Power plants may need to run without stopping for a long time, but this does not mean that they do not get downtime. The constant operation takes its toll on equipment and, without a period of stoppage, they will break down. As a plant manager, it will be your job to ensure that a plant shutdown is done properly. Here are some tips on how to make the coming shutdown simpler for you and your team.
Start Planning Early
Your shutdown planning should start the moment the previous shutdown ended. This is because this allows you to adapt early to what happens during the year. With a plan already in place, it will just take a few tweaks to get it ready. When you’re planning, though, the first foundation should be what you found in your last shutdown. For example, if there were particular locations and areas that needed special attention, then you have to focus on those for the next shutdown.
Ensure You Have the Right Tools
The main idea behind shutdowns is to go over existing equipment and do proper maintenance on them. You need to have the right tools for this job. For example, you will need scanning and detection equipment. Their job is to detect any problems with your current set-up. This can range from miniature cracks to voltage production. Besides the evaluation, you will also need to do some cleaning and repairs. You might even need to do replacements of parts that have become too damaged to be effective. Having the parts and tools on-hand would make it simpler for you.
Prioritize Tasks Properly
There are different levels of tasks during the shutdown. You will only have a limited amount of time so you will want to target the essentials first. Take into account which areas and parts are of high importance and would cause big problems if they malfunction. These should be given your main focus. Starting from there, assign tasks priority levels and how easy they are to do. This ensures that by the time your shutdown is coming to an end, the easiest and non-essential tasks are left. This is an excellent way to ensure that your crew is fresh when doing the important work, so there are fewer mistakes.
Get Outside Help
Do not hesitate to call in outside contractors. Though it might be tempting to do everything in-house, spending extra to get experts to help can be worth it. For one, it lessens your workload. It also helps you meet your deadline.
Have Contingencies Ready
Have a plan ready in case something bad happens, or an interruption pops up. For example, an essential part needs to get additional repairs. Instead of having your workers twiddling their thumbs, they should be assigned an alternate task until the part comes back from the repair technicians.
Consider Installing Modern Monitoring Equipment
Shutdowns are also an excellent time to install upgrades. One of the better choices is installing modern monitoring equipment. For example, a DAS system greatly helps with troubleshooting and keeping track of what is happening. With it in place, you can have a real-time update of your plant’s condition. This allows you to react quickly to any developing emergency.
Before you get those generators running again, it is good to know that you did your best. The tips above should help in ensuring that your plant is in tip-top shape for the coming year. With good maintenance, you can expect excellent performance from your plant, with only a minimum of problems.