Maintaining your plant in a shutdown

April 14, 2020 10:29 am Published by

We have discussed planned maintenance of your production facility in previous blogs. Recent events have meant that many plants have been shutdown with little warning. This has meant that some machinery has been simply switched off rather than properly “mothballed”. Often there are procedures outlined by original manufacturers for mothballing equipment. The OEM’s recommended preservation procedures are designed to protect the value of the machinery and ensure a trouble-free start-up after what may be an extended period of shutdown.

Most plants will have some sort of maintenance cover in place over this time. One of the first pieces of advice would be to document the steps taken to mothball your machines. This will ensure that when the time comes to restart the plant any procedures that were not carried out as rigorously as they may have been under less unusual circumstances are understood and plans to remedy any issues this may cause put in place before start-up. For some circulating systems proper draining and flushing may be required. Neutralising and removing process materials, particularly those that may corrode or degrade components.

When it comes to your plant’s compressed air system one of the areas to be aware of is that it will be critical to the start up of other machinery. The big enemy of pipeline systems is moisture. It can block control air lines, prevent instruments from reading or actuating properly and damage air tools by preventing proper lubrication. Removing moisture for corrosion protection is also important for the equipment using the air, and the air system itself. Particulates created from rust and scale can foul lines and damage components of the air system. In the worst case, corrosion could lead to failure in the pipe work, creating leaks and preventing air from reaching the process where it is needed.

Harrier Pneumatics’ experienced team of engineers are available to discuss the mothballing and shutdown of your facility. We can also be there to support your maintenance during the downtime and assist in the recommissioning and start up process when the time comes. We would be pleased to advise on how your compressed air and vacuum systems can remain trouble free in these exceptional circumstances. Please get in touch to talk to an engineer.

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This post was written by Yafit Davis