Text Box: Product Failure Analysis

Product Failure Analysis may involve investigating malfunctions or poor design of machinery, or consumer products including toys and appliances which caused or could have caused injury or property damage. 

 

In potential products liability losses involving equipment and machinery, the Investigative Engineer will occasionally be asked to ascertain whether the product or equipment contains an “inherent defect”, arising as a consequence of poor design, faulty material, improper assembly or retrofit alteration. Often the equipment did not malfunction, but operator error or poor maintenance caused the accident. This is an important factor which must also be considered.  

 

I-ENG-A has firms which specialize in product design and all members have access to laboratories, researchers and experts and technicians within the network.


Initial Investigations:

In analyzing product failures, several important facts must be determined.

 

· Mode of failure

· Cause of failure

· Determination of how the product was being used at the time of failure

· Determination of similar failures of the same or similar products

· Determination of industry standards

 

 

Analysis: 

 

Failed products must be carefully inspected.  The proper chain of custody must be established and secured to guard against unauthorized access.  Invasive testing may only be performed with prior permission from the client and with all parties present.  Products are photographed and may be tested to evaluate:

 

1. Alterations to the product.

2. Appropriate warnings, instructions and safety alert symbols.

3. Inherently defective components.

4. Improper use of the product.

 

Conclusions:

 

I-ENG-A® of Central Texas provides their clients with unbiased, comprehensive and concise investigative reports formatted to allow the reader to grasp difficult technical concepts and visualize the reasoning to support our conclusions. 

 

 

Analysis of Cutting Blade
Wood Chipper Accident

PRODUCT FAILURE

Boom failure on one corner of the lift arrangement caused immediate overload of remaining 3 cranes. 
All crane booms collapsed.  No injuries during event.  One fatality during repair work.

120 TONS

Haul-out Winch Flywheel Disintegration

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