Shutdown Turnaround and Outages : If you fail to plan , you are planning to fail


Posted on 13 May 2020

Turnarounds are inevitable to every plant. These are large scale investments made by asset intensive companies to regenerate their plant. 

It is important to understand that this is a period of non-production. Day to day operations are stopped and the focus shifts to maintenance, repair, overhauling and inspection activities. Plant employees and contractor resources are full time focussed on restoring operations within the stipulated time and budget.

 Each turnaround needs extensive planning followed by careful coordination of material and labour resources. Front end loading (FEL) activities need to be managed with the same amount of rigour and importance as the execution phase. Meetings should be periodic and the dashboards need to be equally rich and informative and overall accountability should be high. However there are several instances where poor planning has resulted in an overall failure of the turnaround exercise. 

Below are some of the consequences of  poor planning :

  • Objective of the turnaround is lost

  • Budget calculations go wrong

  • Significant amount of late work identification

  • Material planning falter resulting in late deliveries

  • Misallocating resources and overworking on unnecessary tasks

  • Rescoping of work post decommissioning of the plant

  • Poor time management

  • Delays in the execution

There are instances where the team who executed the last turnaround encountered unprecedented delays. They learned their lesson, but before the next shutdown they are gone. Neither are the learnings documented nor passed on to the new team. Hence the new team ends up repeating the same mistakes.

 The devil is in the details. For Eg: Replacing a PSV may not be new to the static maintenance team. But there are many things that need to be documented in the work packs to ensure that the team working on it is aware of the standard operating procedures to be followed and have the right permits in place to ensure smooth execution of the task.

 A successful turnaround project needs not only planning, but a detailed and meticulous scheduling of activities and resources. This is the key to ensure that the right resources are working on the essential activities with the right tools and tackles at the right time.The turnaround experts help the company to achieve safe working environments, meet government regulations and stay competitive in business.


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, Shutdown Turnaround and Outages : If you fail to plan , you are planning to fail
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