What You Need to Know About Industrial Shutdowns & Turnarounds

Consistent and intelligent plant maintenance is imperative for facilities across all industries. When maintenance is planned and executed efficiently, downtime is reduced and production is increased. Failure to correctly plan and execute maintenance can result in delayed production, increased downtime, and loss of profit.

Continue reading to learn about what industrial shutdowns and turnarounds are, and why planning and execution is crucial to long-term success.

What Is an Industrial Shutdown?

In best-case scenarios, industrial shutdowns are pre-planned periods of nonproduction, typically executed to perform deep maintenance. The plant is temporarily closed and routine operations are halted. The primary focus points during the shutdown include:

  • Inspecting Equipment
  • Deep Cleaning Processes
  • Upgrading Safety Systems
  • Upgrading Production Equipment
  • Replacing Broken or Worn Out Equipment

Proper planning and execution of a plant shutdown will likely result in less unplanned downtime, reduced employee overtime, and more operational efficiency.

In worst-case scenarios, plant shutdowns are not planned, and rather, can result from natural disasters, facility accidents, interruptions in the supply of raw materials, and neglected preventive maintenance.

What Is an Industrial Plant Turnaround?

An industrial plant turnaround is a planned shutdown of a facility. During a turnaround, routine operations are completely paused until preventative maintenance-related activities, inspections, cleaning, and necessary repairs and/or upgrades are completed.

Plant managers typically collaborate with outside contractors to achieve predefined turnaround goals. Turnaround tasks are typically performed around the clock to minimize downtime and restore operations as quickly as possible.

While safety is always first, speed is also paramount because lost production, additional labor, and equipment upgrades are particularly costly.

Why Are Plant Turnarounds Necessary?

Workers in an industrial plant

Plant turnarounds can be expensive but are very necessary for the long-term success of any industrial operation. They provide indispensable opportunities for a variety of plant maintenance issues to be resolved.

Furthermore, turnarounds create opportunities to inspect equipment that would be otherwise impossible to access during regular operations. Well-planned turnaround processes improve operational efficiency while also enabling workers to resolve or avoid problems before they become dangerous, more complex, or more costly to remedy.

Tips for Planning Turnarounds & Preventing Unplanned Shutdowns

Equipment repairs and replacements should be planned in advance, and all of the necessary resources and personnel should be accounted for. A plant turnaround can be an overwhelming undertaking to manage, especially when considering the hour-by-hour costs of downtime.

However, if you reduce the overall goal into several phases, each with detailed, strict processes, you can accomplish a successful maintenance turnaround each time.

Industrial turnarounds should incorporate five distinct phases, which are:

  1. Strategic Planning
  2. Detailed Planning
  3. Organizing
  4. Execution
  5. Closeout

Remember that repeatability, uniformity, and consistency are crucial to managing a long-term turnaround strategy. For best results, it’s vital to collaborate with an experienced industrial contractor like IICC.

Learn More from IICC Today

For more than 60 years, IICC has maintained a strong commitment to maximizing the efficiency of turnarounds for our clients.

Our Safety-First approach focuses on power-on timing initiatives, and adhering to the schedules that we set at the beginning of each new project. With IICC, you can expect your industrial shutdowns to be executed on time and within budget. Visit our website to learn more about our quick turnaround times, detailed plans, and time-sensitive services. If you have any questions, please contact us today to request a consultation.