6 Challenges of Turbomachinery Projects


Turbo Machinery

At John Crane, our turbomachinery services team is experienced in working with many types of projects (e.g., multiple applications and job types, including install, repair, investigation, inspection) with varying levels of participation. Throughout the years, our experts have seen a trend in the types of challenges they encounter, including:

  1. Goals and Objective Definition
  2. Project Scope
  3. Unrealistic Deadlines
  4. Miscommunication Conflicts
  5. Team Skill Shortages
  6. Risk Management

Regardless of our given role within a project, the right mix of planning, controlling and monitoring can make a difference in how projects are completed and whether they are delivered on time, within budget and with the desired outcome. 

Managing a project is akin to running a business. You have to take care of the team, resources and deadlines, manage the budget, ensure proper communication, foresee potential risks, and run interference for everything else. Every day we hear the same stories, challenges and issues in project management, yet many projects do not benefit from the lessons learned.

Below are six of the most frequent challenges we encounter when working on turbomachinery projects.

Challenge #1: Goals and Objective Definition

Our experts can project manage complete technology enhancements to improve specific aspects of equipment performance. Our first task is to precisely identify the goals and objectives keeping in mind the target outcome and results to be measured (e.g., increased productivity, trouble-free operation, timely restart). Our pre-commissioning services will agree on goals, measurements and timelines as part of the project scope and cost definition.

Challenge #2: Project Scope

When working with our team, you will receive a detailed proposal project with specific work commitments. Projects are rigorously managed and require any scope alterations to be documented, quoted and approved. Regular and detailed reports ensure that progress is monitored and communicated, including updated completion estimates.

Challenge #3: Unrealistic Deadlines

Proper team communication and on-time completion is a fundamental requirement for cost-effective repairs, refurbishments and upgrades. Agreed, realistic deadlines are necessary for all parties. Once set, meeting the deadline will be required for normal resumption of operations and on-budget project costs. Any unforeseen project difficulties are communicated immediately to ensure unrealistic deadlines are not reinforced.

Challenge #4: Miscommunication Conflicts

We manage our team, and we manage the wider team. We have a proven track record of mobilizing global and local service resources to support multiple “mega” projects, as well as individual site installations, against tight timescales and in uncertain situations. We can also provide examples from all over the world. We work openly with our customers and partners to avoid conflict and find joint solutions to any problems, whether that be technical issues or logistic delays. We never let a customer down and we never walk away from a problem.

Challenge #5: Team Skill Shortages

Aging workforces, reduced core team size or unexpected engineering requirements can highlight gaps in your ability to fulfill specific investigations or required maintenance. Not only are our engineers vastly experienced, they can also call on a global pool of expertise to support key specialties. We are often required to manage other project resources, such as equipment partners, specialists or local contractors. Because of our experience, we can act as the lead supplier on a range of turbomachinery tasks.

Challenge #6: Accountability and Risk Management

Our service and reliability engineers support customers with turbomachinery reviews, advice and full root cause analyses for problem resolution. We have a proven track record of identifying, analyzing, evaluating and resolving project risks, providing insight into the regular report cycle. Risk is about uncertainty. We put a framework around that uncertainty to demonstrably reduce risks. By identifying and managing a comprehensive list of project risks, unpleasant surprises and barriers can be reduced and opportunities can be discovered.

Learn more about what you can achieve with the John Crane turbomachinery services team as your partner and talk to us about all levels of turbomachinery projects for your operation. We are happy to discuss our expertise, regional capability and credentials.

Scroll to top