Book Review

Managing Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages
Join Now
FREE registration allows you to support this site and receive our regular M-News newsletter.

bkused120x60.gif - 3168 Bytes

Managing Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages

By: Michael V. Brown

Paperback: 240 pages
Dimensions (in inches): 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.5
Published by: Audel
Publication Date: September 2004
ISBN: 0764557661


  • Chapter 1 - Identifying the Work
  • Chapter 2 - Planning the Work
  • Chapter 3 - Scheduling the Work
  • Chapter 4 - Executing the Project
  • Chapter 5 - Reporting and Documenting the Shutdown Activity
  • Appendix A - Boiler Shutdown Example
  • Appendix B - Identifying Electrical Work to be performed During a Shutdown
  • Appendix C - Machinery Inspection Prior to and During a Shutdown

Our Review

What a terrific little book this is - chockablock full of very practical advice that you can use straight away. While, due to its size, it ultimately falls just short of being the ideal reference guide for planning and managing Maintenance Shutdowns, Turnarounds and Outages, it comes very, very close.

This book is aimed at those responsible for planning and managing Maintenance Shutdowns. The five chapters consider, in turn, each of the five key phases of a major maintenance shutdown, namely, Identifying the Work, Planning the Work, Scheduling the Work, Executing the Work, and Reporting and Documenting Shutdown Activity.

Chapter 1 covers the key steps involved in the early stages of planning a major shutdown. As well as considering the identification of preliminary work scope, it also discusses vital activities such as Risk Management. There is very practical, and useful advice regarding pre-shutdown inspections that could, and should, be carried out in order to determine equipment condition, and maintenance work that may be required. There is also a very useful shutdown checklist that covers such items that could potentially be overlooked, such as making arrangements for traffic control/barricades, arranging waste disposal facilities and many more. A small, but useful, section discusses the costs, risks and benefits associated with alternative shift arrangements - and recognises that lower labor productivity may result from working longer shifts - particularly for extended periods. This Chapter does not consider, however, higher level issues, such as whether a shutdown is required at all, and if so, at what time and/or frequency it should be scheduled.

Chapter 2 specifically discusses the need to establish a Shutdown organization structure, and the assignment of specific responsibilities for individuals. For example, in some plants, it may be the responsibility of nominated trades personnel/craftspeople to scope, and plan, specific maintenance tasks. The book emphasises the need to make sure that everyone knows their responsibilities, and to ensure that there is a mechanism for tracking completion of these activities. There is also a useful chart which assists with estimating how much preparatory work is involved in planning a shutdown. For example, for a shutdown involving 10,000 labour hours of work, the chart suggests that between 1 and 6 months preparation may be required (depending on the nature of the work, and how much detailed planning has already been performed for previous shutdowns), and may require between 200 and 1200 planner hours. Other sections in this chapter deal with the procurement process, obtaining long-leadtime items, and logistics considerations for delivery of parts and materials from suppliers - some of whom may be overseas. There is discussion of the planning thought process, worksheets to assist with planning jobs, and a very useful worked example of a job that was planned in detail. Estimating guidelines are offered, for estimating the labour hours and duration for specific maintenance tasks. There is also discussion of the nature of contracts, and practical guidance that will assist with ensuring that any contracts for the provision of labour and other services used during the shutdown are set up appropriately. Most of this advice is of a general nature, and woud apply to all jurisdictions, not just to the USA.

Chapter 3 discussed various scheduling techniques, including Critical Path Method (CPM), PERT, Monte Carlo and others. Resouce Levelling, Float, and other concepts are explained in a concise and clear manner. Limitations in the various techniques used are explored, and suggestions made that may be useful, particularly for those planning large, complex and critical shutdowns.

Chapter 4 discusses execution of the Shutdown, in particular, the requirement to monitor progress, and report against both budget and schedule as the shutdown progresses. The need to rely on objective evidence and fact, rather than gut feel and opinions in monitoring progress is strongly emphasised. I would have liked to have seen some discussion of Earned Value concepts in this chapter, as it is one of my favourite techniques for painting a very clear picture of the status of the shutdown. This techniques is used fairly extensively in Construction type projects, and can be extremely effective when used in Maintenance Shutdowns.

Chapter 5 discusses the benefits of formal post-shutdown reviews, and contains a sample post-shutdown report. This phase of the shutdown is critical, as it is through use of the information collected during the shutdown, when planning future shutdowns, that real continuous improvement can take place.

The first 5 chapters of the book take up a little over half the pages in the book. So you can see that the Appendices are extensive.

Appendix A contains a case study for a shutdown of a Packaged Boiler, and provides an outline of the scope of the shutdown, and the final work list. This is probably of limited value, unless you have similar equipment - but nevertheless gives a useful insight into the level of detail required in developing initial work scopes.

Appendix B offers a very useful checklist of Electrical items to inspect prior to a shutdown, in order to determine the nature and extent of electrical work that may be required during the shutdown. Visual and more sophisticated Condition Monitoring inspections are covered, for a wide range of electrical equipment, and includes detail regarding how far in advance of the shutdown these techniques may be applied.

Appendix C provides similar information as Appendix B, but for Mechanical equipment. Equipment covered in this chapter includes Bearings, Gear Drives, V Belts, Pumps and Mechanical Seals. There is extensive discussion of the types of incipient failures that may be observed, and how to diagnose these. While there is some theory involved, it is explained very clearly, and this entire Appendix is very practical in nature.

Finally, there is a short Glossary of Terms.

In summary, this book should be essential reading for anyone involved in managing or planning maintenance shutdowns. Even more experienced shutdown planners will find little gems of knowledge in here which should enhance their shutdown performance. For those just starting out on their Shutdown Planning experience, this book provides very readable, and highly practical advice and instruction. Highly recommended reading.

Copyright 1996-2009, The Plant Maintenance Resource Center . All Rights Reserved.
Revised: Thursday, 08-Oct-2015 12:08:06 AEDT
Privacy Policy