Planning and Executing Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages

Planning and Executing Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages

by | Nov 18, 2016 | Services, Consulting & Training |

Jim Cahill

Chief Blogger, Editor

Turnarounds, also known as planned shutdowns and outages, are the intense window of time to optimize and fix all the issues to get the process running back to peak performance. According to an Asset Performance Networks study, Benchmarking and Optimizing Maintenance Work Scope for Turnarounds, refineries have had trouble executing these large, complex undertakings on time and on budget.

Our data indicate that more than two-thirds of turnarounds exceed their planned cost and schedule by 10 percent or have a trip after startup. Forty percent of turnarounds experience a cost overrun or schedule delay of more than 30 percent.

Emerson's Nikki Bishop


Emerson’s Nikki Bishop leads the initiative to help process manufacturers and producers better plan and execute their shutdown, turnarounds and outages (STO). As part of this initiative, a new planning guide for the measurement and analytical portion of the effort, Successful Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages: From pre-event planning, to planning for the unplannable, is available for you to download.

shutdown-turnaround-outageThe planning guide walks through defining turnaround objectives, defining the work scope and focusing on the walk down, using smart instrumentation technology to aid in building the scope and avoiding the need for unnecessary work during the turnaround, following a well-defined walk down methodology, planning for the unplannable, and reviewing the turnaround to apply lessons to improve future ones.

I’ll highlight an example from the planning guide and invite you to visit for a free download. Getting off to the right start helps to avoid being included in the statistics cited above.

Effective planning should begin with a pre-walk down meeting between the STO management leaders and each participating service partner. Gaining a clear understanding of the overall STO strategy and objectives allows service partners to review the installed base and formulate their work lists in a more focused way.

For example, not all instrumentation requires equal attention:

…we’ve found that giving every single one of the installed measurement and analytical devices equal attention during the limited timespan of a planned shutdown is an inefficient (and often impossible) approach that can lead to unfulfilled objectives and an inefficient use of the budget. In contrast, when our STO personnel are prepped in advance, they can zero in on the instruments, areas and conditions that are most critical to the defined KPIs. In a typical plant, there may be thousands of devices from multiple vendors installed for measuring temperature, pressure, level and flow.

Using a focused walk down tool:

…standardizes the inventory and assessment processes used by Emerson personnel globally. Temperature, pressure, level and flow instrumentation of every make, model and brand are all within its capabilities today.

Using the tool helps:

…quickly capture and document inventory details and condition-based information. It even prompts them to take a photograph of the installation to ensure best practices have been implemented during the installation.

Download the whitepaper for more ideas in helping plan and execute a successful shutdown, turnaround or outage. You can also connect and interact with other turnaround experts in the Plan & Design group in the Emerson Exchange 365 community.

Update: Fixed broken links to planning guide.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.