March 2017

Columns

Engineering Case Histories: Case 95—How to avoid becoming overwhelmed in a failure situation

When you are involved with a major failure and find yourself staring at pieces of debris scattered all over the area, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.

Sofronas, A., Consulting Engineer

When you are involved with a major failure and find yourself staring at pieces of debris scattered all over the area, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. This is especially true when the unit is down, the pressure is on and the plant’s management expects you to quickly determine the causes and address them so that they do not occur again. This scenario is becoming more frequent as experienced problem-solvers are retiring from the industry, and less-experienced personnel are selected to solve these types of problems. Most failures are of the less serious type, meaning safety is not the issue. Failures are often of the production-limiting type. You may be expected to solve these on your own

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