Automation: Integrating Capital Projects with Turnarounds | AIChE

Automation: Integrating Capital Projects with Turnarounds


Conference Presentation

Conference Type

AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety

Presentation Date

March 28, 2017


30 minutes



The traditional view of turnarounds is that they are just maintenance events. In reality, these planned shutdown events are very strategic opportunities for processing facilities to improve operation efficiency, reliability, and safety. Operating plants that are not improving are actually falling behind.

Similar to the approach that turnarounds are maintenance events, a traditional approach to integrating a capital project within a turnaround window is to have two separate events led by different project managers and different EPCs. Unfortunately, turnaround performance continues to be sub-par because the two events are not coordinated as one. Capital projects are getting larger, adding to the complexity of a turnaround resulting in budget and schedule overruns.

Best practices include managing both events as one, thus having the capital project IFCs completed before turnaround scope freeze date. In addition, automation can improve turnaround performance by utilizing asset health insight (beyond a single data point) with integrating risk analysis into the deferred maintenance decision making. Having additional online asset health trends ensures only the assets that need attention during a turnaround are part of the scope, and this also provides confidence that an asset requiring attention was not missed when reducing overall scope. Automation (smart diagnostics and online asset health monitoring) can mitigate discovery work once the turnaround begins.

This presentation will focus on the best uses of automation and coordinating both the capital project and turnaround as one event.


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