Shutdowns and turnarounds are anything but inexpensive but with proper planning and prioritization, budgets can be maintained and stress managed. Use these tips to help you reduce plant shutdown costs.
- Implement a Project Management App or System
The use of project management software is often utilized to streamline both the planning and execution processes. While it does take time to implement a new project management system there are many advantages to consider. For example) systematic project management can help you achieve a better understanding of a process and in turn opens the door for process improvements and streamlined operations. There are many software systems available including some that offer a free trial. Some examples of these include:
- General Shutdowns, Turnarounds, Outages & Maintenance: RoserConSys’s the Roser Software Suite for shutdowns, turnarounds, outages & maintenance helps with scope nomination and optimation, risk analysis, quality control, cost and estimations, and a range of other support.
- Nuclear Power Plants: Bentley provides a variety of solutions built specifically for nuclear power plants. From asset performance management to advanced work packaging their software can help you to get comfortable using project management tools and make the full transition during your next scheduled plant shutdown
- Energy, Oil & Gas: EcoSys has software options catered toward energy, oil, gas, chemical, utilities, and construction industries. Their software is concerned primarily with better efficiency and general success of major projects like plant shutdowns. This software can help you manage project portfolios, control project costs, and improve general performance.
Note: These items are not recommended by GCES. Those listed are examples of options available for various industries that often face abnormal operating conditions during the holidays such as shutdowns, startups and turnarounds.
- START PLANNING EARLY
The earlier you begin planning the more adaptable your plan can be. Early planning allows for ample time to make adjustments based on prioritization, typically of maintenance needs. If you start planning your outage early on, you can adjust the plan should task priorities change. As you begin making your plan review the operating manuals of all major equipment and the timelines for maintenance. For example, with most pollution control and heat processing equipment it is recommended that systems be evaluated every six to twelve months depending on the age of the equipment. Adhering to these standards can drastically improve the life of your equipment. For more tips on Improving the Life of Pollution Control Equipment click here.
- CAREFULLY REVIEW EQUIPMENT PURCHASES
Nothing drains your budget quicker than purchasing costly equipment and heavy machinery. Consider renting the necessary equipment or even hiring an operator with their own equipment. This can save drastically on long term maintenance, insurance and qualified personnel for the operation of the equipment. When reviewing your equipment needs look for machinery that can be used in multiple areas of the shutdown. When reserving rental equipment deposits can often be negotiated if ample time is available. As holidays near equipment becomes more and more scarce and price gouging, while immoral, is not uncommon. To learn more about portable and rental pollution control equipment contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- PRIORITIZE TASKS CORRECTLY
Carefully review your maintenance tasks lists and prioritize. In making this list consider the following:
- Replacement costs of equipment not maintained
- Potential dangers of equipment operating improperly
- Availability of in-house maintenance or equipment expertise
- Maintenance contractor and specialty equipment contractor availability
- Parts on hand vs. parts that must be ordered to complete a project. For information on the recommended stock parts for pollution control equipment click here.
As you have made your list and are prioritizing it ensure you review the amount of labor and capital available. As a result of the demanding schedules of shutdowns (and turnarounds), workers tend to be both more likely to spill slip hazards and slower to address them. Per OSHA, slip and falls are the accident most cited during a shutdown. For more on the hazards of shutdowns and turnarounds review this article.
Be sure the items scheduled are necessary and will achieve a financial pay off. Some tasks will result in productivity and reliability improvements, these should be top priority. Those that would be â€œniceâ€ to get done, but that are not vital, may not be worth pushing your personnel to complete in an abbreviating timeline increasing the risk to both personnel and equipment.
Work with maintenance personnel and management teams to set the prioritize and project scope. If your team understands the importance of proper and safe execution they are more likely to effectively perform the shutdown or turnaround goals. Putting off work of lesser urgency is an excellent way to free up both mental space and financial capital to focus on the highest priority tasks.
- UTILIZE CONTRACTORS
The most effective leaders know when to bring in experts. From professional turnaround project managers to pollution control equipment field service teams there is no shortage of highly skilled labor that specialize in the project at hand. Utilizing the appropriate trained contractors can save you time and money in the long run. As you are hiring these contracts request their experience in shutdowns and turnarounds to ensure they can operate effectively under the extreme conditions of abnormal plant operation.
Utilizing labor contractors is a great way to allocated the time, money, and mental resources to focus on successful planning, implementation and execution of the tasks that will benefit your plant for years to come. The last thing you want to be doing is scrambling last minute to find the welders, ironworkers, electricians, millwrights, machine operators, and the other skilled workers necessary for a successful shutdown.
We hope this article on reducing plant shutdown costs was helpful. For additional information on plant shutdowns, turnarounds and insuring the safety of your staff and facility read and share this article.