TAR Conference 2018 - Time to act
At the established TAR Annual Meeting, executives, project managers and specialists met in Potsdam to discuss the current challenges of modern turnaround management. All participants agreed: If you want to be successful in the long term, you have to be prepared to strike new paths - and act now.
by Thomas Cook
In addition to traditional topics such as contractor management, turnaround planning, progress tracking, safety, scope and risk management, two key discussion points were at the forefront this year: "How to improve the cooperation with contractors" and "Digitalisation in turnaround management - what has proven successful, what are the trends".
The subject of digitization in particular was the focus of almost all keynotes and other presentations. For example, the representative of a chemical company reported on how to optimize the entire system management and thus also the TAR planning by means of a "digital twin", so that the composition of the scope reaches a completely new level: The tagged technical locations collect the information between the turnarounds. Also, a 3D visualization is possible, which can subsequently become the basis for further applications, be it for "preventive" security coordination in the planning phase or for meaningful working arrangements with maintenance groups.
With the support of augmented reality, it is also intended in the context of various use cases, to track equipment or to visualize the state of the system during departure. Another interesting case study was the introduction and use of an Electronic Turnaround Coordination Board. But despite many exciting examples, it also became clear that the TAR environment on the whole is not an innovative pioneer!
The focus was also on the lack of skilled workers. For many companies, the staffing situation is exacerbated, with recruitment of planners, turnaround managers and workers being particularly difficult. As a significant compensation factor, a robust shutdown process was named in several companies. Here u.a. The new VDI guideline on "Turnaround Management in Process Systems", which is currently being worked on, also provides assistance.
Since 14 years a jour fix for turnaround professionals - the TAR annual meeting (Video is in German language)
Exchange of experience among experts
A key success factor of the TAR conference is the exchange of experience among the experts. Operators from the process industry as well as engineering specialists and manufacturers once again provided insights into best practices, including well known companies such as BASF, Shell, Stendal pulp, Borealis, BP, Covestro, ETHYDCO, Evonik, Merck, OMV and PKN Orlen, RWE Power, T.A. Cook, Wacker Chemie and Bayer. Suggestions for solutions were presented and typical problems were considered from different perspectives. Interactive discussions on pre-TAR onboarding, Industry 4.0 for shutdowns as well as a comparison of views Operator service providers also provided important insights. During the demo jam, attendees also learned about innovative turnaround tools and apps, including the new planning software from T.A. Cook (add link to pdf)
"See you next time!" was the most common farewell greeting from the participants. Good thing that the next event is already scheduled - from 23 to 24.01.2019 in Potsdam.