The Turnaround (TAR) Cycle

A plant turnaround (TAR, shutdown, outage, STO, etc) is an intense, geographically concentrated, coming together of thousands of people, working for hundreds of companies and organizations to efficiently accomplish the execution objective: safely. In addition, environmental care and consideration, quality results, timely scheduled completion and budgetary cost constraints are expected. Oh, and the execution phase lasts for 2 to 3 weeks, give or take. This is not a trivial challenge.

Turnarounds are special projects and the following outlines the major aspects (like phases) of a typical turnaround:

  • Corporate Strategy Teams spend critical resources (time and money) in establishing an over-arching strategy for managing the maintenance of company assets by disparate companies, each with its highly experienced and qualified human resources, as well as critcal equipment, materials, services.
  • Plant-based Tactical teams spend as much as 12 months in advance of the turnaround, evaluating risk and optimizing the available scope to determine whether an item must be done in the costly and congested turnaround timeframe. Detailed, equipment and system-based planning will enable contractors and vendors to be aware of the upcoming need for people and equipment and the timeframe for these needs.
  • Department and Contractor-based Logistical Teams ensure that the required skilled, trained and qualified people are available to go to work during the fast-approaching turnaround. Equipment and materials needs are staged in appropriate, easily accessible locations.
  • Process Unit-based Execution Teams in Operations Maintenance and Contractors use the detailed plans to execute the work safely. Progress is recorded as it is achieved. Incurred time and costs are recorded and provide input into a ‘live’ dashboard and report set that computes and present the safety, environmental, quality, schedule and cost data in real time.
  • Closure or Post-audit teams composed of people from the entire effort, review the recently executed turnaround to ensure that lessons learned are pumped back into the Strategy, so that the very next turnaround’s teams will not have to re-learn these lessons, and will, in turn learn new lessons that help ensure that the process improves constantly.

A single Turnaround solution would enable each of these teams to work with data that already exists (i.e. no need for re-entry) and would allow the delivery real-time feedback dashboards and reports (i.e. no need to wait for entry and analysis) based on data that was entered previously.

Corporations and plants and contractors have spent a lot of energy trying to get such an integrated solution. ERPs, introduced in the 90s promised a level of integration that has not delivered, evidenced by the blizzard of spreadsheets in those workplaces today. Currently the turnaround landscape is littered with silos of data, with small groups of people busily managing their little areas, oblivious of the importance and relevance of their efforts to the big picture. ‘Home grown’ systems dot the landscape as well. These, well-intentioned systems, meet narrow, tactical needs that siphon away critical attention from the big picture.

The TeamWork Integrated Solutions Technology system has built in lessons learned from over 30 years of managing turnarounds. It does this on a cloud-based and accessible 24×7 system. This solution provides the critical bridge that enables the many hard-learned lessons of 30 years to be readily leveraged by today’s new crop of turnaround strategists (coordinators, managers), tacticians (planners, schedulers, estimators, analysts), logisticians (supply chain, expediters, warehouse, tool room) and field execution staff (foremen, superintendents, permit coordinators, cost analysts).

It’s been a long road to get here, but, now that we are here, you can reap the benefits of a mature and flexible solution, configured to meet your plant’s or your company’s specific strategic, tactical, logistical and execution procedures. Integrate your teams so that your turnaround cycle gets done right – every time!