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How To Prepare for Maintenance

An event common to operating facilities in several industries including oil and gas, chemical, mining, pulp and paper, and nuclear, turnarounds are scheduled periods of non-production allowing for the required maintenance of the mechanical and electrical components of an operating facility. Scheduled far in advance of execution, plant turnaround frequency and duration is based in part on the maintenance schedule for the components of the facility. The prescribed maintenance schedule is aligned with standards, specifications, and warranty requirements provided by equipment or plant component manufacturers, as well as regulatory requirements implemented by the applicable regulatory bodies.

Asset owners plan the turnarounds to achieve maximum efficiency and compliance with regulations, ensuring the plant can maintain safe and effective operation. As maintenance processes require a temporary stop in the flow of feedstock/product through the plant components, the maintenance turnaround period involves an overall reduction/termination of output of the plant’s product for a limited timeframe.

The costs of a turnaround event are a material portion of the operating budget of an owner’s asset. Although not limited to the following, costs may include the costs of the preplanning activities, procurement of any required replacement components/equipment/materials including expediting costs for items with long lead times, construction execution costs for inspection, cleaning, component removal, disposal (if applicable), installation, testing, safety activities, daily scheduling and tracking, and quality assurance and control activities. Owners also must factor in the cost of reduced/cessation in production during the timeframe. Unplanned extension to the turnaround duration is costly – having both direct cost implications and consequential costs associated with prolonged cessation of production and loss of product sales.

Maintenance turnaround events are a significant component contributing to the total cost of ownership of a facility. Facility owners look for ways to reduce the total cost of ownership of their assets by ensuring the most efficient execution of turnaround maintenance resulting in minimum downtime for the plant. Part of this strategy includes using certain products which maintain the integrity of the assets for a longer period of time. Utilization of products which reduce corrosion and abrasion in plant components which see a high degree of wear or chemical degradation are one mechanism owners may employ to extend the lifespan of certain components, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership of an asset.

A leading provider of field maintenance turnaround services, “AssetArmorTM” asset integrity products and services through its multiple divisions, ClearStream Energy Services uses its expertise and experience to work with asset owners to achieve successful turnarounds and reduce the total cost of ownership for its clients.