Turnaround maintenance is absolutely essential for the safe and effective running of processing plants and other manufacturing facilities.
It is the time when manufacturing and processing stop for a set period of time in order that essential maintenance can be carried out, maintenance that is not possible while the plant is in operation. While it is essential, it is also a costly process and one that is often closely watched by other parts of the business and so it is important that it be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Make Safety a Priority
Turnaround maintenance is not something that happens often, usually, it is an annual event. This means that when it is time for turnaround maintenance you are likely to have a lot of people working on it who have never done it before. This, in turn, means that there is a higher likelihood of accidents.
Although it can seem counterintuitive, taking the time to ensure that everyone is well briefed on safety procedures is actually going to save you time, as well of course as keeping your employees safe and well. If someone does injure themselves while working, this is going to slow the whole process down considerably, so it is well worth taking the time to run over your safety procedures with knowledgeable people in the team to ensure they are up to scratch, and ensure that effective training is delivered.
It quite often happens that there will be one or two core members of staff who know all about the turnaround maintenance procedures, and they are trusted to lead the process.
This is fine, as long as these staff members are not relied upon too heavily. If you want to optimize your shutdown, it is a good idea to make knowledge sharing on the processes involved part of your overall training strategy. This means that you will not have processes held up because key employees are busy elsewhere.
A really key way of improving turnaround management efficiency is to digitalize the process. By digitalizing the process, you can capture the existing process and then use this information as a base to make improvements for the future.
Algorithms can be employed to predict risks and issues that may occur in the future so that you can mitigate them rather than having to react during turnaround and make the process longer than it needs to be.
Turnaround maintenance is often thought of as a process that entirely belongs to the people working on it. In reality, the entire business is invested in the process, because it directly links to efficiency and profitability.
If you want to ensure cooperation from the rest of the business, it is well worth spending some time engaging with your stakeholders. This means talking with them about the issues and challenges you are facing so that they can be more understanding and plan for this in their own processes. This enables your stakeholders to take action to make your life easier, such as not chasing you for progress or booking in huge orders that cannot be fulfilled while the plant is being maintained.