Shutdown quick change over
(QCO) coaching

Client: Poly-metallic producer
Location: South Australia
Duration: five months


A core goal of a major shutdown improvement project was eliminating disruption and waste from critical path activities to deliver a stable, shorter shutdown. Minset’s strategy included upskilling site team members in quick change over (QCO) techniques, which had proven effective in other shutdown environments. The team’s previous improvement efforts were one-off activities with only localised gains and without the value of the detailed analysis that QCO drives. QCO, in contrast, provides a structured, repeatable approach for teams to dissect tasks and rebuild them into improved ways of working – involving those who perform the work to truly understand the detail of each task. Educating the team on QCO was also a deliberate way to embed the capability in the business. Our client recognised this would continue delivering outcomes long after the project was completed.


We focused QCO effort on that core goal of reducing critical path task duration. Following a review of documents, drawings, photos and other resources, our team observed various work areas to gain a first-hand perspective. We then worked with site shutdown leaders to implement six QCO workshops. The initial hurdle was facilitating a technically experienced team to first define the fine detail of their work. Many wanted to jump straight into solutions mode, rather than first understanding problems and opportunities. As we went through each QCO process, they increasingly saw the critical role of investing in that upfront thinking and maintaining the discipline of the QCO process. Each area we addressed via QCO became easier.

Workshops resulted in further standardising the best work methods and defining clear pre-shutdown actions that would improve task preparation, reduce waste and compress task durations. They were also an effective platform for improving workgroup engagement. We used technique such as co-facilitating workshops, maximising the team’s own facilitation of their workshops, and using train-the-trainer methods, to support knowledge sharing beyond the shutdown team. This was all supported by a tailored toolkit. Ultimately, the site team was equipped by the end of the project to apply QCO to any task in their business.



  • Engaged more than 30 key team members in the interactive workshops
  • Guided team members to lead facilitation as part of hands-on learning
  • Incorporated train-the-trainer techniques for optimal sustainability


  • Tested and improved 6 major task areas
  • Introduced QCO as a new technique
  • Contributed to reducing shutdown time by 20%
  • Provided a practical toolkit for ongoing use
  • Created a foundation for any business task to be improved through future QCO work


  • Reduced smelter tap hole insert replacements by 25% (from 84 to 60 hours)
  • Reduced two belt changes by 16% (from 112 to 94 hours) and 46% (from 99.5 to 54 hours)
  • Reduced tank repairs by 27% (from 84 to 61 hours)
  • Reduced mill screen replacements by 5% (from 33 to 31.5 hours), with an additional 20% saving identified during execution