Machinery Breakdown

In this loss example, the chassis or block of a 9-cylinder diesel engine, of a fixed 12 MW generator unit, broke. These engines are installed in large ships. The N° 2 cylinder had been completely damaged, breaking the connecting rod and the counterweights on both sides. These ruptures caused the fracture of the lateral walls of the engine block.

As can be observed, the lateral wall of the block was damaged, and through the hole, part of the connecting rod and shaft can be seen. Because of the size of the machinery, it was not possible to dismantle the equipment and proceed with changing the fractured casing. After analyzing all the evidence, we concluded that the root cause was a shortcoming in maintenance in failing to tighten and retighten the connecting rod bolts, in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. We also ruled out that this was a design problem. At the time of the incident, the equipment had more than ten years of continual service. Since this was a gradual event, there were no characteristics of it being of accidental and sudden nature.


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