Effective planning and execution of shutdowns and turnarounds

  • Tobias Laiblin
  • Senior Project and Shutdown Responsible
  • Evonik Performance Materials GmbH, Germany

What’s your role within the Evonik Performance Materials GmbH company?

My role is Senior Project and Shutdown Manager at our Marl site in Germany. I have been in project management now for 18 years with a focus on brown field projects within existing production plants. This led me to targeting shutdown/turnaround management for the last 15 years, because most brown field projects include measures that can not be implemented during normal production. Thus, one has to decommission the plant in question, execute those measures and recommission everything as well. Therefore, you have to consider the contribution margin of production as a main lever as well.

Have you encountered a difficult situation within S/TA Management?

I have hade several, most of them dealing with unforeseen situations, meaning emergent work. But the most crucial aspect is when something you plan to do turns out not to be feasible during execution. E.g. Antwerp 2011

How would you respond when you detect a problem in order to avoid errors?

Select the right people experienced in dealing with problem at hand, let them prepare suitable measures and communicate those measures within the SD team. Include in lessons learned.

What is your effective method to keep working areas neat and orderly?

Equip all participants/their working environment with all items necessary to properly conduct their work (hobbocks for seals, bolts, nuts,...), stow their gear (tubes...) and organize everything. And use separate "cleaning" team for clean up surplus after shift ends.

What is the key to success when cooperating with contractors?

You have to have a common goal to suitably align with and therefore reach the best possible outcome of a shutdown or turnaround event. But you also always have to have an understanding of the different perspectives of all stakeholders in the event.

What is the main reason why you are willing to chair this conference?

I am certain that we have to share our experiences in the field of event management (project and shutdown/turnaround) to gain the best performances in execution. And what better position to do this than being chairman for such a well-known conference?

What does the conference offer for industry professionals?

A suitable platform to share and discuss experiences on a professional level, both from the process perspective as well as operational perspective on the execution of shutdowns and turnaround.

What can attendees achieve by attending this conference?

Gain insights of other companies and their people's experiences.