Four days of downtime at CLASSEN: an extraordinary achievement

Baruth. Downtime at CLASSEN: In part of the world's largest continuous laminate plant, the production lines stood still for four days. In the plant for HDF boards (high-density fibreboard) of Fiberboard GmbH, the entire production facilities were serviced from 13 to 17 June 2021.

Behind this is a remarkable logistical achievement. A total of 600 outside fitters, including electricians, mechanics and cleaning staff from a wide range of service providers had to be coordinated on the factory premises at the same time. CLASSEN provided 60 containers on its premises for changing rooms and showers.

At the same time, the top priority in preparation and planning was to comply with the hygiene regulations in the Corona pandemic. Access for employees of external service providers was only granted after a Corona test and with a special digital access card. To ensure that everyone had been instructed in advance about the occupational health and safety and hygiene regulations, CLASSEN provided an online portal in several languages for this purpose. Support was provided around the clock by nurses, paramedics, fire brigade, security and occupational health and safety staff.

Many conversions and modifications were already prepared in the weeks before the shutdown, in order to then save time for pure assembly during the plant's downtime. In addition, regular meetings were already held in the months before the overhaul, mostly by video conference because of Corona, to coordinate all the work from the shutdown to the heat-up and start-up phase, so that the fitters do not interfere with each other and dangers are avoided.

André Trebuth, Technical Manager at Fiberboard, coordinated a large part of the revision. He reports: "Even our managing director wears overalls during such an operation and takes a look at the focal points of the plant from the inside! Afterwards, my phone usually rings. In the end, we are proud to have completed such an action as planned in a record time of 96 hours. And that too without a single Corona case! I would like to thank my whole team and all the contributors."

Every hour of extended downtime would have meant that CLASSEN would have had to interrupt production of its laminate flooring throughout the plant. For example, the defibration system with a 10-megawatt drive motor for the production line was serviced and modified, and the bearings of all the large machines were also changed. Heavy-duty cranes for loads of up to 300 tonnes were also used. Such a maintenance interruption is necessary every 1.5 to two years. This enables Fiberboard to operate its production facilities with an average availability of 95 per cent. At the Baruth plant, the CLASSEN Group produces 80 million square metres of laminate flooring a year.

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