Download Agenda

Interested? Do you feel you will benefit?


All Rights Reserved. marcus evans ® 2019

18th Outage Management for Power Plants

Discovering, Developing & Defining Productivity and Procedures to Improve Outage Planning, Scheduling and Execution

30 Jul-1 Aug 2019
JW Marriott | Austin, TX, United States of America

marcus evans Noth America

What our delegates think of us:

This conference is an excellent avenue to network, learn and share ideas to improve the company. I look forward to attending again.

Tennessee Valley Authority

Well organized conference with healthy lessons learned and beneficial practical sharing

Southern Nuclear

Since attending and speaking at the first marcus evans conference, the growth, innovation, and relevance is still alive

Columbia Power

An interview with Randy Earley, Sr Manager Maintenance Execution at Exelon Generation

Ahead of the 18th Outage Management for Power Plants, we spoke with Randy Earley, Sr Manager Maintenance Execution at Exelon Generation about the successful outage management.

You are delivering a presentation on improving the efficiency of cycling through fleet flexibility and reliability, what aspects of cycling hold most importance for successful outage management?

This is broken down into 6 aspects in my opinion. The most important thing when you are initially building out is the coding of your work. This drives into the preparation of the work, then your contingency plan, then to your decision trees, then the communication at time of execution. The final aspect is the emergence issue template. 

First and Foremost, the coding of the work allows for flexibility. You should code out all your work based on critical vs. noncritical and the reasons behind it. Then, you have to understand what your work is so that you code it for maximum flexibility.
In this particular industry, we are looking at the critical work scope with regards to regulatory commitments which would be the bare minimal coding that I would code too. The next thing I would code is work that I have the PM frequency that is due. Then, I would also break out my coding a little further, depending on if it’s a corrective or non-corrective type work order. The final part that I would code the work for departments or disciplines that are heavily resource loaded, I may include specific things depending on if you would need to stay on budget or duration of an outage. For example, if I am working on my turbine, I want to be able to understand the different amount of pieces. If I am doing a large amount of work, I would code anything related to the rotor and valve work. Depending on which work was slipping, I could pull the different coding schemes that I have for the flexibility. This helps me understand what work I can accomplish successfully in the time frame or if there is work that I have to remove. I pre-coded it and identified it, so that’s why the coding of the work is so important. 

This leads in the preparation for it. It is essential to do all the leg work upfront as far as parts, package, people to make sure all of those are covered and laid out. However, that is all part of the preparation. If there’s a long lead time, I need to make sure I identify that ahead of time. If the package could be walked down, I would need to clarify that it was.  Also, the parts, when they get to the site are walked down ahead of time. Finally, clarify that the people that are assigned to it at the time of execution have the right oversight as well. 

The contingency plans are the “what if”. For example, if there was a part that I needed for the rotor that was at risk, but the lead time was 8-10 weeks, I may have that ready to go based on what the risk is to the overall outage. Then, I would develop a contingency plan for that, with work orders all laid out. It is pre-laid out into the contingency plan if I suspect I am going to have an issue, which is the importance of contingency planning ahead of time for the execution. This goes into your decision making. If you have a big decision point that you have to make, if I had a hydrogen leak going into the turbine and I narrowed it down to three areas. It takes the emotion out of the decision so that during the time of the outage you’re not wasting time getting everyone to align on the decision. You have the decision tree pre-laid out and pre-agreed upon, which limits the time trying to convince people.  

Communication is the next piece. It is important you are getting crisp, clean turnovers and issues are not languishing in the field. We have a 10-30-60 rule. If the people in the field can’t resolve the issue in 10 minutes, they notify the supervisor. The supervisor has 20 more minutes to resolve it. If he can’t resolve it, he calls into the OCC and depending on that would be the 60 minutes for further action. Communications at the time of execution are paramount that you are getting updates. 

Finally, when emerging issues come up, I have a standard 13-hour template that I use. When you find out about the issue you have 1 hour to walk down the issue, 1 hour to plan the package all while completing your clearance order. Next, you have 2 hours to hang the clearance order, 6 hours to do the work, 2 hours to clear the clearance order and 1 hour for the PMT. The key is to not waste time. Overall, you are gaining efficiency by the more templates and coding of the work you do.

What are the keys to success (in your mind) to assure equipment reliability during cycling? 

Bundling of the systems—It is not necessary to take out the system each year, to trickle out something that could have bundled and put it in smart windows to work efficiently. This way you are not wasting resources or recycling equipment. 

Understanding the function and the risks of the systems—This allows you to plan and work the right work because some things can break on a piece of equipment for the entire life of the equipment with no effect. There are other things, depending on the function, you need to fix immediately. 

Understanding wants vs. need—This is one of the hardest struggles. We want to fix everything to guarantee equipment reliability, but there will be times that you will need to understand if it is prudent and not prudent.

What are some obstacles you have faced when planning the retirement of units? What are some strategies that the Quad Cities Station has implemented? 

The biggest obstacle we face is how to maintain your equipment reliability until you shutdown. You have to understand the function and risks of the systems that you have because there will be some systems that you will need for maintaining the systems. You will need fuel support of equipment still, so you will need to be able to cool down your fuel that you still have onsite. There are certain systems that you need, so you have to go through and pre-identify those systems and start building out your work windows. You will have to do the maintenance on those, so that is a big part of understanding your systems, the work that is required, and when you can get rid of them. There is a lot of work that comes into laying out the retirement of the plant. This took us a bit of time to understand what systems we had to keep and which are critical to maintaining in the site after we shut down for the final time.
Part of the retirement of a nuclear site, it has to go back to the condition of the land when it was bought. Some of the strategies we did included setting deadlines and timelines for first identifying what the needs were for the system. We laid all those out and then looked at the PM that we had and determined what was prudent. You need to understand what is needed from the time we handed in our license to the time the land is returned to the original condition. Once you have the backbone built, then you lay in your next pieces as far as the strategy for maintaining the systems and when to remove them. You also have to look at your staffing needs.

As a panelist on an interactive discussion regarding acquiring suppliers & forming alliances, why do you think this is an important topic to discuss? From your experience, why is this a challenge in the industry?  

This is an important topic because someone out there that has had a similar issue and resolved it. There is no need to recreate the wheel. I think anytime you can leverage inside or outside of your industry for different techniques that people have used, it will only make your organization stronger. The more people, the stronger your network is. When you have an issue, the more people you can reach out to which can help narrow down to the industry best or an innovative strategy. Forming alliances helps keep you from growing stagnant in the organization as far as doing the same thing every time and wasting resources.
The reason why it is a challenge in the industry is that we tend to struggle with reaching outside of our organizations. We like to think we do it the best rather than looking for the innovative way that someone might have done it.

How did you get to where you are at today in your career? What is your background?

I was in the Navy nuclear program, as an electronic technician. I started working for Exelon in 2000 as an equipment operator; I stayed in that position until 2012. I went into management and started as a cycle planner, which means I coded all the work orders for work control. I became a work week manager where I developed my skills in the scheduling of work, execution of the work and contingency planning. After that, I moved to reactor services. While in reactor services, my first outage was a record pipe tight outage. 

During the seasons when you’re not in the outage, you’re doing dry cast storage and fuel cleanups and supporting other stations. One thing I learned during my time there was the running of a department on tight timelines, along with sharing resources between each of the other sites so that we could be successful. This led to my position as an outage manager. I have 4 of the top 5 outages at the site. All my experiences from operations, work management, to reactor services were carried into outage management. Another skill that helped me progress in my career is the ability to work with people. I always had a great team of mentors that worked with me throughout the development of my career. I carried this forward and I am the sponsor for the site emerging leaders group. In this group, we mentor young, up and coming talent to help develop them into the future leaders of the company. This gives me a very diverse pool of top talent to keep continuing to pull from and to influence. Overall, this helps me during the outage when I am looking for the correct staff to run the outage with the diverse team and talent that I need.

Randy Earley is one of our keynote speakers

Why you should attend this marcus evans conference?

More than 14 hours of focused end-user driven case studies

  • Master methods used for mitigating scope creep and unexpected cost increases by improving up-front processes with Oglethorpe Power Corporation 

  • Apply lean manufacturing principals in power plants to reduce cost and optimize production with Lower Colorado River Authority 

  • Strengthen contractor management by involving the contractor in pre-planning processes to increase success with NIPSCO 

  • Assess the challenges of administering outages on straight time rather than overtime with Xcel Energy

  • Advance human performance principals and philosophy through management of framework that mitigates error and influences behavior
    with Luminant Energy

Practical insights from active practitioners in your sector

  • Wes Havard
    Regional Manager, Operational Excellence and Human Performance

  • Lynn Harper
    Superintendent, Plant Overhaul Management
    Xcel Energy

  • Randall Earley Outage Manager Quad Cities Station Exelon 

  • Derrick Ivory, Manager, Outage Services
    Vistra Energy 

  • Brian Reeder, Maintenance Superintendent, Electric Generation, Outage Management

Case study: Advancing the Efficiency of Cycling through Fleet Flexibility and Reliability (31st of July, 3:00pm)

• Understanding the dynamics and changes of the industry in regards to cost while maintaining equipment reliability
• Establishing a common ground with the submitter and evaluator to determine the most reliable time to take the outage
• Planning retirement of units to elect what to rebuild and what to sustain
• Revising strategies to decrease the challenges of cycling and the damages that occur

For registration pricing and multiple attendee discounts, please contact:

Melini Hadjitheori