Chemical plants shut down for inspection, repairs, alterations, and minor and major maintenance. Without scheduled maintenance shutdowns, equipment at the chemical plant may fail.

Nonproductive days during the shutdown may be costly. Still, there is a much steeper price if the chemical plant experiences a process safety incident resulting in personal injury, death, or environmental damage. Some chemical plant components may deteriorate over time, leading to suboptimal reliability, structural integrity, and performance. Even though operations can continue with some deterioration, shutdowns are necessary for maintenance and repairs at some point.

Planned Shutdown

Scheduled process outages are necessary to allow chemical plants to perform maintenance at minimal costs. An outage is referred to as a planned shutdown. Planned shutdowns are costly for chemical plants. Many personnel, including employees and subcontractors, place a significant strain on human resources as they prepare and execute the planned shutdown. Unscheduled outages are substantially more expensive than planned ones; moreover, the cost increases significantly if a chemical plant shuts down due to catastrophic failure.

Advantages of Planned Plant Shutdown

Planned shutdown offers several advantages for chemical plants.

  • Planned plant shutdowns keep the chemical plant equipment in peak condition. Optimal functioning equipment yields higher products, fewer rejections and defects, increased repeatability, lower need for corrective processes or rework, and improved production efficiency and processes.
  • By following a strict preventive maintenance schedule, you can perform proactive maintenance, and the procurement sector can place orders and maintain an accurate inventory.

Additionally, the staff can identify potential issues early and schedule corrective maintenance with a minimal impact on production. The fact of anticipating will also help improve safety and reduce risks incurred by employees and subcontractors.

  • Finally, by preventing unexpected downtime, you can reduce the need for expensive emergency repairs and orders.

Minimizing Costs

You can minimize costs at a chemical plant by undergoing scheduled outages for major maintenance work and possible modifications. HxGN EAM’s Enterprise Asset Management platform is designed to support plant maintenance during scheduled outages. Enterprise Asset Management can help minimize downtime, improve safety, reduce costs, and increase the profitability of assets.

Maintaining Safety

Planned shutdowns with nonproduction periods are critical for safe operations and effectiveness at chemical plants. However, maintaining safety at the chemical plant during the shutdown is paramount. This is because many non-routine procedures are conducted during shutdowns that can lead to unusual and unexpected situations. Enterprise Asset Management has a Safety Management module designed to provide safety support. This module identifies and controls all hazardous activities, situations, and materials to protect the personnel and environment. Additionally, this module helps with health, safety, and environmental (HSE) regulatory compliance.

Data Analysis

To conduct a successful shutdown, you must collect and analyze data from predictive maintenance technologies before the shutdown date. This data will help you identify your asset’s defects, severity, and root causes. You need asset data to determine the need for immediate maintenance or repairs and when to schedule a plant shutdown. Enterprise Asset Management software will empower you to make strategic decisions that prolong the life of your assets.

Root-Cause Analysis

Failures in critical equipment at chemical plants can cause emergency shutdowns with lengthy delays in start-up and significant output losses. Process data analysis can provide an understanding of the root cause of start-up issues and other problems in the chemical plant.


Plant shutdowns are necessary for chemical plants to maintain and promote optimal equipment functioning. You need a strategic enterprise management system to help reduce costs, increase productivity, improve safety, and maximize uptime during plant shutdowns. HxGN EAM addresses the key issues that chemical plants face during shutdowns with a cloud-based system that is easily scalable and highly configurable. HxGN EAM Mobile Applications improve the flexibility of the technicians on the field in their day-to-day activities.

You can contact an HxGN EAM representative to schedule a meeting to discuss our Enterprise Asset Management solutions.

This blog was originally posted on Hexagon. Read the full post here.