How to Achieve a Successful Shutdown in 7 Steps

successful shutdown
Ensuring that all steps on a job plan are carried out, safety/PPE equipment is worn and LOTO procedures are followed is essential during an outage.

Most plants will require a scheduled outage at some point during its operation, but the amount of time, money, and manpower dedicated to this standard practice can be astronomical. This is why plant teams must do everything in their power to prepare and properly execute a successful shutdown.

According to a recent article from Plant Engineering by Steve Hall, job plans for each asset is a prerequisite, and scheduled outages may:

  • Be plant-wide
  • Occur through different sections
  • Be cold/running

Additionally, according to Shon Isenhour, a partner with Eruditio and a holistic reliability solutions expert, “Job plans decrease the time to complete a job by half. They also decrease costs versus emergency repairs by three to seven times.”

7 Simple Steps for Achieving a Successful Shutdown

Following the steps outlined in the Plant Engineering article — which was one of the publication’s top five articles for the month of February 2019 — will help ensure that a plant’s next outage will be successful. Here are those seven steps in a nutshell:

  1. A checklist with every piece of equipment involved in the outage should be available for review. It should be periodically updated to add equipment installed since the last shutdown.
  2. Check inventory and ensure that all replacement parts, accessories, and rebuilt equipment are in stock before the shutdown.
  3. Safety should be the top priority during any outage. A zero-tolerance LOTO and PPE policy should be enforced.
  4. Double check that all new and rebuilt equipment is within current operating parameter specifications. Different parts or different equipment may need to be used. An outage is an ideal time to make any replacements.
  5. Personnel should inspect all equipment before anything is installed; look for wear or damage.
  6. Ensure that the correct asset has been selected and that it has been installed precisely. If installed incorrectly, failure begins at startup and the necessary reliability cannot be achieved.
  7. The plant team should review everything before restarting the plant or process. After this, each asset should be restarted according to the proper procedures.

Read the full article on to learn more about how to ensure a successful outage and restart at your plant.

About the Author
Anna Claire Howard is a contributing writer, editor, and content marketing specialist for Sealing Equipment Products Co. Inc. (SEPCO) and has been since Spring 2019. Before those two big life changes, she was the content marketing specialist for Fluke Accelix; assistant editor for Grand View Outdoors, publisher of Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme, Whitetail Journal, Tactical Retailer, and Shooting Sports Retailer; managing editor for Media Solutions, Inc., publisher of Gear Solutions, Wind Systems, and Thermal Processing magazines; assistant editor for MSI; and the editorial intern for B.A.S.S., LLC, publisher of Bassmaster Magazine and In these B2B/B2C roles, Anna Claire developed an appreciation for the industrial sector, as well as the operators and technicians who make up the workforce. You can find her on LinkedIn at