Commissioning Training - Thomas Stuenkel

Commissioning Training. For you.

A suite of free pre-commissioning, commissioning & start-up training to turn you into an amazing commissioning engineer or commissioning manager.

Enter your name and best email address and click the red button “GET STARTED NOW”.
Talk soon, Thomas Stuenkel

“Commissioning Planning” – Commissioning Video Training Course – “The 9 Key Elements of Successful Plant Commissioning” – Part 2 of 10

Commissioning Training - MindMap - The 9 Key Elements - COMMISSIONING PLANNING

Which items have to be considered during commissioning planning?

Did you watch my first commissioning mini training video? Yes? Ok, then let’s continue with the 2nd lesson: Commissioning Planning. In this video you will learn all items which have to be planned carefully in order to get a safe and fast plant start-up.

I appreciate your comments and questions below the video very much!

You can watch the same video on YouTube as well.

Click here to watch the next video “MECHANICAL COMPLETION” (part 03 of 10).

And here is an overview about ALL commissioning training videos.

Download the mind map “COMMISSIONING PLANNING” in PDF format for FREE now

Commissioning Training - MindMap - The 9 Key Elements - COMMISSIONING PLANNING

“The 9 Key Elements of Successful Plant Commissioning”
Click the mind map above to download your free PDF now!

Commissioning Planning – Video Transcript

Hello Everybody,

Here’s Thomas Stuenkel, founder of, a commissioning manager and a commissioning engineer. Welcome to part two of my ten parts commissioning video mini-training for commissioning newbies.

I hope you already enjoyed part one where you learned to name the nine key elements of successful plant commissioning. In this second course I want to explain more about the first key element, commissioning planning. You will learn which items you have to plan for a fast, safe and successful plant commissioning.

As always, I’m using the mind map format for my presentation because it’s easier to remember. And of course, you can download as well this mind map in HD quality from my download section on So, let’s start with the detailed explanation of key element number one, commissioning planning.

What do you think? What is the most important thing during all of your work? Yes! It’s safety. So first priority during commissioning is safety. To ensure a safe work, you have to think carefully about the complete commissioning process. A good tool for risk assessments is a HAZOP, the Hazard and Operability Analysis.

The pre-commissioning and commissioning of the plant will be carried out on a system by system and a unit-by-unit basis. Therefore, each unit is divided into logical process and/or piping and equipment systems or subsystems.  These systems are generally defined by process boundaries and incorporate all equipment required for a particular service or operation part. On a master P&ID set you mark the different systems with different colors. Please be sure that you are using the latest revision!

Completion Prioritization means you have to think about the right order for commissioning of the systems. Which unit or system do I need when? For example, usually we need all utility systems like plant air, instrument air, nitrogen and steam at first and a long time before any process system. After you wrote down the Completion Prioritization, you have to communicate it to the construction team so they’ll know which system to finish when.

You have to consider which software tools you will use to record your commissioning progress and to capture your test results. It can be done by simple or more sophisticated Excel sheets, with some kind of databases like Access or with very specialized software tools like ICAPS. ICAPS stands for Integrated Commissioning and Progress System, it has been developed by TOTAL. It manages preparation, execution and monitoring of all pre-commissioning and commissioning activities as per OPERCOM specifications.

Now, we are coming to the different documents, which should be prepared before the commissioning team will be on site. You have to prepare a detailed commissioning time schedule together with engineering and process department. You have to develop an organizational chart with real names in it, not only with positions. It means you should know who will be a member of the commissioning team. You need all of the different types of checklists like mechanical, electrical, instrumentation checklists. The operating manual should be ready. You need to develop all pre-commissioning procedures like air blowing or water flushing or steam blowing procedures. As well, you need to write the commissioning procedures for the systems and units. Very important are all types of safety procedures. Quality control procedures have to be in place. Don’t forget security procedures depending where the site is located, it can be a major item. Emergency response procedures have to inform everybody on site. We need status progress reports to measure our commissioning progress. Test records keep track of all pre-commissioning and commissioning activities.  And you should develop a punch list template with the construction department together.

We need to plan manpower as well. It includes the pre-commissioning team, the commissioning team, the operating team and don’t forget the maintenance team. You have to plan very closely with the client, the client’s team. As early as possible they should join the commissioning activities on site. This is the best training ever. You need to plan and manage as well the contractors, vendors and sometimes the licensor. And of course you will need some support from the main office, for example the process engineer.

It is important to plan the material, which will be needed during pre-commissioning and commissioning in advance.  It includes for example blinds, spool pieces, hoses and additional gaskets. This topic will be overlooked very often.  Please think about all the required gaskets carefully. And yes, please don’t forget simple sample bottles.

It depends on the type of the plant you want to commission which additional equipment will be needed, for example steam blowing equipment or other special items.

And you should plan as well all more or less simple tools you will need on site, for example tool kits.

At the end of this presentation, I want to suggest you to Google for the word OPERCOM. OPERCOM is a test methodology developed by TOTAL and tailored to the oil and gas industry. The main objectives of OPERCOM include safety, planning, confidence, efficiency, consistency and economy.

For your convenience, I added this mind map to my download section. Please go to to download it or to download my commissioning checklists.

I summarize the second lesson. We learned all items, which have to be planed for a safe, fast and successful plant commissioning.

In lesson number three, I will speak about the second key element, mechanical completion in more detail.

So please sign up for my CommissioningCoach Newsletter and I will keep you up to date about new training lessons. Thank you for watching and see you soon.

Thomas Stuenkel

Leave a Comment

  • Dan March 28, 2011, 9:28 pm

    Hi Thomas,

    Your job and passion for commissioning training or – general talking – for commissioning activities are impressive. You do an excellent job and I am convinced that, this course will be very useful for all those involved in this field.

    All the best and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,
    Dan Anghelea

  • mike April 1, 2011, 4:42 am

    thank you.

  • Engtronics April 8, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Dear Thomas Stuenkel

    thank you for the amazing ,excellent commissioning training and I’m waiting part 3

  • Walter Heringes May 16, 2011, 7:37 am


    I like it very much and I can assure you that this stuff is good not only for newbies.

    Walter Heringes, founder of Hercon Ltd. provider of commissioning services

  • Joey_mariz2008 August 5, 2012, 11:44 pm

    Thank you very much for your video it helps a lot to many young commissioning like us

  • Vel Murugan November 28, 2013, 11:34 pm

    can u send us hysis software and commissioning related software and hardware.

  • Francisco Gomes September 26, 2014, 10:07 pm

    Well done keep up there good work

  • Thomas Stuenkel November 10, 2014, 10:11 pm

    Thank you for your feedback, Francisco!