When a facility goes into a planned outage,  many events needed to happen before the company gets to this point. The following are some interesting facts and activities a plant will undergo before an outage:
• Planning for a major outage begins when the previous outage is completed.
• Planning and scheduling play a major role. Prioritizing which jobs need to be completed,  and in which order, and obtaining the necessary permits and work orders.
• Most of the maintenance budget of a facility is spent on outages. With proper planning and scheduling, costs can be reduced, rather than reacting to imminent problems.
• Several factors dictate when an outage will take place: Weather, flow of incoming raw material, demand for product/service, consensus with the local utility, cost, and manpower.
• Preparing or ordering auxiliary equipment and/or replacement components. Identifying lead times helps with scheduling.
• Preparing scaffolding permits and crew will help indicate the length of the outage.
• In most cases, operations will control the work, maintenance performs it.
• Determining the need for contract work, and in-house work. This will identify the available manpower and labor hours.
• Scheduling visits from manufacturer’s representative for critical equipment. This will help with warranty issues, and ordering necessary components.
• Safety programs and procedures must be implemented.
• Implementing an RCM program may help more planned work and less unexpected outages.
• Identify how many shifts will work during the outage, and hire the proper crew.

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, by Adam Stredel CRL