Efficient Plant April 2019 - 40

column | seeking reliability

Manage
STO Risk
Drew D. Troyer, CRE
Contributing Editor

STO Mission Success Factors

Post-mortem STO
RCA

Pre-mortem STO
FMEA







Improved reliability
Reduced STO cost and time
Safety performance
Environmental performance
Continuous improvement

Conducting a root-cause analysis (RCA)
and a failure-modes-and-effects analysis
(FMEA) at the right points in a STO process can provide a number of benefits.

Drew Troyer is a senior manager with
T.A. Cook Consultants,
The Woodlands, TX.
Email d.troyer@tacook.com

40

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

A

SHUTDOWN, turnaround, or
outage (STO) is critical to plant
reliability. A smooth one restores the
plant's reliability and enables trouble-free
production until the next STO. A rough
one sets the stage for a subsequent period of
painful reactive maintenance, which can compromise reliability, productivity, quality, even
safety and/or environmental performance.
Successful STOs require proper planning,
scheduling, and execution of proposed work
scopes. The challenge stems from having
numerous craftspeople, often from multiple
contractors, executing so many different jobs, all
of which place demands on the same permitting
organizations and frequently require the same
special tools, e.g., high-capacity cranes.
Unfortunately, organizations
tend to repeatedly make the
same mistakes in STO planning,
coordination, and execution. There
are several reasons why, starting
with frequency: Most plants don't
execute major STOs very often,
i.e., three-to-five-year cycles aren't
uncommon. Between times, a plant
may experience substantial turnover, meaning institutional STO
knowledge thins. The solution: risk
analysis and management.
Most reliability professionals
are familiar with root-cause analysis (RCA) and failure-modes-andeffects analysis (FMEA). The first,
RCA, is effective for post-mortems
of adverse events. When something
fails, we employ RCA to identify mechanisms
and associated causes leading to the failure so
we can control them. For less-complex events,
we employ less-intensive apparent-cause analysis (ACA) techniques such as "Why-Why" or
"Five-Why." Conversely, we employ FMEA to
anticipate what could go wrong, the probable
consequences of the failure, the likelihood of its

occurrence, and the current risk-management
measures to prevent, predict, or prepare for the
event.
The two approaches are bookends of the
same process. The differences? FMEA is conducted pre-mortem (before the fact) using
inductive-reasoning. RCA is conducted
post-mortem (after the fact) using deductive,
or inductive-reasoning methods. We typically
leverage these tools to manage machine reliability. But, they're equally effective in managing
process reliability, i.e., plant STOs.
The last thing an STO steering committee and management team should do after
a shutdown is conduct a "lessons learned"
session. Such meetings are usually informal, and
associated notes are often scant and somewhat
subjective. A post-STO session is more beneficial
when managed as a formal process-RCA event
with detailed notes and cause-effect and other
diagrams. As with post-mortem analyses of
machine failures, some process failures during
an STO will be fairly straightforward, requiring
only an ACA. Others will require a full-blown
RCA.
The start of the next STO event is the time to
review the formally analyzed and documented
lessons learned from the last STO. However,
rather than being approached informally, the
session should include a full-blown pre-mortem
STO-process FMEA incorporating those lessons
and applying inductive-reasoning to anticipate
what could go wrong given the scope of the
upcoming event, estimate the consequences
and the likelihood, and identify preemptive
measures to mitigate the STO risks.
Repeating the same mistakes-time after
time-in your STOs is costly. Applying triedand-true RCA and FMEA tools to the process
improves plant reliability, reduces STO cost and
duration, decreases safety and environmental
risks, and enables continuous improvement.
Learn more about STO issues in my feature
article in next month's Efficient Plant. EP

APRIL 2019


http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant April 2019

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