Forensic Services: MECHANICAL

Team Investigators –

The Right Intel Solves the Problem

Mechanical investigations cover a wide variety of systems, equipment, and components. Common areas of investigation include plumbing, appliances, HVAC systems, heavy equipment (including construction and farm equipment), and machinery. Many mechanical failures are caused by equipment misuse, improper installation, and/or lack of maintenance. Design and manufacturing defects, however, can play a causal role and need to be properly vetted. Our highly trained multi-disciplinary team has investigated a wide array of mechanical issues and we are eager to apply this cumulative knowledge to your case.

The successful analysis of a mechanical problem often requires detailed examination and documentation, product and standards research and testing. Mechanical forensic services include investigation of:

Appliances/heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R)
When they function properly, appliances and HVAC-R systems make our lives easier and more comfortable. When they break down or underperform, however, the results can be more than just a minor inconvenience. Fires, explosions, freeze damage, mold, food spoilage, and intolerable living conditions are just some of the problems that can occur when they fail. Effective failure analysis often involves testing, installation evaluation, and system design assessment. AEI is equipped to perform specialized in-house and field testing, and we are experienced with the installation and design processes and the standards and codes that govern them.

Heavy equipment
Due to their sheer size, failures and incidents involving heavy equipment are typically expensive and often deadly. Overload, fatigue, wear, poor welds, improper repair, lack of maintenance, and operator error are some of the common causes of heavy equipment incidents. Site topography and surface conditions can also play a causal role. By identifying and examining the affected equipment and/or components, and analyzing the history and events preceding the loss, our experts will seek to determine the factors that caused the incident.

Plumbing/Water Loss
It is amazing how much damage a water leak can cause. Even small leaks can produce a large amount of damage when they go undetected for a long period of time. Leaks often occur as the result of physical damage, corrosion, or freezing, all of which are usually preventable. In many cases, the failure is related to improper installation and/or maintenance. Through inspection and analysis our experts can determine the factors that caused or contributed to the water loss.

Machinery is a general term covering mechanized equipment big and small. Past investigations handled by AEI include equipment as small as gas valves and weed trimmers to large industrial burners, PLC production processes, and machine guarding and OSHA issues. Although individual pieces of equipment can have unique design features, the basic technology they employ is often shared by other common pieces of equipment Our forensic professionals will apply their education and accumulated experience in their search for the right intel to solve the problem.

Mechanical investigations often involve the following equipment and components:
• Furnaces, fireplaces and forced-air and radiant heat systems
• Compressors and evaporators
• Refrigerators, freezers, pumps, fans, and valves
• Water heaters, boilers, humidifiers and dehumidifiers
• Air handling units
• Backhoes, excavators, front loaders, cranes, forklifts, scissor lifts, and boom lifts
• Combines, headers, tractors, and bailers
• Water and gas piping
• Automated pedestrian and overhead doors
• Manufacturing machinery
• Dust collection systems