Engineering consulting services for the design, analysis and testing of reciprocating

internal combustion engines and engine systems.

  • office: (858) 456-3511
  • fax: (858) 456-3512

Failure Analysis / Forensic Engineering

Why is Our Approach Superior?

Most failure analysts are metallurgists with strong academic credentials and professional training in materials science but limited experience in practical machine design and systems engineering. Moreover, very few have both the academic background necessary to remain proficient in the latest developments in engineering science while maintaining awareness of current best practices in power machinery operation and maintenance at the deck plate level.

By virtue of our ability to understand not only how industrial machinery operates, but also how and by whom it is operated in the commercial environment, Vronay engineers are able to provide highly effective determinations of the root cause of machinery failures.

Our core expertise lies in the area of reciprocating, internal combustion engines, arguable the most complex of all equipment commonly found in the industrial environment. Through our long experience with the analysis of this complex machine, we have been able to leverage our skills to other equipment, particularly reciprocating compressors, pumps and complex, multi-media control systems (e.g. electrical/pneumatic/hydraulic); all of these are common sub-systems of large, industrial engines.

Why Does This Matter?

Failures of large, medium-speed engines can result in significant financial losses to the vessel operator, cogeneration plant owner or natural gas transmission station operator. Due to these financial considerations, multiple stakeholders may file insurance claims. To avoid lengthy and costly litigation during subrogation, it is crucial that the root cause of failure is determined in a rigorous fashion and presented in such a manner that all stakeholders can understand and fairly evaluate the work performed.

Done right, a consensus can be built regarding the root cause of failure to establish a basis for shared responsibility, if any, among the various parties (e.g. engine manufacturer, owner, Service Company, etc.). Vronay can facilitate arbitration and mutually acceptable resolution. Our engineering team will also develop recommendations to prevent repeat occurrences of the failure including system redesign, changes to operation or maintenance practices, training or system modifications as required.

Done wrong, a metallurgist retained by the insurer will focus on the broken component(s) proper, often expending considerable money and effort on laboratory analysis only to reach an uncertain conclusion. Elements of the failure including machine service history, status of the calibration of the controls safety and shutdown system are ignored. Due to a lack of familiarity with such topics, critical investigative tasks such as interviews with operations and maintenance personnel, review of operating logs or plant data historian are not carried-out. Moreover, not being an engine specialist, the metallurgist is often not familiar with the overall service record of particular engine makes/models. The insurer`s ambiguous investigation reaches different conclusions than other investigators and competing theories of the failure arise; litigation becomes unavoidable.

Our clients include engine and equipment owners, insurance companies, law firms, engine manufacturer`s and other consulting firms.

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Contact us for solutions to your need for assistance with diesel, spark-ignited or dual-fuel engines. We have applied our expertise to engines ranging in size from less than 100 kW to more than 10,000 kW.