Why involving a commissioning team early is critical to saving time and money

Category: Company News, Power

We’ve been commissioning power plants and compressor stations for over 35 years, and we’ve seen how easy it is for processes to break down when following an urgent timetable. No one intends to skip corners, especially when working on mission-critical equipment for the plant, but oversights do happen, resulting in costly fixes and lost time if they’re not caught early in the construction process.

Adapt to the flow of the project

Proper planning, communication, coordination, and the ability to adapt to the flow of the project on site are all crucial to nullifying the possibility of timetable setbacks and achieving project objectives. By involving a commissioning team lead early, you stand to reduce the risk of project slippage and associated costs. Commissioning and Startup is the integration of the individual construction elements with a focus on equipment, system and signal integrity.

The TTS team approach has successfully implemented this commissioning and startup methodology, saving clients tens of thousands of dollars in time, materials and labor.

Proper Planning With Project Team Execution Can Save Time and Money

By including a knowledgeable Commissioning Team Lead early in the project, you’re providing additional insight and awareness of equipment installation to the project team.

Focus on timely commissioning → The Commissioning Team Lead supports the construction and project team with a focus on timely commissioning and startup using a comprehensive commissioning checklist and associated sign-off in the commissioning manual.

Unify teams and achieve objectives → Construction drawings are reviewed, and coordinated installation and commissioning plans are developed with the construction and project team for a holistic approach to achieve the project’s many objectives flawlessly the first time.

Meet and stay in compliance → Monitoring the project’s progress in tandem with a commissioning checklist and sign-off within the commissioning manual ensures that equipment and infrastructure are within compliance rather than waiting until after the project team has left to discover problems.

Examples: Non-Compliance

Commissioning and Startup focus on equipment, system and signal integrity confirms the plant is ready for operation. It is not unusual to encounter non-compliance or concerns during this time. Typical commissioning and startup non-compliance items range from very minor to significant major impact elements such as signal integrity/noise to equipment high vibrations during operation or worse.

Signal Integrity

Noise on an instrument or control signal has been known to impact station startup. The noise may be caused by a number of different sources. Grounding grid not performing correctly, power cable position and termination problems are just a few of these.

Equipment High Vibration

Things happen during construction that can have an adverse effect on the commissioning or startup of the equipment resulting in high vibration levels during equipment operation. The construction team works hard to avoid problems and if they do happen to resolve them correctly. However problems can still arise for commissioning and startup of the equipment. By having the Commissioning Team Lead involved early with the construction and project team provides an additional resource to benefit the project. Rather than waiting until the full commissioning team is onsite the commissioning checks can begin sooner in the process.

Equipment high vibration can be caused by a number of things. Foundation, grout, hold-down system, alignment, vibration monitoring system and internal equipment problems to name just a few. Foundation problems would include surface roughness prior to grouting, concrete pour and fill for baseplates and hold-down bolting as some typically encountered causes.  Experience has found grout not adhere correctly due to surface roughness prior to pouring, hold-down bolting issues that resulted in soft-foot issues and incorrect concrete fill for baseplates (too little or too much). Project timeline is just one of the impacted consequences.

Take the Guesswork Out of a Smart Startup

The road to smart startup begins with cohesive project management and The Commissioning Team Lead can be of assistance during the construction phase to assist in avoiding these types of startup problems. Catching the anomaly during the construction phase whenever possible assists in maintaining the commissioning and startup project schedule.

What if I Don’t Include a Commissioning Team Lead Early in the Process?

Hiring a commissioning lead to participate in the initial construction and installation stages is good insurance. By not involving a commissioning lead early on, you open yourself to the potential of lagging timelines, additional costs, and lost operational profit.

Consider an equipment high vibration problem during startup that was due to the foundational concrete as an example. Fixing a foundation problem can take as little as  2 days or longer than 30 days depending upon the extent of the required repair work, and time for the material to harden. Elimination / avoidance of non-conformance items that result in equipment vibrations is the most effective. Having a commissioning team lead involved early to assist the construction team has shown to have a positive impact on the project. What is the most cost-effective and minimal risk approach? Each project is unique.

Signal integrity solutions may be an easy or difficult fix depending upon the cause. Finding the problem sooner during the construction phase affords a corrective action that is generally easier to resolve than finding it later in the commissioning phase requiring greater rework effort. Every time one of these setbacks is discovered too late, it pushes the plant’s operations handover further back. If the project team has already left the facility, they need to be called back to enact the fixes, creating additional costs.



Stay On Track, On Time And On Budget
Involve TTS’s Teams Early in Your Project

By including a skilled commissioning team early in the process, you’re safeguarding yourself from potential setbacks and involving experts who can think outside the box. Our specialists have commissioned hundreds of power plants and compressor stations across the world, giving them the necessary experience to see opportunities where others might not.

Save yourself the headache and the financial strain. Keep your project on track with TTS.