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Plant Management

Planned outages: a comprehensive strategy that saves $1M

March 11, 2021

Costly breakages

Our client, a paper mill in Quebec, was experiencing frequent machine breaks that were causing emergency shutdowns. At an average of $8,000 per hour, these incidents were having a major impact on the plant’s productivity: between $300,000 and $500,000 in losses per year.

It became evident that to optimize repair timing, detect probable failures and restart correctly, their planned shutdown strategies needed to be revised.

Skilled labour: a high-demand resource

Our client first chose to retain our services for reliability engineering, with a full-time on-site specialist (40 hours per week). We also implemented a condition monitoring route to forecast potential failures and plan the replacement of parts.

We were also mandated to provide a team of technicians and mechanics with supervisor, for the next scheduled outage, to perform torque lubrication and inspection, corrective maintenance and precision mechanics.

Planning for an efficient shutdown

Since a Laurentide supervisor was overseeing our team’s various trades, our client benefitted from a single point of contact for the duration of shutdown as well as centralized time reporting.

Using the inspection report from our reliability specialist, our team drafted a list of equipment to be maintained or replaced according to their actual condition and criticality.

At the end of the shutdown, we supplied our client with a comprehensive report including photos. This report also contains advice to help plan the next scheduled outage including estimated time and resources required.

A holistic approach with demonstrated results

Since the first shutdown for which Laurentide was commissioned, our client has not experienced any other breakage causing an unplanned shutdown.

Our approach combining a preventive maintenance program, including asset monitoring in Spartakus, with a multidisciplinary team for planned shutdowns has generated productivity savings of over $1M for our client in 2020 – a return on capital greater than 6 to 1, not to mention the management time saved by our client.


of documented savings in one year

Planning a shutdown?
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