5 Top Tips for Reducing Shutdown & Turnaround Times


  • Author Sterling Brenner
  • Published September 2, 2020
  • Word count 667

As the old saying goes, ‘time is money’, and with shutdowns and turnarounds, it is essential to ensure that downtimes are kept to an absolute minimum. While a company’s plant is in shutdown mode, it’s unable to make money. Those tasked with managing shutdowns and turnarounds, must be able to get the operations back up and running in the quickest time possible.

Regardless of what industry a company operates in, shutdowns are inevitable. There are two types of shutdowns; scheduled and reactive. Scheduled concerns routine maintenance checks, while reactive is where a company is forced to shutdown, due to unforeseen equipment failure. While shutdowns are unavoidable, the time required to get the facility up and running again (turnaround time) can be reduced by adhering to the following shutdowns and turnarounds guidelines.

  1. Have a solid plan

Having a solid plan of action in place for shutdowns and turnarounds, is a key factor in minimizing downtimes. When a well-conceived plan has been established, companies have much more control over the chaos that can occur during shutdowns, allowing facilities to return to full production much faster. In the lead up to scheduled maintenance shutdowns, it’s important that all personnel are briefed on their respective duties and meetings are held on regular occasions in the leadup to the event.

  1. Hire experienced workers

If you wish to limit the turnaround times during a shutdown, then you need to recruit highly trained professionals that have considerable experience with facilities in your industry. Industrial maintenance companies and mechanical engineering companies that specialize in shutdowns and turnarounds that are veterans of your industry, will have processes in place that guarantee rapid turnaround times.

While it may be tempting to save money by hiring companies who have less experienced personnel, shutdowns and turnarounds that are handled by those who lack the proper training, will invariably take much longer to complete the turnaround. Furthermore, their inexperience may result in additional equipment faults, which may ultimately end up costing your company much more than it would have, had you hired the more expensive but experienced firm in the first place.

  1. Make use of the latest technology

While new technology can be expensive, it’s also vital. The latest technology allows companies to do things faster and with a greater degree of precision, than any previous equipment ever could. Shutdowns and turnarounds are no exception. The implementation of new tech helps to keep downtimes to record lows, ensuring minimal disruption to production.

Investing in new technology is imperative for all companies. The better the tech you have at your disposal, the more efficient your company is able to operate. In the context of shutdowns and turnarounds, better technology means greater durability, less risk of equipment of failure and a reduced risk of reactive shutdowns.

  1. Hire the same outsourcing company

If you don’t have an in-house maintenance team and instead rely upon the services of a third-party company to perform your shutdowns and turnarounds duties, then there is one crucial thing that you must remember; it’s important to find a reputable service provider that you can count on, and hire that same company each and every time you require assistance.

Familiarity matters and employing the same company to oversee your maintenance shutdowns allows them to refine their processes, resulting in faster turnarounds.

  1. Hold regular meetings

In the event that you do have an in-house team to look after shutdowns and turnarounds, it’s important to hold meetings on a regular basis. This allows everyone to come together and discuss how the process can be improved to provide faster turnaround times. Any issues encountered during previous shutdowns that proved a hindrance, need to be raised during the meetings and a plan must be put in place to resolve them.


With shutdowns and turnarounds, facility downtime must be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid heavy financial losses. The tips provided in this article will hopefully assist you and your company in attaining superior turnaround times.

Sterling Brenner is a commercial manager at CR Asia, a leading specialist in industrial shutdowns and turnarounds.

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