SOURCE: marcus evans

marcus evans

June 10, 2015 12:23 ET

Achieving Successful Turnarounds and Building a Concrete Logistics Plan: An Interview With Steve Dwyer of Flint Hills Resources

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwired - Jun 10, 2015) - Steve Dwyer, Maintenance Manager for Flint Hills Resources, will be a speaker at the marcus evans 7th Annual Chem/Petrochem & Refinery Shutdowns & Turnarounds Conference, to be held August 5-7, 2015 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Antonio, Texas. Steve recently shared his unique perspective with marcus evans on achieving a successful turnaround that comes from 32+ years of experience in the field.

marcus evans: In your past experience, you have worked in three distinctive environments doing turnarounds and maintenance work. NASA and Equistar Chemicals are two of those environments. As Maintenance Manager at Flint Hills Resources, what is your main job focus and what are some of the challenges? 
Steve Dwyer:
At Flint Hills Resources, the goal of Maintenance is to be able to keep equipment performing at a high level of reliability and availability and at all times to look for improvements in the status quo to better enhance/increase performance. Outages and turnarounds are a focused effort in bringing a unit down and performing required maintenance as well as implementing improvements to help in the reliability of the facility in a safe, effective manner. This has been a consistent goal of all turnarounds that I have been a part of, whether in the public sector or the private sector. My work experience has included Equistar (LyondellBasell), NASA-Johnson Space Center, PetroLogistics and Flint Hills Resources.

You will be presenting a discussion on the top 10 guidelines and objectives for efficient turnarounds including team support, milestones, and how to handle discovery work and master success. What are some of the key takeaways to be shared?
 One point I would like to convey is the process of the work is the key to success. In all my years of doing turnarounds I am not the one responsible for setting the goals, setting the timeline or even setting the duration of the outage. What I do have control over is doing the turnaround safely. This single factor has to drive all other factors or success cannot be achieved. Operating safely is a key focus at FHR and our plant employees established the motto -- Be the ONE, which means, be the one that is safe, clean, compliant, and reliable. Safely executed turnarounds and outages can be done with as little as two weeks of planning and scheduling, or as much as three months. For me, the secret to success is communications and involvement of the right people with a plan that is well understood by everyone, and also knowing the plan will change and being adaptable to that change.

What are some of the objectives and processes that aid in mastering a successful turnaround?
To have a successful turnaround you must establish a clear set of goals from the onset. This includes safety, major objectives, and expectations from the outage. Without this clearly communicated starting point, confusion could very easily happen. Another important factor needed is clear organization and decision rights so people understand how to effectively work together and help the process run smoothly. An example of this is the night shift is far more productive than the day shift. Do companies allow the night shift to be successful or is this the place to put "the new guy" so nobody sleeps? In 80% of the outages I have been involved with, I worked nights for the simple fact nights are more productive, thus helping with the execution of the work.

You will also be facilitating dialogue on assembling a solid logistics plan to achieve maximum results. What are some of the core elements that will be discussed?
The key to a good logistics plan is to ask, "how can we help the workers perform their task?" This includes simple things, such as where do they put their tools and where do they eat lunch (how many microwaves are there), to more complicated issues such as when is the shift change or when do we do hot turnovers on a task. It has to be an integral part of the turnaround or inefficiencies set in, causing a loss of performance and therefore higher costs. Another factor to consider is day logistics plans are not the same as night logistics plans. A different set of issues exist for nights and they have to be considered, such as light plants, fueling, people becoming fatigued, and how to handle fatigue days.

Materials coordination and cost control are two topics that greatly resonate with many industry peers and appear to be an ongoing challenge. What is your experience with these areas?
In most turnarounds these are key points that companies look at. My 32 years of doing this has created a different view other than cost being primary issue. Materials coordination and cost control are the results of the plan and the level of communications. There will be discovery during outages and there will be materials that are needed at some point that were not foreseen in the original plan. My question to that is "who is the SPOC (single point of contact) for that job and what do they need and when?" The answer to those questions will dictate the cost. While discovery is the enemy of all outages, discovery is also the answer to solving problems previously not seen before and allowing the plant to improve. Bottom line is -- discovery helps the plant so outages/turnarounds must embrace this and control the effects of it.

Steve will be leading the session titled "Showcasing the Top 10 Guidelines and Objectives for Efficient Turnarounds" on Wednesday, August 5th and facilitating an interactive discussion titled "Assembling a Solid Logistics Plan to Achieve Maximum Results" on Thursday, August 6th. For more information regarding this conference, including pricing and registration, please contact Abby Wilson, Media & PR Coordinator, directly at (312) 894-6313 or

About the Conference:

For the last 6 years, the annual Chem/Petrochem and Refinery Shutdowns & Turnarounds Conference has been one of the most anticipated STO meetings in the industry, bringing together Professionals & Plant Managers to discuss key fundamentals for achieving the utmost efficient shutdown /turnaround operation. The conference provides attendees with proven solutions in timely maintenance planning/scheduling and improving communication between O&M.

About marcus evans:
marcus evans conferences annually produce over 2,000 high quality events designed to provide key strategic business information, best practice and networking opportunities for senior industry decision-makers. Our global reach is utilized to attract over 30,000 speakers annually; ensuring niche focused subject matter presented directly by practitioners and a diversity of information to assist our clients in adopting best practice in all business disciplines.

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