Simplify Your Plant Maintenance Shutdown

Plant Maintenance Shutdown ButtonGetting ready for your annual or semi-annual plant maintenance shutdown at this time of year?  Whether you call it a shutdown, a turnaround, or an outage, it all results in a high-cost, big-impact event.

Like any complex task, a shutdown can look overwhelming at first, but take some time to break it down into phases with distinct goals for each phase and your stress level will go down considerably.

To keep the budget and schedule intact, remember to keep your to-do list as short as possible and focus on the things that can only be accomplished during a major shutdown.  Everything else can be scheduled during normal preventive maintenance procedures.

According to the editors of Plant Services, a plant maintenance shutdown is best broken into five phases:

1.  Definition/Scope of Work – Outline company goals and develop the work list; focus on safety, cost, schedule, labor hours, overtime, and task completion.

2.  Prepare – Develop work list plan details and work packages for the finalized list; decide what work will be done by internal resources and by external resources;  identify pre-shutdown work and any contingency plans needed

3.  Execute – Complete the work identified and prepare for scope of work changes as inspections turn up unexpected additional work items; update schedule as necessary; verify that your asset base is as good or better condition as it was before.

4.  Startup/Turnover – Turn over to operations group when punch list has been reconciled; begin ramping up to normal operations while looking for failures as this is the most likely time for them to occur.

5.  Evaluate – Demobilize, disassemble, remove and clean up any equipment used during the maintenance procedures;  review the process and look for best practices/lessons learned including safety, quality, logistics, work scope, financials, contractor performance, organization and schedule; reconcile and analyze the shut-down costs including labor, materials, parts, etc.

Of course, you can’t schedule an emergency and by now you have learned that the universe can turn on a dime and to expect the unexpected.  ACS won’t be shutting down, and your ACS repair team will be here to help you with your industrial electronic equipment repairs, even the unexpected rush electronic repairs.

Since we never know exactly what will be on the loading dock in the morning, every day is the “unexpected” for us and we are ready for almost any repair and in any quantity!

The 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index Results Predict Massive Powershift

Industrial Electronic Repair Services Provided World-WideThe United States, Germany and Japan, the world’s leading manufacturers, are about to be seriously challenged to keep their competitive edge against emerging nations such as China, India, and Brazil according to the 2013 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited’s Global Manufacturing Industry group and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

A massive power shift is underway that will change the manufacturing landscape suggest responses from 550 CEOs and senior leaders at manufacturing companies around the world.  Currently the U.S. is listed as the world’s third most competitive manufacturing nation but predict it will be fifth in just five years putting it only slightly ahead of the Republic of Korea.  They also predict Germany will drop from second to fourth place, Canada from seventh to eighth and Japan will drop out of the top 10 entirely to 12th place.

The survey predicts that within five years emerging nations will surge forward with Brazil moving from eighth to third place, India jumping from fourth to second place, and China remaining in first place.  Deborah L. Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness says “…Emerging nations are growing fast and strong.  Wise policies and practices could unleash American strengths, turbo-charge our manufacturing engines, and raise technology commercialization to new heights – driving U.S. economic growth and job creation.”

Ms. Wince-Smith also believes that even though the U.S. is expected to drop to fifth place in five years, it is still a very powerful competitor that is in an excellent position to lead the technological transformation in manufacturing.

Access to talented workers is the top indicator of a country’s competitiveness, followed by a country’s trade, financial and tax systems and then the cost of labor and materials revealed the index.  According to CEOs, nothing was more important than the quality, availability and productivity of a nation’s workforce.  Emerging nations struggle with local economic, trade, financial, legal and tax systems as well as supplier networks and physical infrastructure.  Not surprisingly, they are extremely competitive with respect to local costs and availability of labor.

The 2013 Global Manufacturing Index is an initiative led by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited designed to determine how CEOs view the competitiveness of the manufacturing industry in different countries around the world.

ACS Industrial Services is a U.S.-based company providing industrial electronic repair services to industry world-wide