You are on page 1of 35

Foreword

The oil refining and petrochemical processing industries have their own nomenclature
for maintenance projects. For the purposes of this tutorial, "turnaround" is intended to
encompass all types of industrial projects for existing process plants including I&Ts
(Inspection & Testing), shutdowns, emergency outages, debottlenecking projects,
revamps, catalyst regeneration, etc. where an operating plant must be shut down until
the work is completed and then restarted - thus "turning around" the unit/plant.
Turnaround project planning and scheduling is an important function that has a direct
and dramatic impact on maintenance costs and bottom line profitability of a process
plant. Maintenance costs are the result of the expenditure of manpower, equipment
and materials.
Keep manpower and equipment usage efficient, and you will control your turnaround
costs. Through judicious planning and scheduling, a maintenance planner / scheduler
can help his organization save on manpower costs, ensure the shortest possible
downtime, and achieve the most efficient use of equipment.
The secret to achieving the most efficient plan is to remove all wasted motion, all
unnecessary movements or transports, and minimize crew and equipment
redeployment.
This handbook was prepared to help those whose responsibilities include the planning
and scheduling of process plant turnarounds. We have developed a practical approach
based on tried and proven procedures using our own project management
software, although the concepts described herein are applicable regardless of the
software package you use.

Turnaround Organization

The turnaround organization encompasses all personnel responsible for the planning,
scheduling, management and execution of the turnaround. It includes, among others,
the plant manager, maintenance manager, turnaround manager, turnaround
planner/scheduler and field supervisors.

Often the maintenance manager will also act as the turnaround manager. Also, field
supervisors could consist of contractor personnel.

The Operations, Safety, Inspection, Warehouse and Tool Room departments are also
key to the execution of a successful turnaround.

Making your turnaround scope and schedule visible to the entire turnaround
organization is a determining factor for success. Visibility is achieved by distributing
updated reports before and during the turnaround to all key personnel. The particular
information needs of each member of the turnaround organization will be covered in
more detail later.
The Turnaround Planner / Scheduler

The turnaround planner / scheduler is the organizer; the driving force behind the effort
involved in developing, communicating, reviewing, organizing and refining a workable
turnaround schedule. No turnaround planner / scheduler can have the combined
knowledge of all the trades and specialized functions that are required to execute a
turnaround successfully. Therefore he will depend, to a large degree, upon all the other
members of the turnaround team.

The turnaround planner / schedulers contribution is one of the most important,


because he brings about good communication between the different departments,
shops, trades, contractors, etc. Through him they will become familiar with the
turnaround scope, enabling them to establish realistic work scopes, manpower and
duration estimates. This involvement ensures their participation with ("buy into") the
schedule, so that the overall time and manpower objectives are met.

The turnaround planner/scheduler often leads the effort of developing the work scope.
He has the ability to prepare a detailed work order (InterPlan Systems offers project
planning software that assists the planner/scheduler in creating detailed, high quality
work orders) that can be reviewed and revised by the party responsible for its
execution, speeding up the identification of all required inspection and repair work.

Planners/schedulers are the right hand of the turnaround manager. They are the source
of the information upon which all decisions are made.

Turnarounds - A Team Effort

Turnarounds will be executed by people. These people have to accept or "buy into"
your work order scopes, estimates, schedules and progress reports. Otherwise your
effort will be totally wasted.

The confidence of the turnaround team members in your effort is in direct relation to
two factors: the quality (level of detail) of the plan and their degree of participation
(contributing, reviewing, advising).

Participation is essential, for without their reviews and comments, they will neither
accept nor work with your estimates and schedules. In fact, when people do not
participate, they usually will work to defeat the schedule!

The quality of the estimates and schedule is equally essential. A sloppily prepared
execution plan will be ignored, rejected and abandoned early. The higher the quality
(degree of detail) of the planning and scheduling effort, the higher the acceptance and
confidence - therefore enhancing a greater adherence to the schedule.

A good way to ensure that all involved will participate with the planning effort is to
have the turnaround manager (or plant manager) invited to a meeting, where the
planning effort and everybody's contribution or role will be discussed. All should leave
the meeting with the understanding that the planner will help them develop their work
orders, their schedules, etc. This will go a long way to allay their fears that the
estimates, schedules, etc., may be created without their input, and be forced upon
them resulting in potentially unrealistic, unreachable goals

Information Requirements

The foundation for effective project management in a turnaround is reliable


information. The planners basic function is to gather, develop, organize, review and
disseminate information. Through his effort everyone involved is kept informed so that
nothing is left to their imagination or improvisation. The information required to plan,
estimate, schedule and manage a turnaround is extensive and often difficult to obtain -
posing a serious challenge even to experienced planners.

The required information can be roughly classified in the following categories:

Cost
Time
Manpower
Safety
Quality
Tools & Equipment
Materials
Coordination
Technical
Work Scope

You may notice that in order to determine the cost, all other information must be
developed first. Generally, the information is developed from the "ground up"; the
order in which the information categories are listed above does not necessarily reflect
how and when they become available, or their relative importance.

Cost

Cost estimates are developed from all the other information categories. It is the
consequence of many decisions affecting staffing, overtime, safety measures, quality
requirements, procedures, contracting, etc.

Cost, being one of the most important factors, forces the planner to consider and
evaluate alternative methods, schedules and strategies with an eye towards achieving
the lowest cost while satisfying all other requirements (of time, safety and quality).

There are, however, different cost categories:


Direct Labor Costs - determined by the manhours estimated to execute the
scope. Direct labor can be further categorized as:
o Firm Price Costs - obtained from lump sum (fixed price) contracts (for
items such as scaffolding, hydroblasting, etc.).
o Time and Material Costs - also referred to as "cost-plus" work -
calculated by applying an agreed-to hourly rate to the manhour estimate.
Indirect / Overhead Labor Costs - determined as a function of direct labor
costs. Ex. Time sheet clerks, expediters, etc.
Supervision Costs - determined by the manpower staffing required by the
schedule and the turnaround organization chart.
Tool and Equipment (Rental) Costs - determined by both manpower staffing,
work content and turnaround duration.
Extra Work - repair work not included in the work scope (usually determined
after equipment inspection during the turnaround).
Contingency - a "safety cushion" added to allow for extra, unforeseen work
without exceeding the A.F.E. budget. Contingency usually amounts to about 15% of the
total costs.

The above (generalized) cost categories can contain "hidden costs" which good
planning and scheduling tries to minimize or eliminate. These "hidden costs" arise
from:

Incomplete definition of the nature and extent of the repair work.


Amount of rework caused by improper procedures, material failure, degree of
difficulty, etc.
Unintentional delays caused by improper coordination, safety considerations,
strikes, work slow-down, absence of supervisors from the work place during work hours,
etc.
Necessity to accelerate the schedule for an earlier completion.
Changes in the methods or procedures used to accomplish the work.
Time

Time (duration) estimates are obtained from several sources: a project template,
historical records, experienced craftsmen / supervisors, andproject planning
software. As with cost, time is affected by many decisions concerning staffing, shift
and work-week length, safety procedures, quality guidelines, methods used to perform
the work, etc.

Time is a more flexible variable than cost in most cases. Therefore, the planner usually
concerns himself with determining (estimating) the most realistic, workable duration for
every activity in the turnaround. The sum of the durations for all activities on the
critical path (or the longest sequence of related tasks in the turnaround) will determine
the overall length of the turnaround. The resulting time span may be acceptable to
management, or it might be too long, and ways to shorten the schedule must be
examined. In some cases, the turnaround can be extended to reduce costs (overtime,
supervision, equipment rentals, indirects, etc.) at a time when the plant can be idled for
some time. So, time and cost are closely linked ("time is money").

There are different kinds of time that should be incorporated into a turnaround project
plan:
Activity Time - the time required for a crew to perform a specific task (i.e.,
open a manway).
Lag Time - time span required for any operation not controlled by crews - such
as cooling down equipment for entry, neutralizing/acidizing, stress relieving, curing
time, etc.

These two (generalized) time categories above do not include time loss originated by
these unavoidable delays:

Weather - affecting activities exposed to storms, etc.


Safety - evacuation of the work place, lack of permits, etc.
Equipment - breakdown, unavailability, idle waiting time, etc.
Manpower - under staffing / unavailability, strikes or work slowdown, etc.
Productivity - a slowing down due to fatigue, etc.

As a rule, it is not a good idea to "build in" extra time in your estimates to take care of
delays caused by the above categories. If you do build extra time into your estimates,
then there will be a very high probability that all of the time will be spent to perform
the defined work (Parkinsons Law - "Work expands to fill the time allowed.").

Extra time required to compensate for productivity loss should be considered when
calculating a manhour/cost summary as a global entry/factor. Work orders and
schedules should always reflect the original base time estimates.

Manpower

Planning and scheduling addresses two main types of activities: productive work and
logistical / support work. The latter, being dependent upon the first, can be planned
after all inspection, repair / replacement work has been identified and planned.

Manpower information is developed from a knowledge of the trades or skills, and the
scope of the work for each work order.

Total manpower is the sum or combination of all trades/skills required to execute the
defined work. There are two basic groups:

Plant Personnel - maintenance mechanics, electricians, instrument


technicians, etc.
Contract Personnel - scaffolders, pipe fitters, boiler makers, welders, laborers,
insulators, refractory applicators, stress relieving technicians, specialty trades, etc.

Manpower can be union (organized, along trade or skills), or non-union (open shop). If
your turnaround is going to be executed by union trades, you must secure a list of
them along with the union agreement books to see what jurisdictions each trade
encompasses. This way you can assign the correct trades or resources to every activity,
in order to avoid any disputes and potential work interruptions.
If your turnaround is going to be executed by non-union labor, you should still attempt
to correctly identify the type of skill needed to perform each activity. Even though you
may have a "multi-craft" labor force, it is useful to be aware of the labor requirements
for the different skill-sets of multi-craft labor (blinding, pipe fabrication, tower and tray
work, etc.).

Safety

Safety guidelines play an important role in the planning and scheduling of a


turnaround. The safety department will issue a procedure which combines both
government (OSHA in the U.S.A.) guidelines and the plants own rules for a safe,
accident-free turnaround.

Two basic safety concerns must be addressed. These are:

Safety of all personnel


Safety of the plant equipment

Personnel safety that requires the expenditure of manpower involves:

Scaffolding
Obtaining permits
Tagging equipment for entry to work
Fire watch / Hole watch
Neutralizing / Decontaminating equipment
Installing air movers
Cooling down equipment
Installing temporary lighting
Wearing protective equipment
Insulating for personnel protection
Installing blinds
Testing (Hydrostatic, X-Ray, etc.)
Stress relieving
Temporary dust / runoff containment barriers
General clean-up
Evacuation due to emergencies

All of the above, with the exception of emergency evacuations, can and should be
incorporated into the work order scope, and planned along with productive work.

In addition, all activities defined in a work order should be as explicit and informative as
possible, in particular to warn against any potential hazards.

Replacing bolts and gaskets are also safety concerns, even though normally viewed as
operations / maintenance concerns. Bolts should always be placed into buckets to
prevent accidents and facilitate cleaning.
Quality

The quality of the repair work has an impact on time and cost. Quality guidelines
should be prepared and issued to establish the minimum acceptable level desired.

Poor quality can result in accidents, rework, equipment failure, higher wear and tear,
and the attendant impact on manpower safety, equipment and operation safety, plus
their associated costs.

Quality can be specified in the project planning by indicating the amount of testing
required:

X-rays
Pressure tests
Ultrasonic/infrared inspection
Visual inspection (before and after repairs)
Materials/compounds curing time
Urgency in performing the work
Quality of spares, materials, commodities, etc.
Experience level of the workers
Other

Four basic concerns govern the acceptable level of quality:

Safety (preventing equipment failures)


Production (desired productive run life span for unit)
Cost (lowest cost for useful life span of repairs)
Schedule (extra time needed for welding, inspection)

In work involving extensive welding, the planner must consider sufficient time for X-
rays and testing, and the amount of probable rework.

Heat exchanger testing procedures should be reviewed to ensure that testing activities
are adequately provided in every work order, with sufficient time and manpower
estimates, and indicate the testing medium, testing pressures and time required to
hold the pressure. Often, related exchangers can be tested simultaneously, which
saves time and manpower.

Tools and Equipment

Tools and equipment are a function of the work as defined. As technology changes, new
tools and equipment become available to do a certain job. Therefore it is important to
identify the tools and equipment that will be used to do a certain job - they have an
impact on time, manpower and cost.

Tool and equipment availability is critical to an uninterrupted work flow. Strategic


placement of tool cribs, to minimize worker travel distance (and time) is essential.
Often a tool trailer is located conveniently close to the unit being turned around.
Equipment coordinators can satisfy the requirements for cranes using two-way radios
to communicate both with equipment operators and field supervisors.

In planning to supply an adequate quantity of tools and cranes, it must be kept in mind
that a certain amount of loss and breakdown will occur. For example, if five cherry
pickers are called for in the schedule, you might consider using six to have a back-up in
case of mechanical breakdown. Tools also break or are lost/stolen, so you should
instruct your supplier to have on hand more than what the schedule requires.

Materials

A bill of materials can and must be developed for each work order. From the
engineering files (or from past turnaround purchasing requisitions) you can obtain all of
the information needed to prepare a materials list: bolt and gasket sizes, quantity,
material specifications, tray dimensions and type, metallurgy, refractory specifications,
catalyst type, etc.

Most materials are a direct replacement item (bolts, gaskets, valves, etc.). Some may
be refurbished and reused (i.e. valves). Catalyst may be either replaced by new or
regenerated for reuse.

Materials must be identified, requisitioned, purchased, warehoused, tagged and issued


or deposited at or near their intended equipment ahead of time. Purchasing / delivery
lead time for some materials could affect the schedule, so it is important to purchase
these long delivery items as early as practical.

As materials are received from vendors, they should be inspected (and tested; i.e.
valves) to avoid any surprises (and delays) during the turnaround.

All work orders should list the required materials to facilitate requisitioning them from
the warehouse. This will minimize or eliminate delays and confusion when the materials
are needed in the field.

Coordination

In simple terms we refer to coordination as letting the right hand know what the left
hand is doing. It involves communication so that timely decisions can be made by the
various groups involved in the turnaround.

Two basic items are required to coordinate all necessary information:

Organizational chart, detailing responsibilities


Departmental procedures

The planner must ensure that the information needs of all those identified on the
turnaround organization chart are satisfied in a consistent, timely manner. He also
should follow-up to ensure positive feedback on his information, where needed (i.e.,
progress updates, staffing level changes, extra work, etc.).

The schedules detail the participation of different crews or groups to get some work
done, i.e., unheading a heat exchanger. This means that after most bolts have been
loosened or removed, a cherry picker must be summoned to lower it to the ground.
Even though cherry picker activity is scheduled along with all other related work, its
actual usage must be coordinated in the field as the need arises, because their
schedule is usually coordinated by a dispatcher.

Coordination with contractors is very important. Examples are: Heat exchanger bundle
cleaning priority, outside shop repairs, crane utilization, etc.

Poor coordination, or the lack of it, results in disruption of the work flow, delays,
schedule extensions, and increased costs. Not to be ignored are the political
consequences: rejecting responsibility for the problems, assigning blame, a breakdown
in communication and cooperation, etc.

Rigidly departmentalized organizations run a high risk of such breakdown in


coordination. This requires the planner to make special efforts to overcome this
problem. In such cases the planner must resort to more formal transmittals of
information, requests for information, calls to meetings, etc. Of course, having to
contend with added paperwork (transmittals, memos, etc.) poses a bureaucratic
burden that can detract from a planners time as well as slow down communication.

The ideal situation is to create a "task force" teamwork spirit of cooperation - resulting
in an easy, rapid, informal communication. In other words, communication and
feedback; without delays, is the essential ingredient of good coordination. Coordination
should strive to bring about cooperation, safety, quality and lowered costs while
avoiding delays and duplication of effort.

Technical

The technical information required concerns the material specifications of the


equipment and spare parts, bolts, gaskets, catalyst, refractory, etc.. This information
should be available from the engineering or inspection files, or from previous
turnaround material requisitions.

The technical data has an impact on work order definition and estimates, as repairs on
some vessels may be very simple and straightforward, depending on the design and
metallurgy, while others might require passivating, stress relieve, etc.. Also, repair work
time varies with the diverse metals employed in the manufacture of the equipment
(carbon steel, stainless, exotic alloys, etc.).

Making this information available to the field supervisors is just as important as the
schedule, in order to ensure that the adequate resources will be at hand to make the
repairs in full accordance with the specifications.
Work Scope

The work scope is usually developed by the Inspection, Maintenance and Operations
(Production) departments. A preliminary work list is developed and revised. Cost of
repairs and the time required to perform them is a factor when deciding to include or
exclude work from the scope.

The turnaround work scope usually covers two main categories:

Inspection and repairs


A.F.E. for engineered items (capital expense)

It may also include a third category, which consists of insurance claim work for a
sinistered unit.

While the maintenance department usually concerns itself with the former, the latter is
generally managed by the engineering department. So, in most cases, the turnaround
planner only concerns himself with maintenance inspection and repair work. But where
new equipment or piping is installed under an A.F.E. (capital work), the planner must
schedule and coordinate any tie-ins to the existing plant or unit, in harmony with the
engineering schedule.

Often, the work scope changes, and continues to develop all throughout the
turnaround. The reason for this is simply that the extent of the repair work can not be
established until the equipment has been opened, cleaned and inspected.

A cutoff date is usually established a few weeks prior to the turnaround, by which date
all known or anticipated work has to be identified and scoped. This allows for an orderly
preparation of all estimates, schedules, etc.

Sources of Information
In the course of project planning, you will need access to certain information, as
follows:
Previous turnaround work orders / scope
Previous turnaround inspection reports
Equipment data (drawings, specifications)
Unit layout (equipment location drawings)
Plot plan
Mechanical flow sheets
Blind lists
Equipment lists
Valve lists
Instrument lists
Turnaround work list
If available, obtain previous turnarounds final reports and critiques, which may point to
specific problems to be avoided. If you cannot obtain such critiques, check with those
involved in the previous turnaround(s) to find out what major problems developed and
ask for their suggestions as to how to avoid them in the future.
You should establish your own planning files, organized by equipment identification tag
or number (within the unit). This will help you save time whenever you need to plan a
turnaround.
The planning files should contain all relevant information:
Work Order
Equipment drawings and specifications
Bolting, gaskets, etc.
Testing procedures and pressures
Blind list
Location drawing
Inspection reports
Other
In addition to these paper files, you should save in a secure place, a computer disk (CD-
ROM/DVD-ROM/etc.) containing a back-up of all your data files. Label, date and store
the media properly.

The Turnaround Work List

Frequently, a turnaround work list is prepared. This list, usually a few pages long,
identifies all the known or desired inspections and work to be included in the
turnaround scope. It usually lists all of the process equipment, with a brief statement
describing the extent of the inspections and repair work. For instance, it may list:

"E-102 HGO Exchanger - BLIND, OPEN, PULL BUNDLE, CLEAN & REPAIR"

This brief scope will be detailed later in a work order, complete with durations and
manpower for every step or task involved, from scaffolding, blinding and tagging
through testing, pulling blinds, removing scaffolding and final clean-up of the area.

The turnaround work list is the natural starting point for the planning effort. We can use
the preliminary work list, and we should never wait until the final list is approved;
otherwise we will not have sufficient time to plan the turnaround. It is better to modify
early estimates and schedules than to wait and try to plan it in a hurry in a few days
before the shutdown.

Even though you may be able to estimate, plan and schedule a major turnaround in a
weeks time, you would never have sufficient time left to have the work orders and the
schedules reviewed by the turnaround staff and to incorporate their changes and
suggestions. Keep in mind that all work orders and schedules that you prepare are
THEIR work orders and schedules, not yours. If the turnaround team does not become
involved in at least reviewing (and approving) the product of your efforts, it will be
ignored and rejected.
When there is little time left and no turnaround work list has been prepared yet - should
you wait for it? This is risky, because you could run out of time and end up unprepared -
rendering the turnaround unmanageable. The solution is to either plan using the
previous turnaround work list, or the complete list of ancillary process equipment. We
prefer to develop work order estimates for all of the equipment in a plant unit. Then,
when the turnaround work list is released, you can include all of the work orders you
already developed, and concentrate on planning the remaining necessary piping,
valves, electrical, instruments and miscellaneous work. This will save you valuable time
when you are close to the shutdown date.

Turnaround Work Order


A detailed turnaround Work Order is the basic building block of a good turnaround
plan. ATC Professional organizes turnaround projects by work order. Planners using
other project management software would find sub-projects to be the closest analogy
to what we will refer to as a Work Order. A turnaround Work Order should contain the
following information:
Owner name, plant / unit name, location
Turnaround date (month/year)
Work Order number (a unique alphanumeric identifier, preferable no more than
eight characters in length)
Equipment tag (equipment identification or inventory number)
Equipment name (from the equipment list or P&IDs)
A unit/area/system code to specify where this equipment is
An equipment class code to group it with other related equipment
Activities (tasks for every step required from start to completion of the work
order)
Every activity should contain the following information:
Activity description (i.e., "INSTALL BLINDS")
Duration
Resources (Manpower and major equipment. Do not exceed three different labor
crafts for any given activity. If more than three different labor crafts are required, the
activity may be poorly defined and should be split up)
Number of craftsmen (usually an even number as crews are assigned to the
work. Usually a craftsman and a helper are involved in most work)
Tools required to perform the work
Materials
Equipment
Permits
Procedures
Remarks
Photographs, digitized drawings, isometrics, etc.
You should prepare a Work Order for every piece of equipment, piping item, valve, etc.
Never group several pieces of equipment into one work order, even if the equipment is
identical. Otherwise you will not be able to schedule, report, etc. each item individually,
making your task more complicated instead of easier, and scheduling and progress
reporting more difficult and unreliable.
For instance, if you have a group of six identical heat exchangers, E-100 A, E-100 B, E-
100 C, E-100 D, E-100 E and E-100 F, each one should be on a separate work order.

Work Order Organization

Work orders must be organized in such a way as to make them easy to find and use as
required. Otherwise, handling hundreds of work orders during a turnaround could
become a nightmare.

Every work order must have a unique identifying label assigned to it. This could be a
number, or some alpha-numeric code. Try to keep this label as short and meaningful as
possible. It is very difficult to remember a long code made up of numbers and letters.

In addition, every work order should also include an equipment tag (unique identifier)
to associate it with the process equipment, piping iso, valve or instrument involved. For
instance: "E-100 A", "CW-18-2011", "PSV-101", etc.

Work orders should also have an "Equipment Class or Category" so they can be
sorted/grouped logically. The plant equipment list can be used for this purpose:

Towers
Vessels
Drums
Tanks
Reactors
Heaters & Boilers
Heat Exchangers
Cooling Towers
Filters
Compressors
Rotating Equipment
Piping
Electrical
Instruments

In addition, work orders should also contain an Area or System code, to help in
scheduling and reporting.

Work orders should also display the responsible supervisor assigned to the work.

Keep the number of codes to a reasonable size. Over two dozen codes will waste time
and paper without adding any benefit when printing reports. Remember that codes are
supposed to be used to organize and summarize.
Keep It Simple!

Keep in mind that as you simplify work order numbering, coding and classifying, you
will make it easier for everyone to find what they need, improving communication and
acceptance of the planning package. One way to approach work order organization is
to examine everything we do with a critical eye: Is the numbering and coding scheme
going to simplify and speed up the handling of work orders? If the numbering scheme is
complicated, it will slow down the handling of the information.

Anyone can complicate even the simplest thing, but it takes talent to make something
complex simple to use. Remember the "KISS" principle!

Resources

Before you start planning work orders, you should make a list of all resources expected
to be involved in the turnaround. There are two kinds of resources: Manpower (labor)
and Equipment.

Use a code or abbreviation for every resource, not to exceed four letters. For example:

Manpower Codes Equipment Codes

BM - Boilermakers
CA - Carpenters
CO - Crane Operators
EL - Electricians
EO - Equipment Operators
HY - Hydroblasters
IF - Instrument Technicians
IN - Insulators
IP - Inspectors AM - Air Mover
LA - Laborers BC - Bundle Carrier
ME - Mechanics BE - Bundle Extractor
MW - Millwrights CC - Crawler Crane (Heavy Crane)
OP - Operations / Production CP - Cherry Picker
PF - Pipe fitters CR - Crane
PFF - Pipe Fabricators FB - Flatbed Truck
REF - Refractory Applicators FL - Forklift
SR - Stress Relieve Technicians HYEQ - Hydroblast Equipment
SW - Safety Watch PU - Pick-up Truck
TD - Truck Drivers SREQ - Stress-relieve Equipment
WE - Welders TT - Tractor-Trailer
XR - X-ray Technicians VT - Vacuum Truck

The above lists are not all-inclusive; you will develop additional categories and codes as
necessary.
Work Order Tasks
Work order scopes are defined in activities or tasks, which are the individual steps that
are required from start to completion, regardless of who is responsible for their
execution, whether they are productive or not. That non-productive activities must also
be included where required should not be overlooked.
Non-productive activities can impact the schedule without contributing to the manhour
estimate. For example:
Cool down / gas free
Refractory curing time
Concrete curing time
Non-productive activities can also contribute to the manhour estimate without any
significant impact on the schedule. For example:
Mobilize crane
Demobilize crane
Set up catalyst handling equipment
Transport bundle to cleaning area
Set up dust/runoff containment barriers
Haul debris to scrap yard
Clean up area

Defining Activities

Activities must be clearly defined, and should be measurable. This means anyone
should be able to determine if a particular activity (as defined) is in progress, or
completed.

Activities must be defined every time there is a break or change in work content,
and/or by changes in the work crew. Activities that are overly broad in scope are
difficult to estimate, schedule and measure/report progress against.

If you have a good degree of detail, your activities become easy to estimate, schedule
and control. Your entire planning effort will be credible and usable. ATC
Professional was designed to handle large, detailed schedules quickly and easily.
Estimating, scheduling and tracking a turnaround project with little detail is more
difficult than with a great amount of detail. Summary level schedules are useless for
managing turnarounds.

Also, watch the resources needed for any given activity. If you require five or more
crafts to execute an activity then it is in all likelihood ill-defined. In that case, break it
up into better-defined tasks. This will save you many headaches when it comes to
scheduling and manpower staffing.
Types of Activities

There are four general categories or types of activities:

Safety (Permits, Testing, Gas Freeing, Neutralizing, Fire and Hole Watch, etc.)
Inspection (Preliminary and after repairs are made)
Repairs (on-site and off-site, or outside shops)
Support (Scaffolding, Lighting, Hauling, Painting, Clean-up, etc.)

All can have an impact on budget and schedule, so be sure not to overlook any of
them!

Defining Activities

Project planning is based on an analytical process, a process that investigates, verifies


and organizes relevant information about the work scope. The process can be
illustrated as follows:

Lets assume we have to develop a work order to replace a valve. The steps involved
require the planner to ask all relevant questions:

What valve is to be replaced? (tag or I.D. #)


Where is the valve located? (at grade, at elevation requiring scaffolding?)
Is the valve safe? (is blinding and/or decontamination required?)
Is the valve insulated?
How is the valve to be replaced? (it is screwed or welded?)
Who will replace it (owner or contractor?)

The answers to what, where, how and who will give us the necessary information to
prepare an adequate estimate.

Knowing the type of valve to be replaced is important, since there are many types:
block, control, safety, slide, motor operated, etc.

How the valve is to be replaced also plays an important role. If it is large, a crane my
be needed. If it is welded, then the line may have to be purged and/or blinded, unless it
is a utility line (air, steam, water). Testing procedures may call for x-ray, hydrostatic or
both. The new valve may have to be shop tested before transporting it to the site and
installing it. The line may have to be touched up with paint or re-insulated. If there is
steam tracing it may have to be repaired or reconnected before re-insulating.

Where the valve is located will dictate whether to erect a scaffold, use a ladder, a crane
with man basket or a hydraulic personnel hoisting platform; whether the area needs to
be decontaminated or the workers are to wear protective equipment.

Who will replace it may have an impact on your labor costs.


Keep every valve work scope on a separate work order. There is no such thing as
unimportant work. A single valve that is missing can prevent the unit from starting up.

Heat exchangers require more definition. These are some of the considerations:

What kind of heat exchanger? (u-tube, floating head, reboiler, fin tube, air
cooler?)
What service is the heat exchanger in? (heavy crude, light product, etc.)
Where is the exchanger located? (at ground level, in a structure, etc.)
Is this a vertical or horizontal exchanger?
Is the exchanger insulated?
Must remove any piping in order to unhead?
Is scaffolding required?
Is the exchanger to be acidized?
Is the exchanger to be neutralized?
Blinding required? (If in a bank, perhaps the first and last ones are blinded only)
How many tubes are there in the bundle?
Clean the bundle in place?
Pull bundle and clean at site?
Remove bundle to slab for cleaning?
Tube bundle to be scrapped and new one inserted?
Tube bundle to be cleaned and returned to site?
Tube bundle to be retubed? (If yes, retubing and testing at shop?)
Shell to be cleaned and repaired?
Heads to be cleaned and repaired?
Baffle plate to be repaired?
Sacrificial anodes to be replaced?
Entire exchanger to be replaced with a new one?
Gasket surfaces to be machined?

You may find additional questions as you start developing the scopes for the heat
exchangers. If you cannot answer these questions then seek out someone familiar and
experienced to get his input. He will be glad that you respect his experience and will be
more receptive towards accepting your estimates and schedules.

Remember to include steps to transport equipment, materials and scrap on and off the
site. This also requires manpower and equipment (and time). Any electrical equipment
must always be locked out and tagged out. There is no need to include an activity to
remove the tags and locks, because this is done during start-up.

Also remember that, generally, when something goes up, it also has to come down
(scaffolding); if something is installed, it has to be removed (blinds, air movers,
temporary lighting, runoff and dust containment barriers, etc.). Also remember that you
should schedule a hole watch for every crew or individual(s) entering a vessel, for the
entire time these are inside the vessel. Also, hot work (welding) in the unit must have a
"hole" watch (or fire watch if you prefer, but they are usually the same person). Every
repair should be followed by an inspection. Sometimes more than one group must
inspect. Sometimes the Government inspector and/or the Insurance inspector need to
witness the repairs and/or tests.
A good way to prepare a work order is to review the safety and maintenance/repair
procedures. These will usually dictate how the work orders should be prepared. You
must also review inspection and testing procedures, as these are equally as important.
If no written procedures exist, then you will have to turn to the respective departments
and interview those in charge of determining how all of the activities are to be carried
out. DO NOT ASSUME TO KNOW - consult those in charge - that way you will avoid
surprises. Keep in mind that procedures can change as well.

Remember that there are two kinds of procedures: general and specific. Some work
orders are affected by general procedures, others by procedures specific to a piece of
equipment. For instance, general procedures call for installing unit battery limit blinds,
but a specific piece of equipment may require to be fully blinded before opening and
entering (due to hazardous conditions), and at the same time another piece of
equipment may not require any blinds (for instance, steam drums, utilities, etc.).

When contractors prepare to make major repairs, they should furnish a highly detailed
plan showing all the steps involved in the execution of the work. A work order should
be developed from the contractors plan, and included in the overall turnaround scope.

eTaskMaker lets you create work scopes rapidly and consistently. Consistent activity
descriptions facilitate the correct interpretation and give your work orders a more
professional look.

Activity Duplication

Sometimes an activity becomes redefined (duplicated) inadvertently. For instance, one


work order calls for scaffold erection to install blinds. Another work order may require a
scaffold at the same place for some piping work. Or, on a bank of identical heat
exchangers, every one of the individual work orders repeats the steps for scaffolding,
blinding and testing, instead of scaffolding, blinding the inlet and outlet of the entire
bank of exchangers at one time, and testing all together at the same time.

This duplication not only results in inflated estimates and manpower requirements, but
in a very confusing schedule which will cause a loss of credibility and confidence in the
planning effort.

Be sure to cross-reference work orders to indicate activities common to both. This will
also facilitate scheduling, by indicating where a logic tie or relationship is to be defined
between work orders. For instance: "BLINDING ON W.O. # 17045" with no durations or
crafts, will direct the attention to work order 17045 which does have the time and
manpower to install the blinds. Or: "ERECT SCAFFOLD - SEE W.O. # 45315", etc.

Estimating Activity Durations and


Resources
There are three ways you can estimate activity durations and the required resources.
1. You can consult with those in your organization that have estimating experience.
Never be ashamed about revealing a lack of knowledge in an area. It is far worse to
make a blunder and be found out. And by asking those who know, you will not only pay
them a compliment, but also make their experience and knowledge yours at the same
time.
2. You can use the project file of previous turnaround as a project template, if
available. Unfortunately, such historical records are usually not available, or are
incomplete, or are unreliable for a number of reasons. When using a project template
you must be careful not to blindly copy previous mistakes (see Refining the Project
Planning Process for more on this topic).
3. Or you can use project planning software, which has proven estimating
formulas built-in (recommended over the use of a project template).
Most estimating know-how is empirical, which means it has been gained through first-
hand experience. As you start estimating, you will gain experience and confidence in
your ability. You will also become aware of whether the estimates are consistently on
target, or whether you need to adjust them. This will allow you to gradually improve
them to arrive at the most realistic estimates that will generate confidence and
acceptance of your planning effort.
The correct way to estimate an activity is to define the steps involved, assign the
necessary manpower and equipment, and then add a duration (in whole hours)
sufficient for its execution.
For example: "UNHEAD EXCHANGER" will require two Boilermakers, one Equipment
Operator, one Cherry Picker and an Impact Tool. Lets analyze the component steps in
order to estimate the duration for the activity:

Detailed Procedure Duration Estimate


Loosening and removing bolts 45 minutes
Positioning the Cherry Picker 15 minutes
Rigging head for removal 5 minutes
Removing remaining bolts 15 minutes
Lowering head to the ground 10 minutes
De-rig & remove Cherry Picker 10 minutes
Total 100 minutes
We prefer to round upwards and convert into hours (for a total of 2 hours). Loosening
and removing bolts could take less or much longer, depending on the condition of the
bolts. Also, an extra hand (laborer) could be assigned to gather studs and nuts and
place them in buckets for cleaning and to maintain workplace safety (to prevent
workers from tripping over scattered bolts and sustaining injury). The crew can
experience delays of all sorts: emergency evacuation of the area, tool and equipment
failure, accidents, etc. This is the reason for rounding off all estimates on the high side -
it tends to compensate for those unplanned events that can extend (delay) a job.
Another way to approach this - also rounding off durations to the high side - is to try to
assign (add) at least 15% (fifteen percent) to every duration with manpower to cover
personal, fatigue and delay factors. Personal factors cover items such as lunch,
smoking and bathroom breaks. Fatigue factors cover the productivity loss experienced
as workers become tired as the day progresses. Delay factors are all unplanned events
such as equipment and tool failure/unavailability, accidents, etc.
But at no time should you include productivity adjustments in the estimates above and
beyond the rounding up procedure outlined above. You should always estimate
durations as realistically as possible: any adjustment for productivity loss should only
be made against the total turnaround scope estimate. At that time you will be able to
establish a realistic manhour budget.
The frequent temptation to "pad" the estimates is to ensure that there is sufficient "fat"
in them to avoid overrunning the budget. It is better to be realistic, and include extra
activities, wherever appropriate, to avoid overrunning the budget. These activities
include:
Worker sign up (hiring)
Worker safety orientation
Welder qualification testing
Deliver blinds and tools to job site
Repair / replace as necessary
Clean up work area
Return tools and blinds
Haul off ___ to scrap yard
If the estimates are padded, and then someone adds a hefty contingency on top, you
end up with so much waste that it will become obvious to the trained eye. This built-in
inefficiency will result into a net cost overrun. The reason for this is the tendency to
spend the available budget, or not to become alarmed unless it appears that the
(padded) budget will be exceeded. So, if the resulting budget (padded with "fat" and
contingency on top) is approved, in most cases hiring and manpower staffing will be
higher than necessary. So, if you "pad" your estimates, you are assuring a certain
amount of waste beyond what could be expected and/or tolerable. Its easy to see why:
having more workers than necessary results in having them standing around waiting on
work.
In addition, you cannot saturate the area and expect good productivity. Scheduling
more people than the number that can move about safely and efficiently only causes
grid lock and slows everybody down. When that happens, morale is lowered, causing
further deterioration of productivity. Also, rescheduling to alleviate such a grid lock
results in extra movements (mobilization / demobilization) of personnel for the work
involved.
One way to ensure sufficient elbow room for a smooth execution of the work is not to
allow manpower density to exceed one worker per 150 square feet. This area is to be
calculated adding up all surfaces (grade and platforms). This does not apply to work
inside equipment, where the density is higher.

Estimating Repair Work


Repair work is usually the most difficult task to define and estimate. Repair work is
usually identified after inspections of the equipment. Some repairs are known
beforehand, from previous shutdowns or from inspections while the plant is operating
(infrared, ultrasonic, etc.).
Often we can estimate the extent of the repairs based on the history (previous
inspection reports, repairs) and the type of service for a particular piece of equipment.
After the equipment is inspected and repairs are recommended and approved, then we
can revise the original estimates as necessary.
Of all of the possible repairs, the most difficult to estimate is refractory work. Even after
refractory repairs are underway, the extent or scope of these repairs usually change. It
is best to have several activities defining refractory work, each dealing with a specific
area or part of the equipment. For example:
Repair refractory at plenum
Repair cyclone refractory
Repair north wall refractory
Repair bottom head refractory
Of course, "repair refractory" is not a very good definition of the work. Refractory
repairs should always be detailed showing all necessary steps:
Erecting scaffolding
Chipping out the old refractory
Removing the old hex steel or bad order anchors
Sandblasting or grinding the walls
Cleaning out the debris
Installing new hex steel or anchors
Installing the new refractory
Removing scaffolds
Refractory curing time
Clean up
Even if you decide not to include any repair estimates in your work order, you should at
least have an activity labeled "MISCELLANEOUS REPAIRS" with no manpower. This way
you can later add duration and manpower, and it will help in reminding you to be alert
for the inspection reports, so that the repairs wont be overlooked.
Of course, some prefer to include a time duration to provide a convenient time span in
case repairs are needed. This also works well. The method you choose will depend
upon the prevailing philosophy within your organization.
It is important to keep all estimates (particularly repair work estimates) current. The
reason is that the estimates will establish the required manpower staffing and the
remaining schedule time span to get the work accomplished. Otherwise both budget
and schedule will be overrun.

Planning Extra Work

Most extra work is originated from inspection reports during a turnaround. Sometimes
the extra work originates from other sources (Operations / Production, Engineering,
Process, etc.).

The scope of the extra work should be developed, with all necessary steps, including
inspection and testing if required. You can then add this work order to the schedule,
and report progress against it. Even if the work has been done by the time you learn
about it, go ahead and develop the scope and include it into the schedule. Then you
can post progress against it, and your reports will reflect the increased manhours for
the turnaround and the impact on overall progress and earned value analysis.

Be sure to code the extra work as such, to sort out the costs after the turnaround is
over.

The extra work order should also contain a reference to the main work order that
covers the equipment being repaired. This will help in scheduling, and later for
historical reference.
Productivity

After all manhour estimates have been reviewed, revised and approved, total
manhours by labor resources (crafts / skills) should be calculated. These total
manhours become the base estimate. You can calculate an adjustment for the base
estimate for an expected productivity loss according to your expected parameters.

ATC Professional generates an Executive Summary report that automatically


calculates an adjustment for productivity loss depending upon the working calendar
(shift basis, days per week and expected duration) of the planned turnaround. If you
change the above parameters, ATC Professional will instantly compute the productivity
degradation based on the new conditions and adjust the manhour estimate accordingly.

Shift Length

Shift length has a great impact on productivity:

Eight-hour shifts fail to motivate workers as there is no overtime incentive.


Plus, a standard shift fails to convey a sense of urgency to keep a high pace of activity.
Whenever eight hour shifts are kept, it becomes imperative to watch the schedule very
closely to keep the work on track.
Ten-hour shifts seem to be the most productive as there is overtime pay
incentive and a sense of urgency. A convenient two-hour gap between the day and the
night shift allows difficult or hazardous work to be performed (X-ray, sandblasting, etc.),
as well as time for all supervisors to attend a turn-over meeting.
Twelve-hour shifts appear to be the most inefficient. An extra lunch period at
a time when the workers are most fatigued, coupled with end-of-shift preparations,
result in very little, if any, extra gain at a much higher price. Two twelve hour shifts per
day do not allow the time for meetings or special work such as X-ray or sandblasting
(which usually causes all work to stop in its vicinity - increasing productivity loss), plus
other logistical problems such as clocking in/out and parking lot congestion. When
supervisors attend meetings while working in this fashion, work slows down for lack of
supervision in the field - more productivity loss. Also, twelve-hour shifts causes workers
to grow more tired and increases the likelihood of accidents.
Work Week

The work week also has an impact on productivity:

Five days per week fail to offer overtime pay incentive, and workers may be
tempted to "drag their feet" hoping to cause delays which will, in turn, motivate
management to authorize overtime work in order to recoup lost time.
Six days per week provide both overtime pay incentive plus one day of rest
per week. This is significant for turnarounds lasting several weeks, and provides make-
up days (Sundays) to avoid delays.
Seven days per week provide sufficient overtime pay incentive, but after
some time you may suffer a decline in productivity caused by the lack of rest days. This
works well for shorter duration turnarounds, but offers no "safety cushion" in case of
schedule slippages.
Contractor Bids
Sometimes you may elect to solicit fixed price bids for some or all of the work. If this is
the case, you should still go ahead and prepare all of the work order estimates. Then
prepare bid packages including copies of your work order task definitions (minus the
manhour estimates). ATC Professional offers a "Bid Package" report for this. This
package will show the work scope, indicating which portions are to be bid on, but does
not show durations, manpower or manhours for any activity.
Issue a set of these Bid Package forms to all bidders. This will ensure a uniform
approach to the contractor selection process, and allow you to compare prices in a
rational manner. After a contractor has been selected, and before awarding the
contract, you should make the complete work order information available to the
successful bidder, so that he can review them to agree or revise the time (and
manpower) estimates. This is important for two reasons:
1. The durations will determine the schedule (which the contractor must accept
and adhere to), and:
2. To prevent any major surprises / misunderstandings with respect to the extent of
the work scope (repairs) and the manpower staffing requirements.
After the successful bidder has reviewed and agreed (or revised) the work order
estimates, you can award the contract. Be sure, however, to stipulate in your contract
all terms and conditions for adhering to the schedule and reporting progress.
Time and Material ("Cost-Plus") type contracts should require all contractors to furnish
detailed time sheets coded with the correct work order number and kind of work
performed, name of worker, skill code, etc. A copy of this daily time sheet should be
furnished to the turnaround planner so that he can prepare a productivity evaluation
(earned value analysis) and manhour projection to determine if there will be a variance
with the original manhour budget.

Critical Path Scheduling

After all work orders have been prepared and reviewed (approved), you will be ready to
prepare a schedule. If more work orders are issued after you create the schedule, you
can and should incorporate them into the schedule. This is a constant process, as you
will get additional work orders for repairs arising from inspections. They must also be
scheduled.

Remember the importance of maintaining the schedule constantly, as the number of


changes to the work scope, progress or the lack of progress could otherwise render the
schedule obsolete. The schedule must be updated at the end of every shift. This is
usually twice a day. Failure to update the schedule with this frequency will impair the
ability to make critical decisions, such as adding, maintaining or reducing manpower,
reassigning crews, call on specialty contractors, etc.
Critical Path Scheduling

Critical path scheduling is the act of applying a logical sequence (by defining
constraints) to the activities defined in the work orders. Most project management
software employs a PDM (Precedence Diagramming Method) interface for defining the
logic network. The sequence of activities which have no float or slack (Float = 0 hours)
is called the critical path. It determines the remaining duration of the turnaround.

The first step to turnaround scheduling is to define all hard constraints. These are
constraints that must be honored. For example, you cannot inspect the interior of a
vessel until the manways have been opened. eTaskMaker automatically generates
hard constraint logic for you. ATC Professional automatically generates 80-90% of
this logic for you as well when creating the initial schedule.

It is not necessary (although it is not detrimental) to add redundant constraints such


as:

A --> B
B --> C
A --> C (this is redundant and unnecessary)

Activities can have multiple predecessors and/or successors. Activities can be started
as soon as all of their predecessors are completed. For instance, "COOL DOWN / GAS
FREE" can have as successors "INSTALL TEMPORARY LIGHTING" and "INSTALL ENTRY
LADDER". Also, "CLOSE MANWAYS" can have as predecessors "REMOVE ENTRY
LADDER", "REMOVE TEMPORARY LIGHTING" and "REMOVE AIR MOVERS". Remember:

Predecessors - the activities that must be completed before the next one can
start
Successors - all activities that follow a specific task.

Activities can start as early as desired, or can be delayed until they run out of float or
slack, thus becoming critical. At that point they are identified as the critical path. Any
delay of the critical path activities will cause an equal delay for the entire schedule.

Most activities will have float or slack, which is the amount of time they can be delayed
until they become critical (Float = 0 hours) and impact the units start-up date.

Realistically, activities that have very little float or slack should be treated as critical
simply because there may be a degree of error in the estimates. A sequence of
activities with float = 5 hours could easily be critical if their combined durations were
underestimated by five hours (or the critical path was similarly overestimated).

Priority

Be sure to schedule all equipment inspections early. This is very important, because
some findings could require major repair work that might impact the schedule. All high
manhour work orders should be started as soon as possible.
Some equipment will merit a lowered priority, if the past experience indicates little or
no repair work will be required. Consult the inspection reports to identify the extent of
the repairs during past turnarounds.

Low priority work is usually classified as "fill-in" work. It usually includes all kind of
small jobs - mainly piping and valve work. You can spread out this work over the
duration of the turnaround, to help smooth out the manpower requirements. The scope
of these small jobs seldom grows into a larger one, and has no probability of showing
up as the critical path.

They may, however, in the aggregation of several jobs, result in a critical mass of work
(that can not be finished with available resources within the current critical path
timeframe) and therefore eventually cause a delay in the schedule (overtaking the
critical path). Critical mass develops when the rate of progress is insufficient to
complete the work before the critical path end date. It is usually due to insufficient
manpower. This is the reason for keeping a close watch on the actual number of
workers, every shift, and comparing it with the schedule requirements.

Sequencing the Work

After the basic schedule has been created, and the work prioritized (sequenced)
according to an Operations / Production equipment availability schedule and the other
considerations discussed earlier, you should sequence the work in such a manner as to
enhance the utilization of manpower, tools and equipment.

In sequencing the work, we have to consider the type of job, the resources or skills
involved and the physical layout of the unit or plant.

The first step is to determine the number of crews. We do this by reviewing a resource
histogram (utilization) report for all resources and record the peak leveled number of
craftsmen. So, we divide by two to arrive at the peak leveled number of crews, and add
ten or twenty percent. This is a good rule of thumb for preliminary manpower planning.
The reason you need to hire more men than scheduled is to compensate for
absenteeism, dismissals, and additional work arising from inspection.

You may have several crews of any particular resource; even if you only have one
generalized resource/skill designation such as "multicraft".

Start by sequencing the "hard" crafts that perform most of the mechanical work. These
are usually Boilermakers, Pipefitters, Welders and Mechanics. If you sequence these
crafts properly, all support crafts will follow accordingly and may not need to be
sequenced.

Activities that are critical or near critical (having little float) should not be delayed, as
the manpower required to accomplish them must be supplied as dictated by the
schedule.
We can sequence the work that has float or slack by tying or restraining activities
together, in such a fashion as to cause a crew to go from one job to the next as soon as
the first one is completed.

The best way to this is with the help of a plot plan or equipment layout drawing of the
unit / area. When sequencing the work, try to keep the movement or travel between
jobs to a minimum. Causing workers to continually move from one end of the unit to
the other is inefficient and can result in a significant waste of manpower.

Every time you tie or restrain activities to sequence manpower, check to see if that
action resulted in making the activities critical (or near critical). Near critical activities
have very little float or slack. If the activities have become critical, then it is best to
undo the tie or restraint, otherwise you may be scheduling too tightly - increasing the
probability for an overrun.

This is a trial-and-error method, but it is not too difficult to achieve, and the result will
be a workable schedule with a realistic manpower utilization.

Efficient Manpower Utilization

Effective manpower use is achieved by eliminating:

Wait time
Movement (travel time)

The best way to achieve high efficiency is to sequence the work as described above,
and then issue Shift Schedules that list fifteen (15%) percent or more work than can be
accomplished. This keeps the schedule sufficiently flexible to accommodate the
changing conditions that cause some work to not be available as scheduled (lack of
permits, lack of equipment, etc.). Field supervisors will then always have sufficient work
scheduled to keep everyone busy at all times.

Shutdown Schedule (Operations)

Operations / Production shutdown and start-up schedules, usually in bar chart (bar
graph) format, detail the procedures for shutting down and starting back up a unit or
plant.

Shut-down work is carried out by the unit/plant operators. Generally, no maintenance


work is allowed to commence (with the exception of scaffolding and blinding) until all
product has been cleared from the process equipment and piping, and the unit is no
longer running and has been made safe for entering.
The shut-down schedule can determine the priority or availability of equipment, the
amount of pre-turnaround scaffolding and blinding, and any other preparatory work
such as staging of equipment, tools and materials.

The start-up schedule is also prepared by the operations / production group, and
follows their procedures for bringing the unit / plant back on stream.

The start-up schedule usually involves - in addition to the operations personnel - Pipe
fitters, insulators, scaffold builders, electricians and instrument technicians. These
crafts stand by to assist and fix last minute leaks, insulation repairs, scaffolding
removal, clean up, etc. Many of these activities are included in the turnaround budget,
and are listed in the work order scopes and schedules.

Pre-Turnaround Scheduling (Maintenance)


Scheduling pre-turnaround work must take into account the restrictions imposed for
conducting activities in a unit or plant that is running or in the process of being shut
down.
Sometimes the extent or scope of the pre-turnaround work exceeds the time allowed
and causes a portion of this work to spill over into the turnaround. This means that pre-
turnaround work must also be monitored, as it can impact the turnaround schedule and
manpower.
Pre-turnaround activities usually fall into these categories:
Erection of scaffolding
Staging of equipment, materials
Tagging of valves to be replaced, leaks
Removal of insulation
Demolition / removal of idled equipment
Testing of valves at the shop
Fabrication of piping spools, sandblasting, painting, testing
Rigging
Mobilization of equipment
Mobilization of contractors (hiring, drug testing, safety orientation)
Mobilizing and rigging cranes
Installation of battery limit blinds
Check your work scope to ensure that all work that can be done ahead of the
turnaround is properly identified and flagged as pre-turnaround. Ensure that all the pre-
turnaround work is scheduled within the specified pre-turnaround time span. If some
activities extend into the turnaround, you should check if the logic is correct or allows
improvement to bring it back into the pre-turnaround time span. If the extending
activities cannot be pulled back, then you should try to add more pre-turnarounds days
(to start the pre-work earlier) until the work fits within the pre-turnaround period.
All of the scaffolding needed to install unit / plant battery limit blinds should be erected
pre-turnaround. If the operation of the unit / plant allows it, all other major equipment
blind scaffolding should also be erected, so as not to slow down the blinding of the
equipment.
Demolition of idled equipment may be allowed in some cases during the pre-
turnaround period, depending on safety considerations and possible interference with
other work in the unit such as scaffolding, blinding, etc.
Insulation removal may also be dependent upon blinding. Asbestos removal requires
special handling, so be sure to review the procedures to allow sufficient time for this
task.
Staging and rigging can occur mostly at any time, since these activities seldom
interfere with other work.
Rigging a large crane usually involves placing mats, positioning the crane, assembling
and rigging the boom and testing. In a congested area, this may take a little longer to
accomplish due to safety considerations.
Staging is an important logistical function. How and where temporary buildings, power,
air, tool cribs, field parts and materials warehouses, fabricated pipe spools, new
(replacement) equipment, cranes, conveyors, drums, temporary structures, dust and
runoff containment barriers will be located will have an impact upon the efficiency of
the turnaround execution.
Shop fabrication of piping spools is usually scheduled according to pipe type, size or
schedule, to minimize material handling. It is best to let the shop schedule the
fabrication, unless there is some high priority work identified on the critical path
turnaround schedule. The ideal situation is to have all shop fabricated pipe completed,
primed and painted (if required), tested and delivered to a shake-out area near the unit
or where it is to be installed before the turnaround starts.
All testing of replacement parts should also be completed before the turnaround starts.
In particular long delivery items should be tested or verified early to allow sufficient
time for replacement or repair, should they prove faulty. Most testing involves valves.

Refining the Schedule

After creating the schedule, you should plot it out for review. Gantt chart (bar chart)
plots of the complete schedule allow you to see the big picture and analyze the
schedule for refinements.

Critical Path Refinements

One of the first things you may want to do is to verify that the critical path ends at or
near the desired turnaround completion date (expected or dictated by management). Is
the overall duration reasonable, defensible? Or is it different from the
expected/mandated? If so, why? Review the entire sequence of activities to ensure
sound logic. Review the time estimates, in particular the large ones. If you need to trim
back time, have every supervisor involved review, revise or agree with every change
needed to improve the schedule. Never make any duration changes on your own
without the field supervisor's approval, this could cause big problems if the schedule is
rejected or ignored and the blame for an extension falls upon you for not getting their
input!

Include in your review and analysis all near-critical work as well. Some of it could
become critical at any time. Just like the critical path review, request input from the
supervisors.
For these initial scheduling reviews, it is advisable to only plot a bar chart limiting the
float (slack) to a shift or two (8-24 hours). After the critical path has been reviewed,
revised, and agreed upon, then you will be ready to check the rest of the schedule.

Interference Studies

Filter the schedule to display all heavy lifts, so that they stand out. Are all lifts properly
sequenced or are many scheduled to take place during the same shift? If too many lifts
are scheduled for a shift, you could delay less important work (which has a larger
float/slack value), so that the crane may used more efficiently, and the total time span
for crane rental can be better managed.

When scheduling several lifts in different locations or at different heights, you need to
determine if it is necessary to re-rig the boom, or move the crane, as this requires time
and reduces the effective utilization of the crane. If a few heavy lifts are scheduled
early and there is a gap or waiting period until more lifts are scheduled, then you might
want to delay the initial lifts (float/slack permitting) to eliminate paying for idle crane
rental time.

Some considerations to evaluate for specific equipment types include:

Towers - Tower work should be scheduled to start immediately after the


unit/plant is shut down. Check to see how many crews can be working inside, and if the
timing looks workable. Segregate the activities at every level where crews are working,
to group the work logically. In other words, organize your tower work in sections
according to how the work should flow.
Heat Exchangers - Use a plot plan or unit equipment layout to verify that the
bundle pulling sequence is not causing interference with other work in the immediate
vicinity, or vice-versa. The schedule should not allow a bottleneck of cherry picker
activity to happen.
Air Coolers - Check that air cooler work is scheduled after all major work
underneath is done, to avoid having water washing interrupt more important work. If
you have a gap between shifts, you can schedule this work at that time to prevent this
problem from happening.
Pumps - Pump work should ideally be started after heat exchangers have been
unheaded and bundles pulled, if they are in their immediate vicinity. Pumps are
frequently located in a bay under pipe racks. This work is seldom critical or high
priority.
Control and Safety Valves - Control valves and safety valves should be
scheduled for early removal. Reinstallation is usually not critical, but they need to be
sent to the shop early in case there are some requiring major repairs.
Piping - Generally, piping and valve work can be scheduled at any time after all
blinding is complete. Piping work involved with tie-ins has priority. There may some
piping work that involves equipment; in this case you must coordinate to make sure
you have good timing to correspond with the equipment work, testing, inspection,
insulation, etc. Tie-ins are usually scheduled during a short time period when all utilities
(steam, water, air) are down. Any utility outages should be scheduled after all
preparatory work is complete and ready, to avoid delays.
Electrical - Electrical work can be scheduled at any time except where certain
equipment is de-energized for a short time within the turnaround span. This schedule is
dictated by the electrical department.
Instrumentation - Instrument work can likewise be generally scheduled at any
time, with the exception of instrument control panel replacement/rework. Be sure to
include operator training in you activities if the control panel is changed.
Day/Night Work Activities

Some activities, such as heavy crane lifts, must be scheduled for the day shift only. This
is due to safety considerations, as good visibility (illumination) is required. Ask
supervisors to identify all day-only work.

The same applies for night-only activities, such as air cooler washing, x-rays,
hydroblasting or grit blasting, etc.

Revise / Update the Schedule

Mark any schedule changes on the plotted bar chart schedule, showing all logic
modifications, additions or deletions, day/night shift changes, etc. Then make the
changes in your project management software and reprint the bar charts. It could take
two, three or more reviews and editing sessions to produce the final, workable
turnaround schedule.

Preliminary Schedule Studies

Often it becomes necessary to prepare a schedule in order to determine the total


duration of the turnaround, even if not all work orders scopes have been defined. The
main objective is to determine the critical path, and near-critical activities.

This can be done as long as the most important work orders have been scoped out,
which consist of the greatest amount of work for major equipment.

The best way to accomplish this is to first review the work order scopes suspected or
expected to be involved in the critical (and near critical) path(s), to ensure their
completeness and reasonable time estimates.

After these work order scopes have been reviewed, inactivate (or filter out) all other
work orders on file. Keep active only the ones that have a high probability of being the
critical path. Then, create a schedule with only these few work orders, and plot the
schedule out for review and comments. Incorporate any logic changes as necessary,
and re-plot the schedule. You will need it for the final scheduling effort.

You should continue developing the additional work order scopes until the entire
turnaround work scope has been defined. After all work order scopes have been
reviewed you will be ready to prepare your final schedule by merging the remaining
scope with the existing schedule.

Daily Project Scheduling


Conditions change very quickly during a turnaround. Sometimes schedules become
obsolete almost as soon as they are issued (due to safety, equipment and manpower
availability, inspections, etc.). Because of this, project scheduling should be an ongoing
process every shift, and reissued to the field at least once every day.
You should examine your updated schedules for significant changes with respect to the
previous (or original) schedule. A few questions you should ask:
Has the mechanical completion (or start-up) date slipped?
If yes, then by how much? Is the slippage significant?
Can the slippage be averted (overcome)?
Has the critical path changed?
Did critical mass develop? If yes, in which area?
Is the float / slack for all other activities realistic?
Should other activities appear on the Shift Schedule?
Is the overall work flow continuous, without major fluctuations in manpower?
Any major deviations from the schedule should be carefully analyzed, and the logic
changed where necessary, to ensure that the desired time objectives can be met.
This updating / re-scheduling has to take place before the start of the next shift, so that
any changes (in manpower or priority) can be made before the next shift begins. This
means that reporting progress should start sometime before the end of the previous
shift (usually about two hours before the shift end). This may provide enough time for
disseminating all required and recommended reports at shift change.
A time gap between shifts is usually sufficient for complete manual distribution. If there
is no gap between shifts (as is in the case of two twelve-hour shifts per day), then
updating and reporting should start much earlier, perhaps three to four hours before
shift end, depending on the volume of work and number of copies involved. The size of
the schedule, and the number of Lap Books issued will usually determine how much
time is needed for updating and reporting.

Lap Books
Updating the schedule requires timely and objective feedback on all progress achieved
at shift end. To achieve this, Lap Books must be prepared and issued before the
turnaround starts. Lap Books contain all of the detailed activities or tasks defined in the
Work Order scope and the resulting schedule.
Objectivity is achieved in great part by a well-defined work scope. The greater the
detail, the less guesswork is required to estimate percent complete for each item in the
schedule and the more objective progress will be.
Approximately a couple of hours before the end of the shift, all supervisors that have
Lap Books should record their daily progress against all work orders that are in
progress. Two types of information should be recorded by the field supervisors:
"Percent complete", an estimate of the relative amount of work accomplished
towards completing every activity
Time remaining to complete an activity in progress (if problems or delays are
encountered)
All activities that were completed during the shift should be marked 100%. Those
activities which are in progress should receive the best estimate of "percent complete",
plus a fresh re-estimate of the remaining clock hours needed to complete them.
The Lap Books are then delivered to the turnaround planner, who updates the
schedule, and returns the Lap Books to the field. The Lap Books are shared between
the supervisors covering the same areas on different shifts. This promotes better
communication between the day shift and night shift crews.
Lap Books could be organized by area, supervisor or type of work. Every field
supervisor must have a Lap Book containing all of the work orders for which he is
responsible (even if he is responsible for only one or a few of the activities listed).
The Lap Books, plus the daily Shift Schedules provide field supervisors with all the
information they need to organize, schedule and control their work.

Measuring and Reporting Progress

At the end of a shift, some activities that were worked will be complete. These will be
posted as "100 %". For activities that were not completed, the field supervisor will
usually use his best judgement to estimate progress and how much time it will take to
complete it. For example:

MISCELLANEOUS REPAIRS, progress = 30%, remaining duration to complete = 20 hours

Usually, most of the reported activities will be complete (100 %). Less than half of the
reported activities should be still in progress (not completed). If the opposite is true,
then the work scope has not been sufficiently detailed, and the degree of error in
reporting progress will be high.

It is near impossible to measure progress exactly, since it takes an educated guess -


which is influenced by many variables beyond the control of the supervisor
(inspections, rework, etc.). Re-estimating the time required to complete a task is very
important, as this can have an impact on the schedule (particularly activities on the
critical path, major repairs, refractory work, etc.). For a well-defined scope, the overall
degree of error in reporting progress seems to be approximately two percent (2 %) less
than the actual achieved.

After the progress information from all Lap Books has been recorded and updated, print
a new Shift Schedule for distribution to the field before the next shift begins.

Note The following text describes reports that are generated by ATC
Professional (that was specifically designed for shutdowns / turnarounds / outages).
Other software may not offer comparable reports.

You should also analyze the Critical Path and Critical Mass to determine if there are any
slippages (delays), and the area or group of activities involved in the slippages. Check
all critical and near critical activities for any errors in logic or durations. It's best to do
this with the supervisors in charge, to get their input. Sometimes it may be necessary
to consult with the inspectors as well.

If a slippage is detected, and turns out to be real and would require management
intervention, then you should alert the Turnaround Manager immediately. He will need
to study the critical (and possibly the near critical) activities to determine what
corrective steps should be taken, if at all possible. Any changes to the schedule in logic,
durations and/or manpower should be made immediately, and a new set of reports
printed and distributed.

Periodically print and review the Manpower Usage report to determine if the manpower
requirements have increased, decreased or remained unchanged. This must be done
every time there are significant changes to the scope, such as adding extra work
orders.

Whenever there are major revisions to the scope, after making all revisions/updates,
you should always print a complete set of reports for your files. As a matter of standard
practice, you should keep a binder or file folder to save a copy of all reports issued, for
reference. You may have to prepare a report at the conclusion of the turnaround, and
such a history file will make it easier to reconstruct the scenarios as they have
occurred.

The Turnaround Progress report is an important one. It is calculated in the following


manner: first, all progress expressed in "percent complete" is posted against every
work order. That percent is applied towards a "relative weight" which is a percentage
calculated on the basis of the manhour estimates for each activity against the total
manhours for that work order.

So, the "percent complete" for a work order is a calculated figure, which is called a
"weighted percentage". This individual "percent complete" for every work order is then
applied to a "relative weight" now calculated on the basis of the total manhours for
every work order included in the report. The overall "percent complete" is likewise a
"weighted" percentage.

It is easy to see that any errors in reporting progress would be normally small enough
as to not influence the overall progress in any significant manner. At any given time
during the turnaround, anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of the work orders may be
active (being worked). Of these, less than half have activities in progress (in other
words, not completed), which may be incorrectly evaluated and reported. The impact of
such inaccuracies in progress evaluation are generally negligible: a twenty percent
error against an activity which weighs in at 1 percent or less of the overall scope is
insignificant.

But when an error against a major activity for a large work order occurs, the impact can
be noticeable. This can happen in situations where the work scope changes (for
example, refractory repairs in heaters or large vessels such as an FCC
reactor/regenerator).

After every update, be sure to check the progress made against every major work
order. If the rate of progress appears to be unsatisfactory, check the Lap Books for any
(lack of) reported progress, and the manhour estimate as well. You can also check
the Schedule Compliance report to verify that all critical path and near critical work
that was on the schedule was worked. The Critical Mass reports can help you detect
any potential problems creeping up as a result of insufficient overall progress. For a
detailed analysis of the rate of progress, print the Progress Trend report.

The Progress Summary is a chart showing, in both graphic and tabular format, the
planned and actual progress, by shift. The planned progress curve indicates the
minimum amount of progress by shift required to meet the schedule deadline. Actual
progress should be within two (2 %) percent of the planned progress to be considered
"on schedule". The two percent difference accounts for inaccuracies in scope definition,
estimating and progress reporting.

The amount of inherent error in the estimates and progress reporting decreases as the
turnaround advances. The error in both schedule and physical progress reported are
greatest at the beginning of the turnaround, before inspection of the equipment and
the full extent of the repair work has been assessed. After all inspections are completed
and major repair work is underway, the degree of error decreases substantially.

Field Observations
During the turnaround, the planner will have the opportunity to verify the quality of his
work order estimates and planning logic.
Since it is not practical, possible or worthwhile to check on every activity (or a majority
of activities), field observations should be limited to certain items which fall into these
categories:
Critical path work
Problem equipment (high repair history)
"Sampling" different types of equipment (i.e., one tower, one U-Tube heat
exchanger, one floating head heat exchanger, one heater, one reactor, etc.)
The planner should prepare a special booklet containing copies of the work orders, and
copies of the equipment vendor (engineering) prints, if available.
Every day, with this special book (to make field entries as necessary), the planner
should make three or four rounds, observing any activity around the selected work, and
soliciting information from the supervisors in charge to gain a better understanding of
the events.
There are three basic things that should be noted during the observations:
1. Are all activities as defined correct? Are activities missing? Unnecessary? Out of
sequence?
2. Are the time duration estimates adequate? Too generous? Too tight?
3. Are the manpower estimates adequate? Too generous? The right skills? Have
any support crafts been omitted?
You may obtain some of this information from the Lap Books (updated by the field
supervisors), but you should not rely on that entirely as they may not be updated as
scrupulously as desired.
When making daily rounds, you should also avoid alerting the workers of your intent.
Otherwise, they will become self-conscious and may change their pace (or cause
intentional interruptions), which will distort the performance (and affect the validity of
your observations).
One way to achieve this low profile is to pretend to be interested in something else,
and not stare at the work in progress or directly at the workers involved. Also, avoid
writing in your book where you can be seen doing so by those you are observing. And
by all means, do not let the supervisors know what you are doing, as they may try to
expend an extra effort to look good at the expense of other work.
If you are suspected of spying on workers, it will affect their behavior (performance)
and sabotage your effort. Keep in mind, also, that you are interested in the work - not
in the individual workers, crews or supervisors involved.
In making these field observations, you will gain a better "feel" for planning and
estimating work order scopes for the work having been observed. These observations
will also help you in the preparation of the turnaround final report.
Additionally, the observations will increase the visibility of the planner in the field,
which contributes to an improved morale and higher quality of progress reporting by
the field supervisors.

Anticipating and Satisfying Information Needs

As the information center of the turnaround effort, you must anticipate and satisfy the
information needs of all departments and functions.

To this effect, you must obtain or prepare a list of the names of all those involved in the
turnaround; preferably an organization chart showing the names of those assigned to
this effort.

Most individuals may not be aware of the kind of information available to them. You will
have to print out a report sampler and consult with the team members to determine
their specific information needs. Be sure to make a list of their requirements.

Some individuals might prefer to get as little paper as possible. This may work as long
as they do not miss any important information that could affect the outcome of the
turnaround. If in your judgement you feel that certain individuals should be alerted to
some potential problem, then you will have to give them copies of the appropriate
reports.

Turnaround Final Report

At the end of every turnaround, you should prepare a final report for both historical
reference and to justify the results (time & cost) to management. Keep one copy for
your file and distribute extra copies as necessary to upper management.

You may download our sample Turnaround Final Report (Microsoft Word .DOC
format) to use as a model or template.