of all wood species has been the<br />

same 2 mg/m3 since the year 2007, but the<br />

new binding limit value for hardwood dust<br />

took effect in 2020.<br />

The research project “Wood dust and<br />

new binding limit value – can the provision<br />

of information have an impact on exposure<br />

and working conditions?” was conducted<br />

in Finland in 2020-2022. The main aim of<br />

the study was to inform workplaces in the<br />

woodworking sector about the changes in<br />

the regulations, and to assess the influence<br />

of this information through inquiry and<br />

workplace surveys conducted before and<br />

after the information campaign.<br />

Wood dust concentrations were measured<br />

during surveys at the workplaces of wooden<br />

products and furniture manufacturing. The<br />

geometric mean (GM) concentration of inhalable<br />

wood dust in the beathing zone of the<br />

workers was 0.8 mg/m3 (number of measurement<br />

167, range 0.03–16 mg/m3), but 11% of<br />

the dust concentrations measured exceeded<br />

the limit value 2 mg/m3.<br />

According to measurement results<br />

from the services made in the manufacturing<br />

of wooden products and furniture in<br />

2017-2021 by the Finnish Institute of Occupational<br />

Health, the mean (GM) wood<br />

dust concentration in the breathing zone<br />

of the workers was 0.6 mg/m3 (n=131,<br />

range 0.06—12 mg/m3), and 11% of the<br />

concentrations exceeded the limit value.<br />



The largest particles of inhalable dust remain<br />

mainly in the upper respiratory tract,<br />

where they can cause irritation symptoms<br />

on the mucous membranes of the nose and<br />

larynx. According to studies, respiratory<br />

irritation symptoms are common in wood<br />

dust concentrations above 1 mg/m3.<br />

Wood dust is one of the causes of occupational<br />

rhinitis. The smaller particles<br />

of wood dust enter deeper into the respiratory<br />

tract, and they can cause for example<br />

coughs and non-asthmatic airway contraction,<br />

which is reflected in a decrease in<br />

spirometry values. Exposure to wood dust<br />

is also associated with an increased risk of<br />

chronic bronchitis. Wood dust can also irritate<br />

the eyes and skin.<br />

Depending on the type of wood, wood<br />

dust can contain many chemical compounds<br />

that may cause skin sensitization.<br />

Allergy symptoms can also occur in the eyes.<br />

Wood dust can cause allergy to the upper<br />

respiratory tract, causing allergic rhinitis<br />

and lower respiratory tract, causing asthma.<br />

Wood dust can be controlled in the<br />

workplace and workers' exposure<br />

reduced by:<br />

¬ automating machining processes<br />

and increasing remote control<br />

¬ reducing exposure time<br />

¬ reducing dust production, e.g., by<br />

choosing a machining method,<br />

optimizing machining parameters<br />

and blade geometry<br />

¬ enclosures, process, and local<br />

exhaust ventilation<br />

¬ using workstation-specific supply<br />

air and general ventilation<br />

¬ preventing the spread of dust, e.g.,<br />

cleaning floors and other surfaces<br />

regularly, cleaning machines and<br />

equipment<br />

¬ avoiding the use of compressed<br />

air in cleaning and maintenance<br />

operations.<br />

If the technical control measures and<br />

work arrangements do not sufficiently<br />

reduce workers' exposure to wood dust,<br />

respirators can be used. Especially in<br />

short-term or infrequently occurring,<br />

but highly exposing tasks, such as<br />

cleaning and maintenance work tasks,<br />

respirators are often the only feasible<br />

option for controlling the dust exposure.<br />

In addition to wood dust, other<br />

exposure agents can be present<br />

in workplace air, and they must<br />

be considered when filters for the<br />

respirators are selected.<br />

According to the assessment by the International<br />

Agency for Research on Cancer<br />

(IARC), wood dust is carcinogenic to humans.<br />

The most recent evaluation in 2012,<br />

states that wood dust causes cancer of the<br />

nose and nasal sinuses (sinonasal), as well<br />

as nasopharyngeal cancer. This evaluation<br />

covers dust generated from all wood species,<br />

hardwood or softwood categories are<br />

not separated. There is stronger evidence of<br />

a link between sinonasal cancer and exposure<br />

to hardwood dust, and in the EU, only<br />

hardwood dust is classified as a carcinogen.<br />


Safety management is an important part of<br />

business operations. It aims to ensure the<br />

safety of employees, reduce risks, and prevent<br />

accidents and incidents. In SMEs it can<br />

often be overlooked due to resource constrains<br />

or lack of knowledge. The following<br />

issues are included in good safety management<br />

practices: risk assessment practices,<br />

safety plan, employees training, knowledge<br />

of safety legislation, safety activities monitoring<br />

and creating a safety culture.<br />

According to the results of the inquiry<br />

of the project “Wood dust and new binding<br />

limit values – can the provision of<br />

information have an impact on exposure<br />

and working conditions?”, there is room<br />

for improvement in the management's<br />

information practices on issues related to<br />

occupational safety. The personnel representatives<br />

were most critical of this. Also,<br />

not enough information has been shared<br />

about possible health hazards related to<br />

wood dust, especially in the opinion of<br />

employee representatives. However, the<br />

information related to the project had had<br />

some effect, and the answers to the second<br />

survey were somewhat more positive. In<br />

micro-companies, this issue was seen more<br />

positively and, according to the answers,<br />

more information about health hazards related<br />

to wood dust has been shared to them<br />

than in companies of other size categories.<br />

The other results of the inquiry showed<br />

that co-workers seem to play a significant<br />

role in training in safe working practices<br />

in small and medium-sized companies. In<br />

micro-enterprises and small enterprises,<br />

the role of the foreman is also emphasized<br />

somewhat more in training than in mediumsized<br />

enterprises. Overall, the answers to the<br />

survey before and after the information campaign<br />

were very similar.<br />

The level of occupational safety has also<br />

been measured in other studies with a similar<br />

survey and the results have been very<br />

similar for some questions. Such questions<br />

include for example whether the management<br />

has communicated clear goals for the<br />

development of occupational safety, does the<br />

management regularly inform the employees<br />

about matters related to occupational safety,<br />

and does my workplace organize sufficient<br />

safety training.<br />

Most of the respondents had received the<br />

additional information they needed about<br />

wood dust-related matters during the information<br />

campaign of the research project. The<br />

e-mail messages with information links used<br />

as one information transmission channel in<br />

the study proved to be a significant source of<br />

information. The study could not clearly demonstrate<br />

the impact of information on working<br />

conditions, knowledge about wood dust or<br />

exposure to wood dust. The research yielded<br />

valuable, previously missing information,<br />

especially on occupational health and safety<br />

issues for micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized<br />

enterprises and exposure to wood<br />

dust. In addition, a model was developed for<br />

assessing wood dust exposure. The modeled<br />

exposure levels were of the same order of magnitude<br />

compared to the measurements, but<br />

the model needs to be refined with additional<br />

measurements and its suitability for other exposures<br />

should be tested in the future.<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 47



Changes do happen;<br />

more and more women<br />

enrol in technical colleges<br />

Master of Mechanical<br />

Engineering Iva Condrić is<br />

the head of the Maintenance<br />

Coordination Service in the<br />

Thermal Power Plant Sector<br />

of HEP Proizvodnje d.o.o<br />

– a company belonging to<br />

the elektroprivreda (HEP)<br />

concern. She is one of the<br />

few managers of technical<br />

services at HEP Proizvodnja.<br />

We met Ms Iva Čondrić<br />

at her workplace in<br />

Vukovarska street<br />

in Croatia, smiling<br />

and relaxed. The<br />

frequent ringing of the phone, which<br />

she will turn off for a while, and a pile of<br />

documents on the table, papers, books,<br />

magazines, who knows what else, is very<br />

revealing. It tells how many strings have<br />

to be pulled to keep the complex technical<br />

systems of thermal power plants<br />

functioning. We asked her how she<br />

would describe her education.<br />

– I don't think that there are interesting<br />

peculiarities here, she explains.<br />

– I finished elementary school in<br />

Trešnjevka, Zagreb, then I attended and<br />

graduated from the 10th high school<br />

and entered the Faculty of Mechanical<br />

Engineering and Shipbuilding in Zagreb.<br />

But, when you start working, education<br />

doesn't stop. I don't even know<br />

how many seminars, training courses,<br />

congresses I have attended. I have also<br />

passed the professional exam for a certified<br />

engineer. After completing my<br />

studies, I worked for a short time at VIP,<br />

and then I got a job at HEP.<br />

48 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>


Maybe the peculiarity is<br />

that you were probably one<br />

of the few girls, women,<br />

who enrolled in the study of<br />

mechanical engineering.<br />

– That's right, there were only seven<br />

girls out of 420 students. During my<br />

studies, I had several friends among my<br />

colleagues and only one female friend.<br />

Quite simply, a few of us girls scattered<br />

across various fields of study. Today it is<br />

already different, the number of female<br />

students at FSB and at FER may have<br />

increased tenfold. Even today though,<br />

80 percent of students at technical faculties<br />

are male.<br />

Men and women have the<br />

same reasons for enrolling in<br />

engineering studies; interest<br />

in natural sciences, mathematics,<br />

engineering, desire<br />

to establish themselves in<br />

well-paid and dynamic jobs.<br />

They are equally capable,<br />

however...<br />

– Prejudices and division into male and<br />

female occupations still prevail.<br />

Research has shown that, depending<br />

on the part of the world, men make up<br />

80 to 90 percent of engineers in companies.<br />

Some women swayed by prejudice<br />

give up engineering studies or finish<br />

them and engage in other jobs.<br />

Have you had bad experiences,<br />

with regard to the "male studies",<br />

then the "male occupation"<br />

you have acquired and<br />

the "male job" you perform?<br />

– Relatively often!<br />

Really?<br />

– Occasionally in business circles, occasionally<br />

in private ones. One way or<br />

another.<br />

I still have a hard time understanding<br />

it.<br />

– Some colleagues, friends, and acquaintances<br />

from time to time compliment<br />

my appearance, nice outfit. I don't<br />

think the least bad about them because<br />

I believe, I'm sure they don't have any<br />

bad intentions, well...<br />

... but it is still about our patriarchal<br />

stereotype according<br />

to which it is desirable that a<br />

woman is always beautiful,<br />

well-dressed.<br />

– Exactly.<br />

And for a woman to compliment<br />

men like that... However,<br />

when I asked you the question,<br />

I was referring to your engineering<br />

occupation and leading<br />

position in the maintenance<br />

sector.<br />

– Occasionally. I had a bad experience<br />

already during my studies. Interestingly,<br />

my colleagues accepted me very well,<br />

there were never any doubts or teasing,<br />

but at some point a professor asked me<br />

if I had mistakenly entered the door of<br />

the faculty, with the illusion that the<br />

door of the Faculty of Philosophy was a<br />

hundred metres away. It was a stressful<br />

moment, but I decided to prove to him<br />

and to myself that I came to study at the<br />

right door.<br />

I know quite a few great professors<br />

from technical studies,<br />

but this attitude is very sad.<br />

– I don't think it happened often. All in<br />

all, I got encouragement from that situation.<br />

Today, it can happen that my colleagues<br />

are surprised behind my back:<br />

a woman, a machinist, a maintenance<br />

manager... I lead a meeting, we solve<br />

a problem, and I'm the only woman<br />

among men! I'm not saying it's a rule.<br />

Even the opposite; just as the vast majority<br />

of professors supported female<br />

students during their studies, the vast<br />

majority of my colleagues are also great,<br />

they support me, they don't let those<br />

who are surprised say a single unargued<br />

word against women in engineering.<br />

So I don't feel the least bit of pressure,<br />

frustration. In the end, we are maintainers<br />

who make sure in every way that<br />

our facilities work and function as well<br />

as possible. I have no problem with a<br />

prejudiced minority.<br />

How was your journey from an<br />

engineer in the maintenance<br />

sector to a service manager?<br />

– Some processes took place in parallel.<br />

HEP, as well as HEP Proizvodnja, is a<br />

large company. On the one hand, it takes<br />

half a year to get to know all the sectors,<br />

the way they work. At the same time you<br />

are educated about the tasks, the work<br />

you need to do. At the same time, the<br />

maintenance service was developing,<br />

the systematisation of workplaces was<br />

changing... I personally tended to connect<br />

management systems. When I got<br />

hired, I found a maintenance management<br />

system, but each plant had its own<br />

separate system, and you could never see<br />

the whole. True, each system is special,<br />

but even those seven parts must have<br />

some common denominators - and as far<br />

as the organisation of production, work,<br />

procurement, maintenance, costs... Analytics<br />

have shown that some things can be<br />

optimised in terms of working methods,<br />

material, and human resources. HEP-<br />

Proizvodnja has a well-known product<br />

– electricity, and the savings are the result<br />

of technological and business improvements,<br />

it cannot be the other way around.<br />

Even today, process optimization is one<br />

of the focuses of my interests.<br />

Let's go back to HEP and the<br />

current crisis on the energy<br />

market. I assume that, in<br />

the last decade and a half,<br />

neglected thermal power<br />

plants suddenly found themselves<br />

in the focus of interest<br />

in this situation.<br />

– No, thermal power plants were<br />

never neglected, their operation was<br />

optimised in accordance with market<br />

requirements. You must look at the<br />

bigger picture. For now, you cannot<br />

satisfy the market with electricity from<br />

renewable energy sources. Wind farms<br />

produce electricity only when the wind<br />

blows. Photovoltaic cells produce only<br />

during the day, if it's sunny, more, if<br />

it's cloudy, less. And we use electricity<br />

when it is cloudy and when there is no<br />

wind, both during the day and at night.<br />

Electricity from hydropower plants<br />

is the most favourable according to<br />

some parameters but look at what happened<br />

this year: from spring to today,<br />

there was very little rain, reservoirs are<br />

empty, and it happened that thermal<br />

power plants in the system of covering<br />

the needs of the electricity market produced<br />

more than hydropower plants.<br />

At the end of 2022, production from<br />

thermal power plants and hydropower<br />

plants is expected to equalise.<br />

How many power plants do we<br />

have in Croatia and how much<br />

electricity do we get from<br />

them?<br />

– HEP-Proizvodnja manages 26 hydroelectric<br />

power plants, seven thermal<br />

3/<strong>2023</strong> maintworld 49


power plants, one non-integrated solar<br />

power plant (until the end of 2022 and<br />

another) and 15 integrated solar power<br />

plants installed on the roofs of our<br />

operating buildings, whose produced<br />

electricity we use for our own consumption.<br />

The system primarily receives<br />

electricity from renewable sources and<br />

from a nuclear power plant that works<br />

constantly, and then electricity from<br />

other sources. We meet 70 to 75 percent<br />

of our needs from Croatian sources. The<br />

rest of the electricity is imported.<br />

You personally manage the<br />

coordination service for thermal<br />

power plant maintenance.<br />

Where are they located?<br />

– Thermal power plants are located<br />

in Plomin, Rijeka and Jertovec, and<br />

thermal power plants-heating plants in<br />

Zagreb (two), Osijek and Sisak.<br />

Jertovec?<br />

– Yes, KTE Jertovec in Hrvatsko zagorje<br />

is a so-called intervention power plant.<br />

If needed, it can be online in eleven<br />

minutes.<br />

Are new technologies being<br />

invested in thermal power<br />

plants?<br />

– Investments are made in reducing<br />

emissions (DeNOx), trying to reduce<br />

them correctively, strengthening preventative<br />

and predictive maintenance,<br />

modernising and improving safety for<br />

work, the environment. Two blocks in<br />

our TE-TO in Osijek and Sisak run on<br />

biomass.<br />

The thermal power plant in Rijeka<br />

was abandoned ten years ago<br />

– The plant was not abandoned. TE<br />

Rijeka stopped production seven years<br />

ago due to non-competitiveness on<br />

the market due to the high price of<br />

fuel oil, the power plant was partially<br />

conserved, but basic maintenance, i.e.<br />

legal obligations, was carried out for 7<br />

years. Since there has been a disruption<br />

in the market with high gas prices,<br />

the constant production of electricity<br />

throughout the world is uncertain. In<br />

this regard, TE Rijeka is preparing for<br />

possible production.<br />

I suppose that the restart of<br />

production was prompted by<br />

the general energy crisis caused<br />

by the Russian aggression<br />

against Ukraine, the sanctions<br />

against Russia and the resulting<br />

chaos.<br />

– That is correct, but I have already<br />

mentioned to you that this year the<br />

hydrological conditions in Croatia were<br />

very unfavourable - a dry year, and that<br />

without electricity from the thermal<br />

power plants we would be in great trouble.<br />

Is there a problem of pollution<br />

and is there resistance to the<br />

start-up of the Rijeka Thermal<br />

Power Plant?<br />

– TE Rijeka is located southeast of Rijeka<br />

at the Urinj location. Construction<br />

of the thermal power plant began in<br />

1974 with an installed capacity of 320<br />

MW. At the time of commissioning, it<br />

was among the largest production facilities<br />

in Croatia.<br />

HEP respects the highest standards<br />

of production and environmental<br />

protection, and each plant has a valid<br />

environmental permit for operation.<br />

Of course, some people were worried,<br />

but I believe that the situation needs to<br />

be looked at from several angles. In the<br />

end, we all need electricity, people need<br />

to heat, cook, light up spaces, machines<br />

need to work.<br />

Is it a big challenge to start the<br />

operation of a technical system<br />

after seven years?<br />

– Yes, there were problems, there are<br />

still some, but we are solving them successfully.<br />

If anyone didn't do a job for<br />

seven years, they would find themselves<br />

in trouble. If you didn't write for almost<br />

a decade, I assume that you personally<br />

would have a problem reactivating<br />

yourself.<br />

Now we come to an interesting problem<br />

that has been discussed in maintenance<br />

and management circles for<br />

years, namely the advantages and disadvantages<br />

of outsourcing. About twenty<br />

years ago, there was a trend to move<br />

transport, maintenance - everything<br />

that is not the main focus of production<br />

out of the company. Outdoor maintenance<br />

has some advantages, but over<br />

the years we have also come to know the<br />

disadvantages. Companies that provide<br />

outsourcing services change, employees<br />

change, engineers and technicians<br />

come from other parts of the world<br />

- other languages, technical cultures...<br />

Before outsourcing, some John or Steve<br />

lived with the plant. He maintained, for<br />

example, the boiler and knew at first<br />

sight when it was not working properly.<br />

He knew it by the sound, the vibrations.<br />

He knew how to train him in the shortest<br />

possible time. Today we lack some of<br />

those skills.<br />

Finally, do you have any<br />

message of encouragement<br />

for future engineers, women<br />

in technical professions, in<br />

technical sciences, in maintenance?<br />

– During my studies, together with my<br />

colleagues, I participated in the founding<br />

of the Association of Students of Industrial<br />

Engineering and Management (SIIM),<br />

which still operates at the Faculty of Mechanical<br />

Engineering and Shipbuilding in<br />

Zagreb, and which is part of the European<br />

Association of Students of Industrial Engineering<br />

and Management (ESTIEM).<br />

It is a non-profit, non-governmental<br />

student association that aims to connect<br />

students who combine technological<br />

understanding with management skills.<br />

The goal is to foster relationships among<br />

students across Europe, support them in<br />

their work, and encourage girls and women<br />

to pursue these professions. While<br />

working in the association, I met a lot of<br />

wonderful people - both men and women<br />

- who today are experts in their fields, who<br />

do very diverse and even leading jobs. I<br />

always encourage women to pursue engineering<br />

jobs. I also persuaded my younger<br />

sister, who is now in her fifth year at the<br />

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and<br />

Shipbuilding, to do so. Any team with both<br />

men and women is stronger than one with<br />

only men or only women.<br />

Thanks to the work I do and involvement<br />

in the association during my studies,<br />

I know a lot of female engineers – in<br />

Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands,<br />

Turkey, Serbia..., not to mention, all<br />

over Europe. All of them are very, very<br />

successful, and a large number of them<br />

have received doctorates or are in the<br />

process of receiving doctorates. On<br />

average, women in engineering are few<br />

but very successful. Unfortunately, it is<br />

still easier for them abroad, because in<br />

Western European countries they got<br />

rid of gender prejudices before us. But I<br />

can say in that regard, things are changing<br />

for the better in Croatia too!<br />

50 maintworld 3/<strong>2023</strong>

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