Mahaffey Blog

Optimal Turnaround Performance: The Case for Temporary Structures

Periodic turnarounds are a crucial part of maintenance for any plant, refinery or factory. These shutdowns are a routine aspect of plant management — a temporary need, which calls for a temporary solution. During turnaround events, such as a major maintenance or upkeep, using a permanent structure can hinder business operations. The costs of installation and slower build times for traditional construction can cause project delays or reduced productivity. Temporary structures provide a safer working environment that allows for maximum productivity and efficiency during these maintenance events, while providing the customizability to counteract potential risk factors.

To optimize turnaround performance, the turnaround manager must consider several factors that will affect productivity, quality and efficiency. Turnarounds can displace workers and other employees, who will require a safe and controlled environment. Equipment and materials may also need to be stored or removed temporarily during the maintenance process, necessitating a durable, environmentally resistant structure to house these assets. When your jobsite has easily-accessible, durable spaces, your projects can remain on task without compromising the quality of the work or machinery due to turnaround interference.

Wesley Lowe of UPS Industrial Services said his company routinely uses temporary structures to provide shelter for hazardous or complex jobsites. “Recently, we had a structure that couldn’t be permanent, because it would be placed inside the blast zone during a plant wide turnaround. The installation was challenging to say the least, but the crew dealt with the challenges and completed the structure as expected.”

Temporary fabric structures not only provide on-demand shelter for turnaround operations to take place, but also can be equipped with the necessary features that allow work to continue, or keep the necessary materials near the worksite to allow for timely access by employees. Installing an HVAC system, generators and access amenities, such as specialized doors, provides employees with a safe and productive environment. Plus, the fully customizable nature of temporary structures means these amenities can be augmented or removed as time progresses and the needs for the turnaround shift, saving money.

Where permanent structures fall short, temporary structures provide the necessary flexibility to add, eliminate or customize structures to meet the clients’ needs. Certain aspects of the turnaround process may only require a certain amount of space, but those needs may evolve throughout the life of the project. The flexibility to increase and decrease the size of a temporary structure can curtail unnecessary costs, and allows for expansion should factors outside of normal routine maintenance exist. Temporary structures allow for site-specific measurements and sizing to occur, meaning the structure is the perfect size, every time. Plus, these structures can be quickly and easily relocated. Industry leaders can install the fabric structures at a rate of 10,000 square feet per day, and can site the structures on numerous types of locations and bases.

When seeking temporary and semi-permanent industrial fabric structures, look for a company with a documented history of innovation and excellence that you can count on to provide safe and compliant tent solutions, no matter how big or small your project’s needs. Such a company should hold ISNetworld, HAZWOPER, TWIC, DISA (Defense Information Systems Agency), PICS (Pacific Industrial Contractor Screening) and OSHA certifications, as well as site-specific credentials, to ensure the safety of its employees and your workforce on-site. 

This article originally appeared in BIC Magazine.

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