Planning Your End-of-Year Maintenance Shutdown? 

shutdown maintenance

Here’s what you need to know now, before you do.

While unexpected shutdowns can be extremely expensive and bring a plant to a complete standstill for an extended period of time, planned shutdowns are necessary, beneficial, and in some instances, mandatory. 


Here are some reasons why shutdown maintenance can be highly beneficial:

  • It is an ideal time for equipment maintenance issues to be resolved that cannot be addressed while the plant is operational.
  • They allow for internal inspections of pumps, motors, and electrics to be carried out which would typically be impossible if the equipment was running.
  • Overhauls and new equipment installations take time, and planned shutdowns are usually for 4 – 6 weeks – ample time.
  • Shutdowns are often mandated by various regulatory organizations with the goal of preventing accidents and improving overall plant safety.
  • The warranty requirements of some pieces of expensive equipment require plants to have periodic shutdowns.

1. Say ‘no’ to last-minute maintenance scheduling if you want to avoid disappointment

Most plants shut down over December and January, and it can be tempting to only schedule maintenance in November or even as late as December. However, this would be a mistake. 

Most electromechanical solutions providers will be fully booked by then, and this could lead to significant delays, and in some cases, absence of much-needed scheduled maintenance.

In order to ensure your plant gets the best in pump and motor repairs and maintenance, booking ahead of time is essential. Reach out to your maintenance and repair partner a month or two before your plant shuts down to ensure you avoid disappointment.

2. Ensure a successful restart by choosing electro mechanical experts

The desire to restart production as soon as possible without first commissioning and requalifying the equipment that has been overhauled, repaired, and serviced could end up costing the company more due to unplanned downtime, breakdowns, and disruptions down the road. The best way to prevent this is to use your planned shutdown maintenance efficiently by insisting on expert and experienced technicians.

What is commissioning and requalification?

Commissioning is when newly installed equipment has been verified and assessed and documented that it will perform as the manufacturer intended. Requalification is a similar quality-checking process that is carried out on equipment that has undergone a major repair or overhaul. 

Why is this important?

  • Increases equipment’s ability to perform as it was designed to do
  • Reduces the risk of unplanned downtime
  • Improves plant safety
  • Provides a new baseline for maintenance and operational conditions going forward
  • Ensures the payment is only made for work that is completely satisfactory

If any of these important processes are overlooked or bypassed, it could have devastating consequences. However, not many plants have the inhouse expertise to do so.

shutdown maintenance

3. Use planned shutdown to commission or requalify rotating equipment

There are two important elements that are often neglected when it comes to rotating equipment, which could preempt serious future problems: field balancing and alignment.

Field Balancing

Vibration due to unbalance can lead to expensive damage to rotating equipment, such as bearing and seal destruction, cracks in components, foundation deterioration, and mounting system problems. This is why on-site field balancing is highly recommended during commissioning or requalification and startup.


Alignment issues are often corrected by trial and error which can take days. However, understanding how to calculate corrections or using a laser alignment system can cut this time down to a couple of hours or less. Ensure your maintenance or repair partner has the equipment, expertise, and know-how to align your equipment quickly and accurately.

shutdown maintenance

CAW can help you make the most of your planned shutdown

CAW has over 50 years of experience in helping our customers successfully manage their pumps, motors, and electrical assets. We are a comprehensive condition based maintenance service provider meaning, we not only provide the standard condition monitoring services (vibration analysis, IR, ultrasonics) but also field balancing, alignment, and advanced testing services (Online Testing, All Test Pro, PI Testing, and condition monitoring).


If you have a year-end planned shutdown coming up, we can help! Contact us today.