Monthly Archives: January 2016

Punch listing…

One of our most critical activities during the life of a project, is that of creating the punch list, my topic today is based on this important task.

The typical punch list is a record of all incomplete work at the point where construction believe they are complete and wish to transfer care, custody and control to the commissioning team, hence the importance of the punch list as it’s the commissioning team chance to fully check-out the system before handover.

Punch listing therefore can take additional forms, pre-hydro test, pre-loop test, independent project discipline, (mechanical, electrical, instrumentation etc.) punch lists, but the one we as a commissioning team usually really get involved with, is the final punch list prior to handover, being involved in the others mentioned here is good for learning, but the commissioning team is usually only involved in a witness capacity.

It is again worthy of mention here that the punch list is the final check prior to handover, so please consider a scheme on your project where issues found early during construction, for example a control or non-return valve installed in the wrong direction of flow, are identified and more importantly rectified well before the punch list is formally undertaken.

As advocated in the punch list section of my book, the punch list should be undertaken by at least two commissioning team members, one to draft findings and one to inspect the installation. The punch list should be compiled again the latest issue of the relevant P&ID’s, but other supporting documents such as the isometric drawings can also be used. I have also found that once the punch list is compiled, returning to the office and having a check list of what should have been checked, generically, is always a good idea for when actually out punch listing on complicate large systems, items can be missed.

So a large topic, but the highlights are here today to remind us that compiling a detailed and accurate punch is one of our most important activities.

Safe and successful commissioning always…

Are we aligned..?

As we commence commissioning preparations, especially for those of you who are delivering your commissioning from the perspective of a contract engineering company, ensuring we are fully aligned with protocols and procedures is a must.

My advice would be before your preparations start that you are compliant with initially regulatory compliance, what do you need to do to be consistent with HSE or other regulation?

Second what codes of commissioning practice do you need to align with, there may be governance on procedure development, handover plans, scheduling and training that need to be considered and complied with? It would be most frustrating if you started developing your plans only to find out later that these are not in agreement with your client of acceptance department?

It is always worthy of consideration that a meeting is held early in the commissioning developments to align on matters such as scope and definition, guidance can be found in the “Commissioning Scope and Contracts” section of my book, however further topics to agree on could be…

  • Safety measures
  • Environmental considerations
  • Site rules and procedures
  • Terms to be used on the project
  • Team values
  • Team composition
  • Aims of the commissioning team and project
  • Priorities for commissioning
  • Paperwork systems
  • How to handover
  • Schedule development

Having a common alignment is critical to success and worth the effort to develop.

Safe and successful commissioning always…

Develop and review of the schedule

It has been my experience than on most larger projects the development of an integrated schedule incorporating all project groups can be difficult to create. This may be because initially non-availability of scope, or it may be down to project groups becoming organised and detail being made available, however we as commissioning should pay our part in the development process.

To assist the development of the master schedule, we should feed key information to the process; this information should be based at system level and may include:

–          The activities we want to undertake

–          An estimation of how long the activity will take

–          Who may undertake an activity if there is a cross connection to construction?

–          What I need (other systems) to undertake an activity within a system and …

–          … what activity upon completion is allowed to then be undertaken.

If an initial appraisal of the commissioning work scope is undertaken as above, many links to the schedule of activities will be provided for the planning team.

Armed with this information from commissioning, project controls can then develop an accurate schedule of the project, based on our systems. As the schedule is developed, commissioning should upon its completion, per plant area and or indeed system, do a “deep dive” to ensure all links and dependencies are correct, identify areas that are late and develop plans to move an activity forward.

Commissioning should be proactive in the development of a meaningful but achievable schedule, having something we can buy into with go a long way to providing a realistic vision for the team to aim at delivering.

Safe and successful commissioning always…