Case Study

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.