Pre-Commissioning, Commissioning & Start-up Support

Experience and Project Types

M3 has extensive experience with upgrades, expansions, retrofits and new industrial and precious metal projects throughout the Western Hemisphere with budgets ranging from $500,000 to $1,500,000,000.  Our multi-discipline staff author feasibility studies, design and manage construction of plants, commission facilities and audit and debottleneck existing plants for safety improvements and increased production.   Our broad range of experience allows us to accurately specify process equipment, piping and controls along with full detailed engineering support.  Our methodologies for carrying out a project have included:

  • Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC),
  • Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM), and
  • Construction Management (CM) on work where design and procurement have been performed by others.

We regularly perform projects that start as feasibility and trade-off studies that progress into EPCM for fully constructed plants.

Project Completion Stages

M3 offers complete engineering and construction services to guide projects from initial concept and design to finalization.  We have an excellent record, with our completed plants often reaching and exceeding production goals ahead of schedule.

While the responsibility for completion activities depends on the specific contract between M3 and the project owner, the stages are as follows:

  • Mechanical Completion – confirmation of fabrication, assembly and nonfunctional testing of a specific system(s) or facility on site to confirm the integrity of the construction and installation.
  • Pre-Commissioning – preliminary efforts to test and check the individual units, systems and/or sub-systems within a logical area to ensure that the components of any given system and/or sub-system perform as designed.
  • Mechanical Completion Punch List – a list of items from all disciplines, discovered during Pre-Commissioning review, that must be completed prior to Commissioning.
  • Commissioning – entails running and testing all areas of each system to ensure the system performs as anticipated and to correct any remaining problems prior to Plant Operational Start-up.
  • Start-up – the commencement of actual plant operations.
  • Ramp-up – the period where production increases to full commercial (nameplate) production.
  • Performance Tests – checks and benchmarks designed to assess how the plant has been functioning in a steady state of production, usually after a few months of operation.  Sometimes called a “Bankers’ Test”.

We have been in charge of the following programs during Commissioning:

  • Vendor operating and maintenance manuals
  • Training manuals based on Flowsheets, P&ID’s and General Arrangements
  • Mechanical completion with system diagram folders based on detail engineering
  • Commissioning with test media
  • Start-up with material to be handled
  • Assistance for performance or banker’s tests when required

Project Accountability through Ramp-Up

We have developed expertise in specialty ramp-up assistance for clients, typically in restarts and the first three months of operation (although in some cases we have been engaged much later). Our Instrumentation, Controls and Programming personnel often work integrally with operations until client personnel have been fully trained.

We work with Operations to identify bottlenecks in the plant and provide assistance for engineering for pumps and piping modifications as required.   We also work with both Operations and Vendors to optimize equipment performance; as needed, we can provide MetSim modeling with actual plant data to compare to design data and for help in optimization.