Turnaround Efficiently: Some Tips for Shutdown Season


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Turnaround Efficiently: Some Tips for Shutdown Season

Skeleton maintenance crews during Covid-19 will mean a tsunami of maintenance activity when Planned Plant Shutdowns are due. How can you maximise maintenance efficiency?

As time draws close to the execution, the work should be increasingly defined and the amount of change in the schedule should reduce (Image by Darren Clyde)

The operators and maintenance companies often put in place a gate planning process for their normal planned maintenance. The planning for work begins 12 months from the due date. At this point the details are fuzzy often is no more than what type of maintenance needs to be done and a due date. But the scheduling and maintenance teams will already be working out what maintenance work can be carried out concurrently. As the due date draws closer, the maintenance and scheduling teams will be adding definition to the work, what types of job need to be done and budgets. The maintenance team will be working out how the work will be executed and from that deciding the requirements for the job these usually fall into the following categories: People, Equipment, Materials, Spares and Documentation.

Barely meeting Gate Compliance

Discovering work after the shutdown starts

Some suggestions to cope with emergent work:

Bloated meetings

When running a TAR, meetings are essential for decision making and for agreeing and tracking actions. Often project and functional managers’ calendars are crammed with mandated meetings and these meetings are about updating or reviewing stuff. Can attendees update and look at the performance before the meeting starts? Perhaps using visual management?
What happens when someone is late to a meeting? Everyone else’s time is wasted. Meeting discipline is essential, plan the meeting, ensure there is an agenda, back it up with visual management, agree on meeting rules among the team (all visual management needs to be updated before the meeting starts). End the meeting on time (if meetings regularly overrun either the meeting needs to be extended, the scope needs to be reduced or the team needs to be more disciplined in keeping to the agenda). One person should run the meeting, this means challenging when people are going down rabbit holes. If anyone is starting to glaze this is a symptom that the individual’s time is being wasted and that the meeting is being taken down a rabbit hole. The meeting owner needs to curtail the discussion and direct it to be completed outside the meeting). The leader must make decisions on what to do if someone doesn’t show on time, which will include contacting them to discuss how to prevent a recurrence. The leader should make sure the meeting ends on time so the meeting discipline can be paid forward.

Planning with old data and models

Differences between the system and reality

Too much stuff

The result of too much stuff being pushed to the worksite, (note the corrosion on the face of the motor plate). (Image by Darren Clyde)

One of the hired test kits left on the worksite. On the right, this is kit left at the job site after a maintenance team were asked to leave to make room for unplanned maintenance. (Image by Darren Clyde)

Two of the on-hire shipping containers left at the worksite for months which were found to be empty. (Image by Darren Clyde)


Peace of Mind that Saves you Money!

Turnaround Planners and Managers have attempted to drive efficiencies through operating workforces off-site, which are later proven to be less efficient, riskier for personnel, and caused costly delays in the project.


Let us share how we can provide safety and peace of mind while helping bring your project in under budget.