Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Constraint Busting

Scope and Gantt scrubs, reliability engineering equipment improvement  projects, and new technologies are steps we can take to extend the life of equipment or to mitigate obstacles to minimizing outage duration.  Some examples of constraint busting include:

  • Deferring work based on observation, inspection, and risk assessment
  • Installing new man doors can save time by opening up more work faces (parallel work) or making installation easier for utility or handling access (air lines, electrical cables, cranes for lifting)
  • A great engineering project example is the practice of swapping equipment rather than repairing in place
  • Working non-stop on the critical path, although not easy to do, can also have a big impact on outage duration and costs


The methodology we apply is Goldratt’s classic Theory of Constraints:

  1. Identify the Constraint – find the critical path and focus on it
  2. Decide how to Exploit the constraint – optimize resources
  3. Subordinate everything else – critical path gets top priority
  4. Elevate the constraint – open new work faces, overlap shifts
  5. Repeat – start over

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