Your 8-Step Plan to a Smarter Summer Shut Down

Updated on Wednesday 30 June 2021, 4:27 PM

6 Minute Read

Across Europe, manufacturers and industrial businesses of all kinds are considering what they need to achieve during their summer shut downs.

For many, the summer shut down is the only planned downtime for the whole year, so activities have to be prioritised and time is precious.

Try to fit in too much, and shut down maintenance, reconfiguration, decommissioning or installation projects could over-run, causing costly disruption and potential delays to customer orders. Fail to include enough essential works in the shut down period, however, and machinery could be lying dormant for no reason or, worse still, routine maintenance that’s been missed off the schedule could result in unplanned downtime and disruption later in the year.

It’s a fine balance, and experienced operators understand the time required for routine tasks, along with the number of hours predicted for one-off shut down projects. After 18 months of change and disruption, however, this year’s summer shut downs will require more non-routine activity than ever for many operators across all sectors, which is why it pays to engage with an industrial services operator like AIS Vanguard/AIS EURELO as early as possible. In this way, you can benefit from our teams’ experience and plan to optimise the time available while reducing the risk of shut down projects over running.

Your 8 Steps

To help you plan ahead to optimise your summer shut down this year, we have put together these eight essential steps.

  1. Engage an industrial services specialist that can offer a turnkey service, including project planning, risk assessment, CDM and all lifting, moving and M&E services. Ideally, your industrial services partner should have an in-house fleet of vehicles and lifting equipment, along with experts in your sector, to ensure that your shut down programme is not at risk of delays due to third parties.
  2. Review last year’s shut down activity with your industrial services partner to agree which routine tasks need to be delivered again this year and where space is available in the schedule for any additional routine activity or one-off projects. Reviewing the record of the time spent for each activity in previous years and factoring any learning into this year’s planning could help you forecast accurately and save time.
  3. Consider whether there are opportunities to bring additional benefits into the shut down programme. For example, this is an ideal opportunity to update your asset register, test sockets and switches while machines are dormant or improve layouts aligned to lean management principles. At AIS Vanguard/AIS EURELO, we can help with all of that.
  4. Investigate whether any of the preparatory work for shut down projects can be carried out in advance while your facilities are still operational. This could include foundations, footings and match markings for new equipment or machine moves, or it might involve electrical and mechanical service modifications or diversions. Any activity that can be done to prepare for shut down will help you fast track essential works.
  5. Plan which personnel will be needed on site for which elements of your shut down programme. By liaising early with your industrial services partner, you can ensure that only the employees with the specific skills and authority needed are retained on site. Similarly, you can ensure that there are no gaps in the knowledge and experience on site for each element of the programme.
  6. Explore any alternative approaches to building modifications for access, ingress or egress. Sometimes, moving a wall or section of roof is unavoidable if large assets need to be taken out or brought into a building. However, there may be an alternative solution that an experienced industrial services professional can suggest. For example, our teams often use one of our Megalift Hydraulic Gantry Systems to carry out heavy lifts in a confined location, allowing the job to be done safely without the need for a large crane.
  7. Consider whether any under-used or redundant assets can be stripped out of your facility as part of essential maintenance, reconfiguration, decommissioning or installation works. This can free up space or realise capital, even if the assets in question can only be sold for scrap.
  8. Enable your industrial services partner to connect with any third parties involved in your summer shut down plans as early as possible. This includes all machinery suppliers or specialist maintenance teams. At AIS Vanguard/AIS EURELO, we co-ordinate all activity with a critical path that incorporates timings from everyone involved, so that risk assessment is informed and any opportunities to save time or avoid duplication are fully realised.


Make the Most of Your Summer Shut Down

After an operationally challenging year, planning has not always been easy, particularly in complex industrial environments, where adapting quickly to change is sometimes not possible. The summer shut down is more essential than ever this year and at AIS Vanguard/AIS EURELO, we can help you plan so get in touch now to talk to our experts.

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