- Issue: Oil producer was experiencing long and unpredictable plant maintenance turnarounds (also known as a shutdown or an outage). Downtime durations consistently exceeded plans and budgets, and this resulted in lost production and excessive maintenance costs.
- Solution: Applied lean techniques including:
- SMED (task separation, conversion, and simplification to complete outage tasks outside the outage window),
- Constraint Busting (e.g., dramatically improved critical path management),
- Visual Controls (e.g., optimized Outage Command Center),
- Streamlined Collaborative Planning (e.g., earlier and greater involvement of contractors and cross functional personnel), and
- High impact metric capture and utilization (e.g., shift in focus from “Cost only” to Cost and Duration).
- Result: Greater Profits – More stable outage planning and execution process with a reduction in outage durations of 10-15% resulting in increased production valued at $25 million increase in annual profit. Reduced Costs – Decrease in outage costs valued at $2-3 million annualized. Improved Collaboration – Significantly improved collaboration among all groups, greater performance reporting transparency, and improved continuous improvement through capture and application of lessons from one outage to another.