Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages: Part Three

Case Studies in Overcoming Roadblocks to STO Success

A holistic framework for STO success incorporates three main phases: definition, planning, and implementation—bound together by communications. Here are examples of how Kepner-Tregoe’s systematic STO framework saves time and money while promoting future STO improvements.

A visible process yields a 318% improvement. When an international display manufacturer worked with Kepner-Tregoe (KT) to integrate a more visible process in shutdowns of key equipment, improvements were particularly apparent in the efficiency of restarts, once STO work packages were completed.

Changeover Performance

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This graph for Changeover Performance shows how restarts improved over the manufacturer’s monthly shuts by using a visible process. There was a 318% improvement in output for the first 24 hours of production at restart.

Relevant information and metrics help bring an STO in—on time and safely. In the highly time-constrained world of an STO, having accurate and up-to-date information is key to decision making. A long products steel mill displayed metrics on progress among various teams, overall progress, costs, safety audits, extra work and other indicators. When the daily dashboard was distributed to stakeholders, it enabled accurate monitoring of progress and performance. The STO completed all planned work within the scheduled period without a single case of lost time or medical injury.

Updated business processes reduce issues and incidents. KT helped an international mining company create and modify business processes that impacted STOs. By reviewing/updating business processes—including contractor management, procurement, predictive maintenance, preventative maintenance, business improvement, lockout/tagout, reliability, permitting and compliance, among others—the organization was able to improve its ability to scope the STO, start work packages on time, and reduce crew waiting times.

% Issues vs Prior Shutdown

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The % Issues Chart shows that lock out/tag out and parts issues fell by 75% and equipment failures and safety incidents decreased by 30%.

Coordination and management of complex resources. A major oil company underwent a US $200 million turnaround event in its Singapore refinery that was its biggest and most expensive worldwide. The turnaround involved specialists and sub-contractors with no company experience and equipment never used before. As the event approached, it was apparent that no one knew whom to approach for resources, technical support, and issue resolution. Working with KT to establish an effective communication process and define roles and responsibilities resulted in clear ownership so that everyone knew where to go when they needed specific types of support.

Overcoming a reactive culture reduces days down. When a major building materials manufacturer ran five days over its planned STO, they turned to KT to improve the next one.

Planned Days vs Actual Days Down

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Using the KT STO management process, an STO planned for thirty days was completed four days early. Detailed risk management allowed the company to identify and prepare for issues before they occurred. Understanding the links between work packages, resources, and surrounding activities enabled the STO team to look at more than the list of tasks to be completed. The data collected enabled accurate planning for future STOs.

Managing expectations of diverse stakeholders builds confidence, improves quality, and lowers costs. If perception is reality, the STO management needs to not only deliver but be seen to deliver. After introducing the KT STO approach at a high production concentrator, all key management personnel expressed confidence in the STO. VPs spent time in other areas of the organization; capital expenditure authorizations were approved; operations had confidence in scheduling; and contractor and vendor idle time decreased. STO quality increased 60% (measured by on time and on scope), while cost fell 40% (cost of run STO). The keys to success were in the common language and process and in the management of stakeholders’ expectations. Results and expectations are two different areas of managing the performance of people. It is critical to have a shared understanding and good information of what is of value and what will be delivered.

For the Reliable Plant article, go to: Strategies to optimize shutdowns, turnarounds and outages.

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Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages: Part One
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Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages: Part Two
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Are You Suffering From A Communication Breakdown?
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Why communication needs to be an important part of the problem solving process

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