Monthly Archives: April 2015

More observations on communication…

It was recently brought home to me just how important good solid communication is whilst we execute our commissioning work, a few key points mentioned below.

As we prepare our documents, its important that we communicate with all parties involved as to the plan of the commissioning activities and get buy in to those plans from the various parties who will be involved.

Its important that we clearly communicate when transfer of a system is made between construction and commissioning and commissioning clearly communicate the work and possible interferences that work will now have on the remaining construction and possibly operations workforce. Of course clearly communicate who now is in charge and control. Communication should take all forms from tool box meetings, written, verbal (safety communications) and signs and barriers around the commissioning work place.

We should communicate with ongoing operations, source plants, receiving pants and external bodies such as potentially local fire and police services, clearly indicating the work and impact. The commissioning team itself along with its production colleagues needs constant communication to keep up to the minute information flowing.

Finally we should clearly communicate the transfer of custody and control between commissioning and ongoing operations, include the project and construction teams also. As the transfer of control happens, also remember to update your status charts so visibly team members of all disciplines can see the progress being made as well as who is in control.

Competent communication is one of the biggest challenges to any team in any work discipline, but surely it is one we should invest time in getting right?

Safe and successful commissioning always…




Level 2 schedule…

Today we ponder on the merits and purpose of a level 2 schedule.

The level 2 schedule addresses the range of general activities that the commissioning team will need to perform across the duration of the project. The focus of the level 2 schedule is to estimate the time it will take to complete the activities from a high level perspective, indicate key links and associations and demonstrate key milestones or events that should be considered for integration into the master project or EPC schedule.

The level 2 schedule is usually drafted early in the project at the Front End Engineering Phase (FEED) and if accurately developed can assist in the overall project duration.

As a guide to the systematic utilization of schedule development, a much proven method of execution is to follow the prioritized unit operation flow as indicated below:

  1. Power and lighting
  2. Controls systems, data highways, remote and field instrument enclosures
  3. Utility systems, air, water, refrigeration etc.
  4. Product storage, stock tanks etc.
  5. Core process systems, Reaction, distillation etc.
  6. Raw material feed systems
  7. Raw material storage

This level of schedule is important as it usually gives indication to the project, probably for the first time, of how long commissioning will actually take.

Safe and successful commissioning always…

More thoughts on pre-commissioning…

I had a question recently on pre-commissioning; I below share my overall thoughts on the topic…

Pre-commissioning it is simply a matter of ensuring some required checks within a construction of a system get done, for me these main checks are…

  • Pipe lines and vessels are fully cleaned, either flushing, blowing, chemical or mechanical clean, water jetting etc.
  • All instrumentation is subjected to a full and inclusive loop check from field devise right through to control system including tests of alarm points
  • Any final closure of vessels are witnessed by a member of your team (usually includes operations)
  • Witness supervise packing of towers, charging of filter media and or catalyst
  • Witness and ensure first fill of lubrication
  • Initial power up management and correct protocols
  • Bump testing of electrical motors
  • Alignment of machines and motors

This is not a full list, my book goes into others, but you will need to agree with whoever is conducting the pre-commissioning work to include the commissioning team and also agree the witness percentage, if you are doing the pre-commissioning then this is not an issue, but if an EPC company is doing the pre-commissioning you need to agree how much your team witnesses.

Pre-commissioning as I have shared before is a very important step, sometimes gaining a clear understanding of who will do what can be difficult, but persevere to get resolution as it is very important.

Safe and successful commissioning always…

Dear Reader…

I must apologise for my radio silence, I have been going through a particularly hectic period and simply have not had the chance to share with you, I hope things will calm down so I can continue to share my commissioning experiences.

Many apologies,

Safe and successful commissioning always…