Commissioning and Startup is the point where a lot of operators and system designers get thrilled about seeing equipment and processes operate. It is imperative to take a step back and fully evaluate the system to ensure a safe start-up. This is where a lot of unexpected things can go wrong.
Nearly 70% of early equipment failures can be traced to installation, startup, or design deficiencies.
Inadequate preparation and initial testing often result in prolonged and costly startups and an increased number of safety incidents. Maximizing production to realize the expected return on investment depends upon the craftsmanship and quality of work completed.
Rather than existing as a standalone service, start-up and commissioning is the crucial part of the design/build lifecycle, transitioning projects from the design phase to the operations phase.
WHAT IS COMMISSIONING AND STARTUP?
Commissioning and Startup is defined as the transitional phase between construction completion and commercial operations.
During the project’s Commissioning & Startup phase, engineering teams work closely with construction and operations personnel to fully test all new construction and newly installed equipment. This involves simulating various conditions, verifying safety systems work as expected, and equipment performance is satisfactory.
Once stakeholders are satisfied with testing results, the new system is turned over to operations and start-up begins. Extended performance tuning takes place immediately after start-up to ensure optimal process efficiency.
This is the stage where due diligence in the first other stages pays off. Since commissioning is the last phase before operation, there is a risk that commissioning will take place under great time pressure or some delayed activities may continue after the initial operation of the new process.
Difficulties & problems
Complications in basic design contribute less to commissioning difficulties than errors in detail design and construction. This is mainly due to the fact that all fundamental concepts have been researched, examined, and evaluated by senior technical staff. Also, complications in basic designs are usually discovered and mitigated in the design phase.
On the other hand, it is not uncommon for complications in the areas of detail design, installation, and construction to occur.
Why Commissioning and Startup Are Needed?
Commissioning and startup are specialized branches of engineering equivalent to the skills of design, assembly, and operation.
Correct commissioning is vital to the satisfactory operation of any plant or facility. It is imperative that time and resources are allocated to different stages of the commissioning and startup.