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Start Up - Overview

Aug 14, 2023


Pre-Commissioning/Commissioning/Startup: Construction is completing systems and walkdown/turnover of those systems are now in the scope of the startup/commissioning team.  Pre-commissioning activities mostly revolve around ensuring systems are clean and equipment is in good working order before being placed in “run testing” mode. Safety is often a critical factor during this stage as construction may be working on adjacent areas while the commissioning folks are preforming initial equipment assessments and testing.  Clearly defining active construction areas from areas turned over to the startup/commissioning teams is CRITICAL! Commissioning activities revolve around full functionality testing  of systems before bringing in gas into the facility.  Startup is gradually placing all systems in operational mode in sequence to obtain the ultimate goal of PIT (product in tank).

Steam Blow/Flushing: Suction lines leading to critical equipment are often cleaned before the equipment is commissioned.  Steam blowing and flushing activities are methods used during pre-commissioning.  Valves and instrumentation are often removed for these types of activities.  Protection of items dropped for these purposes if critical to ensure a smooth startup.

Service Testing/Leak Checks:

Loop Checks: This process ensures all instruments and equipment, and field equipment/instruments  are correctly wired to each control system panel.  Cable pulling, terminations, correct preservation (emitters/desiccant) and climate controlled initial storage of controllers will now allow for control room operators to now begin to control equipment operation and functionality.

Motor Bumps:  Motors and pumps will need preservation oil removed and operational “first fill” oil filled after flushing.  Greased motors will also need to be checked before motor bumps begin.  Motor bumps are necessary to ensure the motor is working and turning in the correct direction.  Successful motor bumps are related to a robust preservation program.  Preservation oils/greases, meggering, rotations, space heater connections, etc. performed via defined preservation frequencies years prior to motor energization/bumping is now paying off.  If loop checks have all be performed, control room operators should be able to assist in bumping/starting/stopping motors during this process.

Full Equipment Energization: Energizing main process equipment such as turbines, compressors, etc. is a major milestone in the life of a project.  Main process equipment is the heart of any project.  Ensuring this type of equipment is operating property/vibration free is one of the last major milestones before “first fire” of the major process equipment.  Rotations, N2 blanketing/fogging, performed during the  preservation/storage program are now paying dividends.

Functional Testing: Major process equipment not only needs to function properly but will also need a “breaking in” period before optimal efficiency can be obtained.  Vendor representatives play a key role working in conjunction with the startup folks to fine tune equipment properly.

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