A process manufacturing company wanted to reduce the time taken between batches to improve the utilisation of its main reactor unit.
An initial investigation uncovered several key issues:
- Batch completion, batch preparation and batch start-up procedures were treated as separate activities and carried out sequentially by different shift teams.
- Turnaround time was just accepted as part of the process.
Identified the following:
- Defined all the activities between the end of the first batch and the start of the second batch. – process mapping.
- Identified activities that could be carried out whilst process reaction was taking place (external activities).
- Identify processes that have to be completed during turnaround which could be significantly shortened.
- Measure and report time between end of first batch and start of second batch.
- Conducted training in ‘Quick Turnarounds’, ‘Problem Solving’, ‘Standardising Procedures’ to all personnel involved in project.
- Standardise all turnaround activities and retrained all staff involved.
- All external activities took place whilst the reaction was taking place.
- Shortened the time of key turnaround activities.
- Significantly improved turnaround time and reactor vessel utilisation.
- Less reliance on key personnel for specific tasks. All staff trained to a standard procedure and skilled for all turnaround tasks.
- Defined key metric for improving reactor utilisation.
- The trained operators Identification further opportunities for improvement.
- Improved coordination across shift teams.