Machinery start-up following an extended shutdown period

Following an extended shut down period, parts and components can corrode and become seized and/or strained; potentially leading to breakdown, damage, or even catastrophic failure upon start-up. It is, therefore, good practice for commercial property owners/building managers to perform basic checks prior to machinery/ electrical installation/mechanical system start-up following an extended shutdown period.

Here, we provide some basic guidance and specific system considerations for machinery in commercial properties following extended shutdown periods.

Our guidance for commercial property owners/building managers should not replace the defined maintenance start-up processes and prescribed procedures of equipment/ installation operation manuals or any applicable codes and local regulations.

An inspection should be carried out and documented before start-up commences, and only qualified and authorized persons should be engaged in starting up machinery or electrical installations.

A cold start-up of machinery and equipment following a period of inactivity could lead to catastrophic failure of mechanical parts. Vibration, seizure, and problems caused by corrosion, moisture, or contaminants may lead to the failure of components and protective devices.

Before starting up machinery:

−Refer to the user manual for specific start-up procedures.

− Ensure all critical spare parts and tools are present.

− Safely isolate the machine and lock-off energy sources to make it safe.

− Clean all accessible parts of the machine.

− Examine the machine for leaks and check that lubrication levels are sufficient.

− Check plugged-in electrical parts are securely connected and there is no loose or damaged wiring.

−With the power still isolated, check control panel switches and buttons are working properly.

− Ensure that the machine settings and parameters are correct or in ‘neutral’ so that no part of the machine can move unless initiated by the operator.

−Where possible, move rotating, pivoting, and sliding parts manually and lubricate where required according to the machine’s maintenance manual.

−Replace all guarding after the necessary checks have been completed and safely start the machine slowly in steps. If possible, verify each part is operating correctly before engaging the next step.

Our guidance for commercial property owners/building managers should not replace the defined maintenance start-up processes and prescribed procedures of equipment/ installation operation manuals or any applicable codes and local regulations. An inspection should be carried out and documented before start-up commences, and only qualified and authorized persons should be engaged in starting up machinery or electrical installations.

For more information on loss prevention and preventative maintenance CLICK HERE.

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© 2020 The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. HSB makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the content herein. Under no circumstances shall HSB or any party involved in creating or delivering this article be liable to you for any loss or damage that results from the use of the information contained herein. Except as otherwise expressly permitted by HSB in writing, no portion of this article may be reproduced, copied, or distributed in any way. This article does not modify or invalidate any of the provisions, exclusions, terms or conditions of the applicable policy and endorsements. For specific terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable endorsement form.

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