Managing a Successful Plant Shutdown

shuting_downA shutdown is a temporary closure of a facility or system(s), typically due to a malfunction, modification or for maintenance.  Shutdown activities can be intense due to time constraints, budget, safety risks and workload.  A shutdown leads to improvements in the performance of equipment, processes and product modifications.  A well-defined plan, along with appropriate internal and external resources, are instrumental to achieve milestones.

During the planning phase, shutdown scope of work is defined and the required resources will be determined.  At this point, the project manager negotiates a project schedule.  The schedule has to include the order in which things will be done, who is responsible for what and the detailed workflow logistics.  top-priorityThis is a very significant process because in many facilities it is necessary to release for the use of systems in a specific order.  In addition to this, testing activities such as commissioning, qualification or engineering shake down, must be also incorporated into the schedule.  This ensures all changes and/or modifications have been successfully implemented.

This is just as important to the shutdown as the b
idding and negotiations and the procurement of the equipment and materials along with all necessary constrains and vendors.

Aftercommunication_effective all tasks are completed and equipment is in place, the Engineering Test Plan and/or Qualification Protocols must be executed.  Facility performance is tested and qualified in order to prove that systems are installed, operating and functioning as designed.  Once the test results are successfully completed, systems can be released for their use.

Communication is very important in every phase of a shutdown.
The contractor leads the effort to create an environment that encourages collaboration and communication.  Developing a sense of teamwork and respect for one another is vital to help everyone survive the long hours and pressure to be successful.


Written By: Carmen Cosme, South East Regional Manager

ICQ Consultants

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