Successful TAR Project Management in the German Food Industry

A leading European market producer of raw corn starch and saccharification products for food, feed and paper in the chemical, pharmaceutical and technical industries was planning a turnaround (TAR). The previous TAR at the 600-employee site was behind schedule and exceeded the allotted budget by 100%. The manufacturer approached T.A. Cook Engineers to commission a new shutdown culture in five months. Here are the key results:


Total cost kept within budget


Punctual project delivery


Quality system reliability from the start


Structured TAR process


A variety of new procedures helped ensure the planning, scheduling and execution of the TAR would be a success. To help make the team receptive to the new TAR approaches, team building exercises took place before and during the project. An organizational chart defining clear responsibilities and reporting lines was created and controlled through a traffic light system. The computer system was updated, allowing the timetable to be better structured, recorded and adapted to the upcoming TAR procurement strategy. To stick to the strict six-week deadline for scope definition and assignment, a cold-eyes review discussion took place between the production and project departments. After this alignment, the scope was structurally established and frozen, minimizing scope growth. Third-party contractor participation was evaluated more critically for optimal utilization.

A safety manual was prepared and communicated to all stakeholders followed by online TAR training courses. Additional safety personnel were commissioned to work at the execution phase of the plan to ensure maximum safety.


During the shutdown phase of the project, a daily meeting was held to discuss the safety performance expectations and the current schedule status. Through these recurring sessions, daily challenges, such as unforeseen work on a mobile strike force, were handled appropriately. Thanks to welldocumented and executed commissioning checks, quality was ensured. The culture of “only doing what is necessary” was eliminated, the TAR was carried out with a record delivery and the start-up took place without incident.

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