Planning Well for an Efficient Paper Mill Shutdown

mill shutdown

Taking the time to plan well is the only surefire way to make your mill’s shutdown a success. A standard annual five-to-ten-day shutdown for a paper mill typically takes up a third of their maintenance budget, so it’s a very important process that needs a lot of attention. There are always some risks involved in a scheduled shutdown that may result in additional costs or postponed the scheduled startup of the mill. 

With proper planning, however, these risks can be significantly minimized, and you can be sure the necessary tasks are done efficiently, on time, and within budget

Planning Ahead for Your Mill Shutdown

The key to any successful mill shutdown lies in planning ahead of time and being detailed from the start. Carrying out all the required work and tasks during a shutdown would be impossible if you don’t plan things ahead. As soon as one scheduled shutdown ends, you should be preparing for the next one—essentially, you should be planning on a rolling basis. 

Not only will doing this help you prepare for everything you need to get done in a short amount of time, but it will also ensure that every shutdown is better and more productive than the last. Planning the next shutdown with the previous one fresh on your mind is the best way to improve processes and correct errors. 

Cooperation is Key

One of the first steps in planning a successful mill shutdown is to meet with production and maintenance. You should sit down together and clearly identify the required tasks. Schedule them in the computerized maintenance management system, so you can start allocating the spare parts and resources needed for the shutdown. 

Discuss in detail how long each job will take—remaining realistic—and who will carry out said jobs. You should also discuss what your mill’s priorities are early on in the planning process. Not every job can get done at the same time, so it’s important that you decide what matters the most. 

You also must take the time to estimate the costs of your scheduled shutdown. Then, as the shutdown begins, you must maintain close control in order to stay within budget. Document your scheduled shutdown’s “freezing point”—a specific point in time or budget, after which no new tasks can be added to the to-do list. This will help you stay on time and within budget. 

Staying Safe During Your Mill Shutdown

At ProcessBarron, safety is always a top priority and is important even in the very earliest stages of planning your mill shutdown. In a major shutdown, there could be hundreds of people involved—including outside workers who might not be familiar with your site. This increases safety risks and you should carefully consider while planning. 

Safety training should always be worked into the shutdown schedule. Any major lifting that needs to be done with cranes should also be very carefully scheduled to ensure that no accidents happen. 

Need help getting things done during your mill shutdown? Contact ProcessBarron today.