Holmen is a forest industry group that manufactures printing paper, paperboard and sawn timber, and runs forestry and energy production operations.

The group has five production plants in Sweden and one each in the UK and Spain. Holmen had a total of 3,359 employees in 2014, of whom around 780 worked at Iggesund Mill. Maintenance engineer Rickard Thulin is responsible for developing maintenance processes at Iggesund Mill. 

Why did you choose Novacura Flow?

Iggesund Mill takes in logs at one end and delivers world-class paperboard at the other. The processes in between are largely dependent on each other, and any downtime is incredibly expensive. So preventive maintenance plays a key role. We needed to modernise our reporting routines for the IFS business system in order to improve operational reliability even further.

I didn’t believe it was possible for things to go so quickly and smoothly. Suddenly, our imagination was the only limit.
Rickard Thulin
Holmen, Maintenance engineer

How did you work before Novacura Flow?

The engineers had a black notebook that they used on their rounds to note down readings and any deficiencies.

Rikard Thulin at Iggesund uses Flow

Rickard Thulin together with colleague Tommy Hällström, also involved in their development work

After completing their rounds, they logged these in the system from a desktop computer. We wanted to do away with this extra stage and allow reporting to be carried out at the same time as the inspection. Our agreement with IFS included a mobile solution, but it didn’t suit our needs at all and changing it would have been incredibly laborious and costly, too.

How did working with Novacura go?

We sat down in a meeting room and went through our processes and what we wanted to achieve with the solution. Novacura created logical flows in real time, and we were able to test drive them on an ongoing basis and make changes as needed. I didn’t believe it was possible for things to go so quickly and smoothly. Suddenly, our imagination was the only limit. Not only had we created an entire new flow, the development work itself had also given us an insight into the way we work – we managed to streamline many of our processes.

What benefits do you see with the new solution?

Our engineers now report directly via an intuitive app on their mobile phones. Within the app they are only asked relevant questions. It’s clear to see when a job is complete, so they can continue with the next one. Another big advantage is that they can take photos using their phones and document any problems in site. This saves time, as the maintenance workers can then see the photos on screen. They can decide straight away how urgent the problem is and prioritize the work. Previously, they had to be called out to make an assessment on site. The other part of our business that works with Novacura Flow now is the warehouse. They also use mobile units, and they now have much better control of picking lists and stock levels. They can carry out ongoing inventorying of stocks directly within the app, and the risk of running out of key components has been minimized.

What’s the next step for you?

We currently have around 60 people working in preventive maintenance and warehousing who use Novacura’s solution within the Holmen Group. Eventually, we want everyone to be able to do so. This will require some adaptation, as the routines are slightly different at our various sites, but this is a useful process to go through for all involved.