The effectiveness of internal corporate and technical networks varies widely across the industry, and uniquely, CruzAlta is positioned help in this space. From introducing and describing industry practices to facilitating and actively participating, adding CruzAlta to your internal network (either full time or adhoc) will introduce a new thinking, a different perspective, and immediate access to other relevant practices.

Optimizing new facility design to include all necessary accommodations for abnormal operations will ensure environmental compliance with a minimal duration shutdown and start up. Details such as inclusion of rundown coolers, blowdown drums, flexible process flow, size and location of vent piping, drains, and utility tie ins are critical and CruzAlta can provide value added input early in the design phase that is based on executing more than 150 turnaround events each year in all types of refinery units.

Laser focused on the turnaround “bookends,” (shutdown and start up) this time-based program of structured engagements is designed to evaluate all elements required to be operationally ready to execute a successful turnaround. During each of the 2-3 day workshops, CruzAlta will interact with Turnaround team, Plant Operations teams, functional experts, the Turnaround management organization, and site leadership to:

  • Review the TA strategies and plans that make up the Operations TA Plan,
  • Assess Operations alignment and integration with TA execution strategies and plans,
  • Evaluate the Operations team’s capability to deliver the TA plan, and
  • Ensure that the organization has an effective process for transitioning from a planning and optimization framework to an execution mindset.

Most companies and facilities do not have a defined plan to address the continual capability decline of their Operations team. CruzAlta has developed a methodology to assess the capability of an Operations organization that produces both a prioritized action plan for improving and restoring the team’s capability as well as a quantifiable measurement of capability, called the Operations Capability Index, or “OCI”. OCI is derived from proprietary data and experience that varies the weighting of key Operations capability elements to produce a reliable metric for industry comparison and annually assessing the results of the action plan progress.

Assessing the readiness of a turnaround is a common industry practice, and owners have many options for exercising this program. The success of these many options varies widely, but they all have one common shortcoming, the inability to provide an in-depth assessment of operations readiness. This is where CruzAlta’s Turnaround Preparation Assurance (TPA) methodology is different. It includes a fully integrated deep dive into the bookend readiness (shutdown and startup). CruzAlta’s TPA program intersects with turnaround preparations 3-4 times depending on complexity and is executed by seasoned industry consultants who have managed plants and turnarounds as an owner and understand the necessity of fully understood gap closure actions plans.  

The preparation phase of a turnaround can be described as the coordinated completion of numerous sequential deliverables by the entire site organization. Over time, these deliverables and their subordinate activities have been mapped into a highly complex matrix of tasks that end up consuming an organization, and often, becoming an administrative burden, versus a value-added process. CruzAlta’s consultants will apply value stream improvement methodology to boil this complicated web of administrivia down to a meaningful set of deliverables that rethink and reframe the workflow to eliminate the waste and focus on reducing variation of the value-added tasks. Each with a well understood definition of content that builds upon each other to establish the foundation for execution.

The focus of this technical service enables the shutdown to be executed in a condition-based (vs. time based) approach. CruzAlta’s validation team uses portable gas chromatograph technology to precisely determine procedural inflection steps and provide a proven tool to identify contamination source locations and other anomalies that often delay handing over clean equipment to the mechanical team on schedule.

Most plants are not designed to efficiently shutdown in today’s environmental climate. As a result, to achieve competitive turnaround durations, most shutdowns employ some combination of temporary facilities to adequately deinventory and decontaminate equipment. CruzAlta’s consultants can leverage experience from executing more than 150 turnarounds each year to design innovative temporary mechanical facilities solutions that will expeditiously process the streams to the correct closed system while satisfying new and changing environmental regulations.

Following the tracking of shutdown execution and capturing accurate actual timelines, CruzAlta will perform data analytics and produce a set of performance benchmarks for the shutdown. These benchmarks will provide visibility into the details of shutdown performance as compared to the industry. CruzAlta’s comprehensive database of shutdown timelines is the referenced dataset. In addition to predictability and competitiveness, the benchmarks compare details of the performance by shutdown stage and each individual decontamination task and provide quantitative insights into the frequency and duration of shutdown delay causes.

Many industry turnarounds are not successful because they fail to develop an optimized, yet flexible, commissioning and startup plan. CruzAlta will work closely with lead operations and technical teams to establish a challenged Commissioning and Start Up (“CSU”) Strategy up to nine months prior to feed out. With this foundation, in a part time role over the course of the next several months, CruzAlta will assist the team with startup deliverable completion and contingency planning and ultimately establishing a comprehensive and adaptable CSU program.

Engaged leadership and guidance is invaluable during the execution of a turnaround. However, many industry turnarounds do not have the capability or headcount to staff a senior advisory role focused specifically on the turnaround bookends. CruzAlta can provide seasoned operations experts to guide these critical phases as follows:

  • CruzAlta operates as an independent, but highly invested, advisor to TA operations leads and coordinators to guide and adjust the shutdown phase in real time; and
  • To enable a seamless transition from the end of the mechanical phase, CruzAlta consultants proactively identify pre-commissioning opportunities and mitigate start up threats as a compliment to the TA operations leadership and CSU team.