Essential Preparations for Winter Shutdowns

Ipsen MetalMaster vacuum furnace

As the end of the year fast approaches, there are a few key factors to keep in mind if you are preparing for a planned winter shutdown.

Whether it’s preparing equipment for cold temperatures or scheduling preventive maintenance, the steps below can help you reduce operating expenses and downtime, increase efficiency and extend the life of your equipment.

Step 1: Prepare your facility and heat treatment equipment to handle winter conditions.

One aspect of this is winterizing the water system before outside temperatures drop to, or below the freezing point. This is especially important since most of us have heat exchangers installed outdoors.

If you are located in an area where temperatures may fall below-freezing, capacity dampers and pan heaters are required. One alternative to electrical pan heaters is a gravity-return, or self-draining tank system.

Step 2: Schedule necessary maintenance during the already planned shutdown.

Not only is this an ideal way to avoid disrupting or slowing down production, but it also helps get your equipment in tip-top shape for the start of year. When determining your maintenance needs, you should consider the following:

  • Your production schedule, facility needs and manpower. Based on these factors, when is the ideal time to have maintenance performed?
  • The condition of your furnace. What needs to be serviced and/or replaced so that your equipment continues operating at peak performance?
Step 3: Check your spare parts inventory and stock up on any depleted items.

Another way to start the coming year off right is by ensuring you have all the necessary critical parts on hand. Checking (and ordering) what is needed before the scheduled shutdown begins means you don’t start the year off with any unpleasant surprises that could lead to unplanned downtime.

Once you have performed these steps and have a better understanding of your maintenance needs, we recommend contacting your Ipsen Regional Service Manager to discuss those needs and schedule any necessary preventive maintenance.

If you require further information or assistance, please call Ipsen Customer Service at 1-844-GO-IPSEN (Toll Free: 1-844-464-7736; International: +1-815-332-2530).