Start-Up & Commissioning

214x278.jpgLate facility design details, accelerated construction schedules, just-in-time manufacturing of equipment and managed low-levels of materials inventory at the distributor are the New Normal. As such, improper attention to systems completion, systems turnover, pre-commissioning, commissioning and start-up can lead a project further toward failed economics.

Useful Definitions:

System – A section of the facility or process which is mechanically continuous, but which can be isolated from other sections of the plant or process in a way which allows independent turnover, inspection or confirmation of process function.

Pre-Commissioning – Checking for design conformance, piping mechanical completion, electrical code compliance and instrumentation installation and process tubing adequacy. Pre-Commissioning includes equipment run-in, PLC and DCS action checks, and a rotation check of process equipment which can be isolated from the overall process.

Pre-Commissioning activities overlap with construction activities. The two are isolated from one-another by system boundaries and a robust system package turnover protocol. LOTO compliance, always a must, takes on even greater meaning as electrical equipment and circuits become energized and equipment rotation inspections commence.

Commissioning – The phase of a project where actual process fluids are introduced to process equipment. Commissioning includes multiple function and process performance checks but precedes actual Start-Up.

Start-Up – When stable process conditions are established and intentional product making or manufacturing for sale commences.

212x159.jpgAs one of the last contractors to have access to the work, Ardent inherits the lost schedule float of all construction predecessors in the form of construction acceleration. To help manage ourselves toward timely and efficient completion we have developed a number of proprietary databases and work-order progress management tools. These tools blend well with systems turnover and follow on well into systems pre-commissioning and start-up.

Pre-Commissioning starts when facility systems achieve Mechanical Completion. In today's fast track world of building while some detailed designs are still in review, the Pre-Commissioning efforts must be tasked and managed in conjunction with the project's integrated Critical Path schedule. Construction is often progressed by area, and by the time erection progress exceeds 70% and/or I&E progress exceeds 50%, it is time to begin turning over systems from construction to the Pre-Commissioning team.

Ardent's system turnover database and protocol helps to define, punchlist and manage inspection and pre-commissioning efforts. Our experienced instrument technicians and field process techs can inspect, track and assure systems completion progress is monitored, measured, achieved and reported.

Commissioning and Start-up are a key part of project execution and are the natural outflow of quality systems completion, turnover and pre-commissioning. Introducing and stabilizing process fluids and conditions and commencing product export are WHY facilities get built. Ardent's Pre-Commissioning, Commissioning and Start-up Techs can help lead the way to the ultimate finish line, successful project completion.