Technical and RCA investigations are special skills. Getting to the root cause of an issue will help you to determine where similar problems may arise and allow you to put measures in place to mitigate those risks in future. Detailed technical investigation is essential should you need to make a claim or dispute the claims of others.
As independent and experienced wind industry experts we can collect and piece together all the evidence when you have experienced a major failure. Our industry-specific investigation experience coupled with field inspection capabilities and in-depth knowledge of wind turbine systems allows us to get to the root cause of your issue.
Getting to the bottom of an expensive component failure and identifying the root cause can be a challenge. This often requires a deep technical understanding of the wind turbine's equipment, its systems and the possible contributing factors leading to the failure. This is even more important when the issue appears to be serial in nature and the financial impact of additional failures may cripple your ability to turn a profit or push up your insurance costs.
As independent and experienced wind industry experts we can collect and piece together all the evidence when you have experienced a major failure. By carrying out field inspection coupled with a methodical analysis of all the available machine data and service history we can get to the root of the issue.
We perform a critical assessment of failures and other technical issues for a wide range of clients. Typically, this type of service will suit clients who may not have the established engineering expertise in-house or who may simply require an independent perspective.
The range of issues that may arise can be complex and sometimes demand more specialist expertise. We appreciate that nobody knows it all that is why we extend and partner with our network of industry experts where necessary to ensure you have the most trusted and knowledgeable people on the job.
In a nutshell, the intent of an investigation is to arrive at valid conclusions that are supported by strong evidence.
To achieve this, investigations must be carried out by knowledgeable and experienced personnel and follow a structured and methodical approach.
To complete an effective analysis an investigative mindset and broad understanding of wind turbine technologies, operational systems and maintenance practices are required. It is also critical that those investigating the failure have excellent knowledge of material construction and physical properties. These details can have a significant effect on the direction of the investigation.
The evidence is not only in the form of what you see (i.e. damaged components) but of what you cannot see. Information will also be in the form of data from monitoring systems such as SCADA and CMS, maintenance records and collected verbally from those on the ground. This treasure trove of information in what we examine and correlate to get to the root cause of your issue.
The image below represents this point very well. This is a depiction of a chronological timeline based on a gear oil pump failure. The various information streams are indicated to show how they relate to one another to form the complete picture of events. Normally the failure (the “Event”) is the focus of the inspection activities however the pre and post-event periods often hold the most valuable information.
The pre-failure events are broken into the Service Phase and the Monitoring Phase;
This represents the general history of the asset and the long-term events or practices which may have led to or contributed to the incident (for example; maintenance, environment, time in service).
This represents the more recent period leading up to the incident. Specifically the period where the monitoring systems in place should have detected the issue prior to failure. This will often include inspection programmes, SCADA or CMS monitoring systems, Oil Analysis regimes, etc.
This is the point of failure and the observable damages. The failure event will often result in secondary damages which are unrelated to the initial failure mechanism. Being able to identify and distinguish, between these, is of vital importance.
This is where the investigation takes place and when all evidence is gathered and analysed. This period is where the investigator interviews personnel and starts to form the plan to investigate the most likely contributing factors. From here the investigator will analyse in-depth the pre-failure event periods.
Beyond the root cause itself, the goal of a technical RCA is ultimately to gather the information you need to help you protect your organisation from;
Technical investigations can frequently identify critical areas of concern or where blame firmly lies when there is a dispute. The findings of an independent expert investigation can help you prioritise your attention to the risk areas that matter most to your business.
With years of experience in this area, high technical skill and experience investigating many complex and catastrophic failures we are well versed in these kinds of evaluations.
Our team is committed to providing a high-quality service to our customers. All information and reports are quality checked and verified for accuracy prior to issue.
We pride ourselves on our comprehensive and easy-to-read deliverables. We can supply our reports in multiples formats and file types. You tell us what you need and we can deliver it. Our high-resolution imagery coupled with clear defect highlighting means you can verify what we saw with confidence.
Contact us today to see what we can do for you...