CMMS Case Study: Atlantic Power Maintains High Availability with Mainsaver

Power generation company streamlines maintenance processes, simplifies regulatory compliance, and ensures the reliable availability of components needed to maintain critical infrastructure with CMMS from Mainsaver.

Atlantic Power, a leading power generation and infrastructure company with a well-diversified portfolio of assets in the US and Canada, had used Mainsaver Core in some of its plants for more than a decade, but five of their other plants were using various CMMS systems so a decision was made to find a common platform for all sites.

Maintenance challenge: 

Sean Gillespie, VP of Operations at Atlantic Power, explained that every power generation plant had some kind of maintenance management system, with varying degrees of cost and effectiveness. Some of the systems were outdated, and in one case the supplier had gone out of business, leaving them no way to get customer service. The company wanted to standardize on one CMMS solution that they could rely on for work order management, corrective and preventive maintenance, and inventory management across all their plants. 

CMMS solution: 

Rather than settle on the status quo, Sean evaluated the leading CMMS solutions on the market, looking for a mix of features, functionality, cost, and customer service that would meet their specific needs, and help them achieve their maintenance and operations goals. 

“After comparing 8 popular CMMS solutions, we standardized on Mainsaver across all our power generation facilities,” said Sean. Some of the key factors that pushed Mainsaver to the top were ease of use, cost, and customer service.  “Mainsaver is intuitive, user-friendly, and easy to learn. It has all the functionality we need,” he added. 

Operational results: 

Looking back on the decision, Sean is pleased with the process. 

“Converting plants that had used another CMMS to Mainsaver was pretty painless,” said Sean. Mainsaver is user-friendly and intuitive, so it was an easy transition.”

And the results have been impressive. 

“Mainsaver helps us to maintain high availability and low forced outage rates across our power generation facilities,” said Sean. 

Compared to a gas plant that just brings fuel in through a pipeline, Sean explained, generating power from biomass is complicated. Atlantic Power’s biomass plants have a large number of assets and moving parts to maintain. The company brings in logs and wood chips with dump trucks and uses bulldozers and front-end loaders to move them onto conveyors, where they remove nails and other metal. The biomass goes into a combustor that burns it, making heat, fire, and ash. The process of converting that heat into usable power involves boilers, steam turbines, generators, and condensers. And then the cooled water has to be pumped back into the boiler, and the ash from the burned biomass eliminated. All these assets need regular preventive maintenance to prevent unplanned downtime. 

“Mainsaver enables our team to effectively schedule and manage our maintenance requirements,” said Sean.  “It streamlines our maintenance processes.”

With Mainsaver in use across all their plants, Atlantic Power’s maintenance teams have the tools they need to handle corrective and preventive maintenance and work order management and keep operations running smoothly. The company also uses Mainsaver’s integrated inventory management and purchasing functionality to ensure that they have the spare parts they need when they need them. 

“Mainsaver’s inventory management capabilities help us make sure we have the critical components that we need on-site to maintain the high availability and reliability of our plants,” said Sean. 

Atlantic Power also got an added benefit from working with Mainsaver. They were able to use the CMMS to handle their compliance management and reporting needs and saved money in the process. 

“In addition to maintenance, we also use Mainsaver for managing regulatory compliance. If we need to check the fire extinguishers every six months, we set that up as a compliance task in Mainsaver and track it,” said Sean. “We were able to eliminate the use of a redundant dedicated compliance software package because Mainsaver provided that functionality.”

Ongoing Support:

When you choose a CMMS supplier, you don’t just want software, you want a partner. We asked Sean what it’s like working with Mainsaver. 

“Mainsaver has great people – they’re almost like family,” he said.  I can call or text them anytime. They’re very responsive.”

Learn more about Mainsaver’s solutions for the Power Generation Industry. 

Atlantic Power is an independent power producer that owns power generation assets in nine states in the United States and two provinces in Canada. The Company’s power generation projects operate using a variety of fuel types, including gas, hydro, and biomass. The electricity and steam generated are sold to utilities and other large customers under long–term power purchase agreements.