Your web browser may be malfunctioning. Your internet connection may be unreliable. For more the strategy process concepts contexts cases pdf about the W3C website, see the Webmaster FAQ. Research Paper Startup of new plants and process technology in the process industries: organizing for an extreme event Thomas Lager In the startup of new process plants or in the introduction of new process technology, even minor installation work can cause plant downtime.
The Process Industries, including many different sectors like minerals and metals, pulp and paper, food and beverages, chemicals and petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals, constitute a large part of all manufacturing industry. Some experience from startups in the Steel Industry can serve as an important introduction to the problems of practical implementation of process technology. Figure 1 shows that none of the plants had reached design capacity within one year, and only one after two years. These slow startups were mainly attributable to investment in new and untried process technology and other managerial and organizational issues. Companies that expected startups to last months were still trying to get the mills working smoothly years after the first heat.
The more new technologies a mill installed, the longer the startup took. Some mills also had the wrong people in place. The experiences reported by Bagsarian are unfortunately not solitary events! Comparable durations were also found in the glass, paper and electrical products industries. A smooth startup is however of interest not only to firms in the Process Industries, but also to equipment suppliers, contractors, consultants and suppliers of raw materials and reagents. Startup of plants in the Process Industries may have interesting similarities with startup of plants in other kinds of manufacturing industry, but there are also many differences.
A literature search was initially conducted with a view to establishing a theoretical knowledge base. Since this indicated that this topic has not been very well researched recently, the author, using his own first-hand personal knowledge of startups, began to develop a conceptual framework for alternative types of startup organizations. Organizational typologies have proved to be a popular approach for thinking about organizational structures and strategies. Authors developing typologies, however, have been criticised for developing simplistic classification systems instead of theories. Before collecting extensive quantitative data, the researcher wants to be confident that the key hypotheses are sensible and likely to be supported.
This requires extensive conceptual work to develop the ideas carefully, obtaining considerable feedback from others, and refining the predictions before data collection. Afterwards a formal startup work process has been outlined as a processual perspective on startup activities. Using this template, four alternative structural organizational models are afterwards developed, followed by a final review of the startup more relational teambuilding activities. Managerial implications are put forward and suggestions for further research are presented.
Organizational matters are usually high on firms’ agendas for achieving good performance. In this context one should not overlook the installation and startup of even minor equipment integrated in large plants because, regardless of size, there is always a potential of major process and production disruption. Consequently, when things do not go according to plan, which is often the case during startup, this may influence not only the internal and external production environments, but customer satisfaction with delivered products. Depending on different project characteristics, one could imagine that alternative organizational solutions are more or less functional for startups. That is to say, a small project introducing well proven technology probably requires a different startup organization compared to a startup of a large new production plant using new technology and producing new kinds of products? In the selection of a startup organization there are a number of possible determinants that could be considered for the guidance of such a selection.