Monthly Archives: December 2013

Document back-up…

It is very easy to get into the habit of storing your important commissioning project documentation on USB drives and the internal hard drives of your laptops or PC’s. Please be very careful with approach and get into the good habit of backing up your important files not only to spare external hard drives but also to the protected area of your company site server.

Do not find yourself and your activities compromised by a system crash or a hard drive corruption, the loss of your vital work may be irreversible?

Be pre-active, get it organised, get it backed up!

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…

Revision of key documents…

Preparations for the signing of key contracts for the project, for me of course including pre-commissioning and commissioning elements continue to be developed. Today I took a time out to review what has been prepared and comment.

It is vital for all parties concerned that it is obvious what will be done through the various commissioning phases and importantly by whom. We are drafting important scope of works documents that will be included in the contract, these documents are now being revised. We have laid out very deliberately what terminology we will use, what the definitions of each commissioning related term means, who will do what and a brief list of responsibilities and accountabilities, importantly included also are a list of assumptions in the cases where clear definition is not readily available.  We also have indicated what the documentation must look like and the detail they will contain and a section on commissioning schedule development.  There is also a significant section on how we will manage the check-out or punch listing including a description of rectification polices.

All very important matters to gain understanding and agreement.

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…

Mixed bag of things…

My Dear Reader; a right mixed bag of typical commissioning management matters to share today, no real topic, sorry for that, but being a manager in this discipline, well that’s what some days are like.

After the usual shifting through emails, it is interesting and a complete aside, but as the dynamics of my current job play out and as we are a multi-national company, we are, by my calculations, already working over 16 hours per day on the commissioning element on this project, hence my day starts sharing views, opinions and sometimes guidance with my team spread half way around the world, neat or what?!

Recruitment is still hot,heavy and in development, so some time was spent gaining alignment and planning with our HR colleagues.

Early afternoon was spent blue sky thinking on projects coming down the pipe, postulating on organisation and strategy plans, interesting to be at one key stage for one aspect of a mega project and still be thinking of completely different stages of another.

I completed my day with our IT guys setting up the home for the rapidly developing document database, that will be a weight off my mind that we can securely store and back-up our important documents.

Lunch today was spent with a new friend and acquaintance who is the MD for a commissioning management software and training company based in Houston, Texas. It was a very enjoyable hour meeting him, learning of his companies capabilities and perhaps growing a relationship where I may help him spread the commissioning word via a guest speaking role in future events he has planned, both in person and perhaps via recorded training sessions on specific topics.

A very interesting and full day, there are some great guys working in our wonderful discipline and industry.

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…

Interface management…

I am lucky to have some great commissioning mangers working for me right now. Currently we are ploughing through the generation of interface tables and schematics which describe what will come across the battery limits of our major processing units,  both in as feed stocks and raw materials/catalysts and what will go out as effluent and of course products. I am enjoying reviewing the documents for approval.

The schematics simply depict what comes in and out of our units, a simple but easy to reference diagram.

Our tables address a number of key points to understanding the interfaces coming from and to units, they stipulate:

  • Process or utility flow
  • Where the flow comes from
  • Where to
  • Cleaning requirements and responsibility
  • Need dates for the line

A very useful document and one that assists our scheduling partners very much…

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…

More schedule developments…

Most of the day today has been concentrated in reviews and sanity checks of the level 2 commissioning schedule being developed. With the help of a very good young programmer, we have been entering all the systems in the correct order we believed the units will start up in to give an efficient and successful commissioning phase. Today was the first real check of the credibility of our framework plans…

The review made us rethink when key systems will be required, e.g. we had Instrument and Plant Air generation way before the Cooling Water system, at first this feels right, but we need Cooling Water for the Air Compressors cooling system, so we have moved the Air systems after Cooling Water, any initial air demand will need to be via temporary compressors. The fine tuning of the schedule will continue.

It also become prudent now the detail is entered into the schedule to make correct links from when systems or parts of a system are required, their dependencies and successors, this is when we need to really work closely with the planning department to ensure the links are correct, even if it means some units will have early commissioning works required, followed by the bulk activities later.

Our plan is coming together.

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…

Loop testing presentation…

At the end of last week I had the pleasure of attending a control system demonstration at one of the larger control system DCS manufacturers. The intent of the presentation was to describe the time and therefore cost saving opportunities the DCS folks have in their capability these days to project teams.

The day started with case studies of the new technology being used which help stream-line the pre-commissioning and commissioning process. The main focus was that control systems now are projected across site wide wireless networks which means that in lieu of loop testing utilizing large 3 or 4 man loop testing teams, those teams are reduced to 2 men as the DCS can be seen via a suitable note book PC which are taken directly to the field location and the loop shot and sold at the unique devise rather than remotely from the actual operator work station.

I see the value, it’s just unnerving to tread new ground, but that’s what commissioning is about, breaking new ground, being flexible and adaptable.

In the afternoon the company had established state of the art test mock-ups to enable us to see the wireless and other systems being demonstrated live, very interesting.

All good stuff…

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…

Commissioning entry to PEP…

I have been spending a little time drafting the commissioning entry into a PEP, Project Execution Plan.

The entries are brief and to the point, but they simply spell out, with constant reference to other documents being produced, the manner in which we will commission my current project.

So what topics did I include in the PEP, which may help you in a similar exercise in the future?

·         Basis of the Commissioning Scope

·         Commissioning terminology and definitions

·         Commissioning Roles and Responsibilities

·         Commissioning Organization

·         Methodology for Commissioning

·         Systematic approach

·         Commissioning Input to Design

·         System Turnover

·         Facilities Commissioning Schedules

Hope this is of help…

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…

Commissioning training event…

On 28th November I had the pleasure of presenting at a commissioning training event at the Hilton Paddington, London.

The event ran by Technowatt Projects and Systems Ltd over two days, presented to a small selection of interested companies the values and basics of plant commissioning.

My contribution was to give two presentations on:

1. My commissioning methodology which has helped me through now over 35 years in the industry, I followed this presentation by sharing with the group

2. The two fundamentals to sound commissioning preparation, The Systemization and Prioritization of the plant to be commissioned and the System File, the paperwork system which will help manage the commissioning process.

The presentations were for the first time caught on tape, so look out for me appearing on You Tube soon!

I have had nice feedback from my presentations last week, a kind gentlemen wrote to Technowatt: PASS MY GRATITUE TO  the organiser AND MARTIN FOR A GREAT AND BENEFICIAL  PROGRAM LAST WEEK.

Safe and successful commissioning to you always…