Regular maintenance is the foundation for plant success, regardless of the size of your facility or the industry you serve.
The unexpected is inevitable, so keeping your plant up and running all day is a daunting task. How can your plant make the most of planned outages to avoid unplanned downtime?
Joe Waite, ProcessBarron’s Sales Director for the Southeast, has been part of our team for more than 18 years. He shared tips to keep your plant up and running 24/7/365 based on his engineering expertise in maintenance and plant outages.
How to Reduce Unplanned Outages
Unplanned outages aren’t entirely avoidable, but there is a significant difference in the number of outages in plants that are proactive towards maintenance compared to plants that are reactive. One of the most effective ways to prevent unplanned outages is to ensure your in-house maintenance team is constantly up to speed with everything going on in your plant.
Your plant likely has anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pieces of equipment. With control, electrical, and mechanical systems that have to be monitored and maintained, your team is used to working nonstop. By ensuring that your maintenance team has what they need to get their job done efficiently, you can significantly reduce the chance of an unplanned outage. Here are a few questions you can ask:
- Do they have enough people on their team to stay busy without feeling overworked?
- Is everyone confident in their ability to assess and fix issues?
- Do they have a plan in place when emergencies occur?
- Are there any tools or resources that would help them address issues faster or more effectively?
It also depends on your industry. In the cement industry, bringing in rock, crushing it, and cooking it in the kiln creates thousands of tons of dust. Your equipment continually experiences wear and tear. It’s common to experience multiple outages a year when this equipment breaks down, so the best thing you can do is have your team prepared to respond.
However, in the paper mill industry, unplanned outages are not typical and are always very serious. An emergency can result in the entire plant shutting down temporarily, which has a ripple effect that can even lead to job losses.
Contact us to support your maintenance team and take control of the unexpected. Your team is busy, and big maintenance jobs often get delayed until it’s too late. We specialize in working alongside your team, and we have the industrial maintenance expertise, resources, and experience to get the job done promptly.
In an urgent situation, a quick response is invaluable. Learn more about our 24/7/365 emergency repair services!
Championing your maintenance team is vital in keeping your plant up and running. They will be the first to notice potential issues and are essential in getting equipment back up and running.
How to Plan for Your Yearly Outage
We probably don’t have to convince you that planning for your yearly outage is critical for success. Whether your planned outage lasts a few days or several weeks, your preparation sets the tone for the coming year.
While your contracted maintenance team carries out maintenance during your planned outage, they should call attention to any issues identified that need to be addressed during the next outage. Maintenance technicians can note equipment that shows minor signs of wear but doesn’t need emergency attention. This way, your plant can monitor the equipment throughout the year and plan ahead in next year’s outage budget.
There is always something that needs to be replaced. Even if all your equipment was deemed “in good shape,” we recommend getting a second opinion. A planned outage is a special opportunity, and a little extra diligence can prevent a disaster. Recently, we discovered a crack in a critical boiler fan while performing an inspection to provide a 2nd opinion. If this fan had come apart, it would have been highly dangerous to employees, taken the unit offline, and cost the plant millions.
Investing in your plant outage is one of the most important things you can do for your employees’ safety and your plant’s success.
We also offer year-round preventative maintenance services. Click here to learn more!
Get Started On Your Plan To Avoid The Unplanned
Every plant has a different process and outage schedule, but the most important factor is having a partner that knows your plant and equipment well. Many of our team members have been with us for decades, so their years of experience and expertise in multiple industries make them invaluable assets when it comes to plant maintenance. We visit your plant ahead of outage season to better understand your maintenance needs, and our sales team has the engineering expertise to help navigate your wishlist and budget relative to what’s necessary to keep your plant up and running.
Contact us today if you are looking for support in an upcoming outage or want to learn more about planning for next year’s outage!