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Plant Management

Planned outages: a comprehensive strategy that saves $1M

March 11, 2021

Costly breakages

Our client, a paper mill in Quebec, was experiencing frequent machine breaks that were causing emergency shutdowns. At an average of $8,000 per hour, these incidents were having a major impact on the plant’s productivity: between $300,000 and $500,000 in losses per year.

It became evident that to optimize repair timing, detect probable failures and restart correctly, their planned shutdown strategies needed to be revised.
 

Skilled labour: a high-demand resource

Our client first chose to retain our services for reliability engineering, with a full-time on-site specialist (40 hours per week). We also implemented a condition monitoring route to forecast potential failures and plan the replacement of parts.

We were also mandated to providea team of technicians and mechanics with supervisor, for the next scheduled outage, to perform torque lubrication and inspection, corrective maintenance and precision mechanics.

Planning for an efficient shutdown

Since a Laurentide supervisor was overseeing our team’s various trades, our client benefitted from a single point of contact for the duration of shutdown as well as centralized time reporting.

Using the inspection report from our reliability specialist, our team drafted a list of equipment to be maintained or replaced according to their actual condition and criticality.

At the end of the shutdown, we supplied our client with a comprehensive report including photos. This report also contains advice to help plan the next scheduled outage including estimated time and resources required.
 

A holistic approach with demonstrated results

Since the first shutdown for which Laurentide was commissioned, our client has not experienced any other breakage causing an unplanned shutdown.

Our approach combining a preventive maintenance program, including asset monitoring in Spartakus, with a multidisciplinary team for planned shutdowns has generated productivity savings of over $1M for our client in 2020 – a return on capital greater than 6 to 1, not to mention the management time saved by our client.