Executing successful startup models in manufacturing

Long-term functional and efficient systems require a thorough commissioning and start-up procedure. McCownGordon executes a vertical start-up model that helps save time, money, resources such as raw materials and scrap/test product, and helps boost production capacity. A commissioning agent and startup manager will be engaged early in the preconstruction phase and will be integral in the design and construction process.

The McCownGordon team will work together with their clients to develop a process and packaging startup plan to meet shareholder goals, the clients’ requirements and equipment desired efficiencies. During the startup and commission phase McCownGordon will take a systematic approach to confirm the operation and functionality of each equipment center.

A startup’s success starts with a successful design process. During the initial kick off and design reviews of the project a commissioning agent and startup manager will be involved. While this seems early it is critical to keep start-up in mind while designing the line and also helps ensure that resources can be allocated.

Equipment will be inspected and tested at the equipment vendors’ facility as part of the factory acceptance testing (FAT) prior to shipping. McCownGordon will develop testing protocol based on testing the safety equipment, machine build, adherence to the client’s specifications as detailed as part of the bid process, and machine performance.

Good communication and planning prior to onsite mobilization leads to the success of a vertical startup. Similar to the FAT testing protocol a startup testing protocol is developed alongside the client based on their unique needs and schedule.  Mapping out the resources from a personnel standpoint and a raw materials standpoint is carefully planned out and all testing material is sourced to ensure there are no delays. Communication matrixes and Roles/Responsibilities documents are created by McCownGordon to ensure that there is effective communication though out the start up process.

Onsite Startup will begin with a static check out of each piece of equipment to confirm correct installation, confirm safety systems are in place, transitions between machines and utilities are connected. The team will then transition to dynamic checkout where machine centers will be powered up and will test the safety system. Once the safety system is confirmed the machines will be tested to confirm operation and functionality. The third phase of check out will be subsystem check out where a small batch of test product runs through multiple unit operations in controlled burst like test. This will test the flow of product and communication between the different machines. At the conclusion of subsystem testing the team will begin initial product trials to achieve a simulation production atmosphere. Startup testing will involve plant operators to allow for hands-on training. The team will be partner with the OEM vendors to ensure onsite support during the start up where appropriate. At the conclusion of startup McCownGordon will do a site acceptance testing (SAT) that will confirm the performance of equipment based upon the agreed upon metrics.

Beyond the process and packaging equipment, McCownGordon offers a unique service of extending their startup and commissioning services the to the building itself through our Building Performance Solutions Group. This process has been shown to improve the energy efficiency and reduce overall costs of operation for the owner. The Building Commissioning requirements will be communicated through design documents, a commissioning meeting prior to construction of any mechanical systems and pre-functional checklists. Preplanning will provide seamless start up and testing processes, which will be monitored by the commissioning agent and begin once all pre-functional checklists are complete.

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