Forensic Engineers and Consultants

Tag Archive: industrial control systems

  1. Interpreting Industrial Incident Data – Lesson Learned

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    This is a case study about an incident I investigated involving a major upset in a distillation column.  This blog builds on the previous blogs about the Distributed Control System, DCS – Data is the Key.

    Distillation is a method of separating mixtures of compounds with differing boiling points.  Uncle Bill with his still on the hill separates ethanol, that boils at 173°F, from water that boils at 212°F.  If the mixture is heated to above 173°F, but below 212°F, the ethanol will boil, the vapor will travel up out of the unit and then can be condensed and served over ice with an olive…   Any mixture of two or more chemicals with different boiling points can be separated in this way.  The distillation (more…)

  2. WARREN WEBINAR: Property Claims Issues at Manufacturing Facilities

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    LIVE WEBINAR: “Property Claims Issues at Manufacturing Facilities” | Presented by WARREN’s President and Senior Consulting Engineer, Jennifer Morningstar, P.E., CFEI.

    COURSE LEARNING OBJECTIVES
    The learning objectives of this course are to provide the attendees with information on the four major facets of property claims that are commonplace in manufacturing facilities.

    They are:

    1. Subrogation against third parties;
    2. Boiler & machinery vs property claims;
    3. Scope of loss, and
    4. Business interruption

    Each facet will be explored and exemplified by at least one case study.

    (more…)

  3. Distributed Control Systems…Data is the Key

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    Wouldn’t it be great to have a built-in camera to let you see exactly what went wrong before an incident?  In many manufacturing instances there is, chemical plants especially.  The computer system that operates the plant is called a Distributed Control System (DCS) and it has the capacity to monitor thousands of process variables (flow rates, temperatures, pressures, levels, valve positions, pumps on/off) simultaneously. (more…)

  4. Forensic Examination of Losses that Include Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s)

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    Many modern machines and processes are controlled by Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s).  PLC’s are essentially computers that have the ability, properly connected and programmed, to interface with the outside world and control the actions of a machine like a robot or conveyor.  The PLC has a processor for processing the user programmed logic, and also has input / output (I/O) wiring provisions for both analog (e.g. temperatures and pressure transducers) and digital (e.g. limit switches and indicator lights) devices.  (more…)

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