What’s the value of a specialist?

What’s the value of a specialist?

Aug 21 2015

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Today in Dutch newspapers, Jan Pesie, the CEO and owner of the construction company who was responsible for the failed operation where two land cranes positioned on barges were supposed to install a bridge, acknowledge their mistakes and failure. In this project, a 187mt heavy bridge section was lifted by two hydraulic cranes, each positioned on a separate barge.

During the operation, one of the cranes tipped over and dragged the whole combination down, falling on several houses. Jan Pesie was quoted:” We don’t have the in-house expertise to perform and check the stability calculations and do the checking on the pontoons, we have failed”. Later on he was saying: ”This should be done better in any future projects and be outsourced to specialists. Although, I don’t think that any specialized company could have been able to point out either where this went wrong on forehand”. Now I do think, as project manager of a specialized transport engineering company, that it is our job to actually do so. Companies are paying a lot of money for calculations they can’t do in-house and expect to be advised about the risk’s that they will take. Sometimes they even hire specialists as surveyor to check these calculations and the operation on site, just for making sure situations like this won’t happen.

Of course, we know that in most situations this doesn’t happen. Calculations are probably ok and a surveyor seems to be only there for the nice pictures. But don’t you expect that your car is running smooth after it went to the garage? Should you agree that if your wheel ran off your car because someone forgot to check the bolds, that they would say: “no other speciliast would have seen this coming”?

If you would, what’s still the value of a specialist?

 

Source: http://www.heavyliftnews.com/news/disaster-strikes-at-bridge-installation-in-the-netherlands

http://studioalphen.nl/nieuws/153950/aannemer-we-hadden-hijsplannen-julianabrug-moeten-laten-beoordelen.html

 

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2 Comments on "What’s the value of a specialist?"


[…] Of course, we know that in most situations this doesn’t happen. Calculations are probably ok and a surveyor seems to be only there for the nice pictures. But don’t you expect that your car is running smooth after it went to the garage? Should you agree that if your wheel ran off your car because someone forgot to check the bolds, that they would say: “no other speciliast would have seen this coming”?  SOURCE: Maritime Transport Engineering […]

Frank O. Borsbach
August 27, 2015

I am very sorry. As a naval architect I didn’t have to make any calculation to have known at first site, that this arrangement was prone for katastrophe and many of my marine warrenty surveyors agree.
Here were two indepentend, unsupported swinging units without ANY means of precalculating and controlling and effecting correct ballasting and neccessary interlocking and fastening of the pontoons. As soon as any load is picked up, there VCG (vertical center of gravity) jumps from the botoom to the top of the crane (wire sheave) createing a tremendous momentum on the barge which in turn – as a floating unit – inclines to find a new equilibrium between this ecternal momentum and the center of bouancy of a new floating position. In such a dynamic case even with a pendulum movement of swinging back-and-forth until a static situation is achieved. Many mor technical details to say to this from a naval architectural point of view – which was obviously completely missing here.
Which brings us to the next question: who approved of this operation? Local administration? Was the local ‘Rijkswaterstaat’ not informed? Or did they not involve approvement of the crane-on-pontoon arrangement (as the german administration does)???
Very strange, very unneccessary and very dangerous that these kind of accidents can happen nowadays with all the engineering knowledge and tools.
Is it a question of money again? The cheapest company beeing rewarded the contract because they have so little clue, that they don’t even know what to care for and how and therefor quote at redicoulously low prices???
I am spechless!
Frank O. Borsbach of fob-engineering, Sachverständigenbüro Meyer-Borsbach and member of IMCS Germany