Improve Turnaround Outage Duration: Shutdown & Startup

All too often the battle for managing the duration and cost of a planned plant maintenance shutdown is lost in the stages of shutting down or the starting up of the operation.  While a lot of planning effort usually goes into understanding and coordinating the maintenance work it is the unknowns that that pop up as the process is coming off line, or perhaps more often the surprises that occur when starting up that can throw the best made plans out the window.

Checklists and SOP’s are always good things to have.

Here are a few more things to have on your Startup to-do list …
  1. As Built plant configuration
  2. Post maintenance inspection of equipment condition
  3. Verify and validate maintenance work completion
  4. Visual and physical checks for leak and pressure
  5. Instrument performance and controller checks
  6. Safety and relief valve checks
  7. Lockout-tagout de-blinding activities
  8. Utility (steam, air, power, fuel, refrigerant, solvent) availability checks
  9. Commissioning of units as per Standard Operating Procedure
  10. No load testing of pumps, motors, compressors, turbines
  11. Start-up – cold circulation
  12. Warming up

But even with all of these precautions things can still go wrong, and when they do the clock keeps running.  So what to do to reduce risks?  How about planning for the unexpected?

  • What-if and Failure Modes & Effects Analysis
  • Checklists and planned countermeasures
  • Dry runs & simulations
  • Postmortem and After Action Review – to capture learnings and drive continuous improvement

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