Plant Turnaround and Plant Maintenance: What’s the Difference?

 In Production Upgrade

Plant turnaround and plant maintenance have similar intentions but very different execution. It’s important to know the difference.

A plant turnaround, also known as a “shutdown”, generally means the entire plant is being upgraded; plant maintenance means just major equipment parts are being fixed.

Plant turnarounds achieve operational excellence

Certain issues can’t be solved while the plant is still up and running. It requires a full shutdown to handle, almost a clearing house. This is when you do long overdue tasks like repiping, improving ventilation or total equipment overhauls.

These can also be mandated by regulations. You might need to overhaul systems to keep up with compliance, like safety prevention.

A huge difference in scope

exposed air conditioner system in factory

Improving ventilation is often a reason for plant turnaround

Plant turnaround is much larger in scope, and can take months or even years to complete. Speed is of the essence: the longer your operations are down, the more you lose in terms of money and production.

Plant maintenance is often more spontaneous, such as a power outage or unexplained breakdown. Power may go out completely or materials may not be available.

In this time, certain operational issues are handled: equipment preventative maintenance and care, corrective repairs, strip-downs and overhauls, etc. This can range from days to weeks, but is far shorter than plant turnaround.

Benchmarking success of plant maintenance and turnaround

Plant turnarounds generally have goals set in place. Different maintenance KPI benchmarks are used when it comes to measuring the success of a turnaround. Sometimes it’s regulating the budget, schedules, time to get back to full-speed production, etc.

Maintenance is much more straightforward. Sometimes it can just come in the form of periodic testing. The more organized and optimized plants will schedule maintenance regularly.

Bringing in outside help

Both plant turnaround and plant maintenance could be greatly aided by bringing in outside help.

Plant turnarounds could involve hundreds, if not thousands of people. Like we said before, time is of the essence. Bringing in an outside company could streamline the process, as they are able to gain an accurate view of where you are and the quickest way to solve your problems.

Plant maintenance is not as large as a process, but certain issues could be beyond the skills of your existing employees. For more complex maintenance projects, it could help to bring in outside specialists.

Storee Construction specializes in plant optimization. We are able to diagnose where your plant is and chart the most efficient course to peak efficiency. This could involve a plant turnaround, but it’s not always the case.

Get in touch with our team at (417) 736-2032 to see if it’s your best option.