Plant Turnarounds, Shutdowns and Outages: When Every Part and Every Minute Count
Plant turnarounds and outages at Koch Industries and CHS are crucial events in the operation of fuel and fertilizer plants. Blown or botched delivery dates can wreak havoc on a plant’s revenues, profits and losses. Koch and CHS trust Distribution By Air (DBA) to reduce risk and handle the time-sensitive hotshots, dedicated team-driving, and air cargo charters for critical maintenance parts that ensure plants stay open – and profitable.
Anyone can shut down a fuel or fertilizer plant for planned maintenance. Getting the plant back online is where the real skill and expertise come in.
It takes months of meticulous planning to make sure a 30-day maintenance shutdown doesn’t go one minute longer than planned. Extra time spent by contractors waiting for missing parts can mean millions of dollars lost.
When there’s no margin for shipping errors or delays, Kelly George, materials manager for Koch Industries, uses Distribution By Air (DBA) for hotshots and air cargo charters during plant shutdowns and outage situations.
“With DBA, I can make one call, give them the basics, and get the job done,” George said. “They’ve got the experience and industry knowledge with expedited freight to handle any assignment and I know I can trust them to do it right. It’s that simple.”
George said high pressure and high heat accelerate wear and tear and make the need for parts even more time sensitive in a fertilizer plant. He said communications and service are what really put DBA above other providers.
“Outages and emergency shipments often happen after hours, but DBA answers their phones anytime and they’re ready to go to work,” George said. “When our plant is in danger of coming down, and I absolutely need a critical part, I call DBA.”
As America’s largest cooperative refiner, CHS meets customer fuel needs by maximizing diesel production at its two refineries in McPherson, Kan., and Laurel, Mont. A 30-day turnaround at one of these plants costs tens of millions to clean and update the mechanicals.
When Ben Oard, purchasing supervisor at the CHS plant in McPherson, went through his most recent turnaround project, he relied on DBA to handle the dedicated team-driving of getting the mission-critical Coker unit valves to and from its California refurbishment facility.
“DBA had the best connections and resources to and from the West Coast, hands down,” Oard said. “We needed teams of dedicated fl at-bed drivers to get these parts from our
plant in the middle of Kansas to just outside of San Francisco and DBA found teams that could do it non-stop in less than 48 hours. They were amazing.”
Oard said he knows he can count on excellence and straight talk with DBA.
“When I work with DBA, I get regular updates, so I know where our shipments are at every stage,” Oard said. “They simply don’t drop the ball and working with them is always a good experience.”
Streamlined Shipping for Turnarounds and Outages
- Ambition: Industry leaders Koch Industries and CHS are two of the largest manufacturing conglomerates and producers of fuel and fertilizer in the U.S. with dozens of facilities dotting rural America.
- Actions: Plant turnarounds, shutdowns and outages at Koch and CHS are critical times that require top-notch expedited logistics to ship mission critical parts that keep plants up and running and producing millions for shareholders.
- Outcome: Koch and CHS rely on DBA to handle the most important and time-sensitive shipments, weighing 5 lbs. to 5,000 lbs., traveling from 200 to 2,000 miles.
Distribution By Air
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