Ten Ways to Achieving Successful Turnarounds
By Bob Motylenski
Turnarounds are the single biggest annual maintenance expenditure that a
process plant can experience and have a major effect on future operations
and safety. Therefore, they need to be executed in an efficient and
effective manner. The following lists ten key areas that need to be
addressed to achieve a “World Class” turnaround.
- Safety is the number one goal for a turnaround: no disabling
injuries or environmental excursions. Overall comprehensive safety,
health, and environmental plans should be prepared that outline all
the policies and procedures that are applicable to the turnaround.
- Management must provide the underlying guidance and support,
funding, and personnel needed by the organization to ensure a
successful turnaround, including establishing a Turnaround Steering
Committee and setting achievable turnaround objectives.
- An Overall Milestone Plan, showing all key activities that need to
be carried out prior to execution, must be prepared once the timing
for the turnaround is defined. It is a key document showing the
interaction of major planning activities and is used to steward
- Work Scope must be identified within a defined timeframe, screened
using a risk matrix, and approved by the Turnaround Steering
Committee. A “Cold Eye” review of the finalized work list should be
conducted to ensure work scope is optimized.
- Planning and Scheduling should be done by a dedicated team that
can evaluate alternative work methods to minimize cost and impact on
schedule. Critical-path activities need to be identified as early as
possible in planning.
- A Contracting Strategy for the turnaround should be prepared as
soon as the turnaround dates are fixed, and major contracts awarded in
a timely manner. All contractor plans and schedules should be reviewed
and integrated into the overall plan and schedule.
- Materials that have long delivery times must be identified and
ordered as early as possible so that they are available onsite in time
for the turnaround.
- Pre-turnaround Inspections should be completed as early as
possible so the work is included in the work scope. Also, turnaround
inspections should be identified so that they can be included in the
- Process Operations should prepare optimized shutdown and startup
plans that are integrated into the overall schedule. Critical-path
equipment should be made available early in the shutdown.
- Engineering/Project Activities need to be completed in accordance
with the turnaround timeline. Once the work list is closed, no project
work should be added to the turnaround work list.