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Combustion Vehicle Investigation

A fire destroys many traces. So do the measures taken to extinguish the fire or for rescuing. That is why our forensic view is required. Our expert opinion has to be legally effective in any court proceeding. This is achieved by combining experience, proficiency and technical understanding with a profound knowledge of chemical and physical reactions. We have an eye for detail, but also the ability to see the bigger picture. For us, it is nothing unusual to travel halfway around the world to the location of the vehicle in order to provide detailed investigations into all parts that might have caused a fire. Sometimes we have to disassemble the vehicle, or what remains, into its components so that nothing can escape the eyes of our well-trained specialists. Each assignment includes the inspection of the fire scene in order to retrieve additional information and to verify the results of the vehicle investigation.

Where further inspections of components, materials or liquids become necessary, we store these materials as evidence. These components will be revised in collaboration with laboratories and university professors, who have the required equipment and know-how. The results we provide clarify all issues relevant for insurances, car producers, public prosecution authorities and the police. These investigations are crucial for any claims settlement and to avoid additional damages by taking preventive measures.

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Electric Vehicle Investigation

Partially or fully electric vehicles have been booming for quite some time. A new exciting car world has emerged. We take this development into account and have therefore been involved with the drive and battery technology of e-vehicles for several years. Here, too, GOTTWALD & BACK is leading the way with certified high-voltage experts for fire investigation.

Although technical reasons such as fuel or oil leaks, damages of the turbocharger or overheated exhaust systems are not among the fire reasons for vehicles that are driven electrically, there are other components such as the high voltage battery or the power electronics that often cause problems. Apart from that, we also keep track of the “normal” 12- or 24-volt technology and its control units.

So, what is so special about a fire in an e-car compared to a combustion car?

It is the difficulty of extinguishing the fire and the possible contamination of the surrounding parts. The exposure to high voltages and chemical hazards during these investigations makes it imperative to wear personal protective equipment and to have the specific know-how of a high-voltage expert when dealing with these extremely dangerous electric currents.

For further interesting information, please see our video clip on high voltage protection.

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Machinery Damage Technical Consluting

Mechanical engineering expert

Damage and defects to machines and machine components can have a variety of causes.

Faulty design, the selection of unsuitable machines or components, material defects, operating, application and maintenance errors are frequent causes.

In the event of damage or a dispute, it is often necessary to determine the exact cause in order to be able to justify or reject claims for damages.

The involvement of a neutral expert is always helpful in such cases, because with an objective view and the corresponding many years of experience in the industry, he can explain and evaluate possible causes of damage and check their plausibility.

Our main areas of expertise are general mechanical engineering, presses and machine tools. In particular mechanics, hydraulics, pneumatics and safety components.

Our services are:

  • Private appraisals
  • Insurance appraisals
  • preservation of evidence
  • Consulting

to

  • Machinery damage
  • Machinery defects
  • Fire damage
  • Preservation of evidence
  • Process safety
  • Productivity deficit
  • Transport damage
  • Compliance with guidelines
  • Valuation

Consulting for design and development

In expanding companies, structures have to grow with them! In everyday life, there is often not enough time to scrutinise processes and organisation. In addition, especially in growing companies, there is often a lack of people with previous experience from larger organisations.

Most management consultants have a business view and hardly any experience regarding the requirements in a technical area. What is needed here is a senior with a background in the industry who has successfully built up and developed technical areas over many years.

We work with the respective team to individually develop optimal solutions for various tasks.

The focus is on:

  • Innovation and development support
  • Optimisation of work processes
  • Optimisation of work quality
  • Creation of know-how databases
  • Development of internal guidelines
  • Project management
  • Conformity to standards and guidelines
  • Standardisation
  • Test management
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Fire prevention

Each investigated fire is the starting point of prevention.

  • Why did this happen?
  • What went wrong in the material or in the operation?
  • What can we do to prevent this from happening again?

With almost 30 years of practical experience, our experts have gained an in-depth knowledge of nearly all ignition sources. This experience is used to improve products. We analyse prototypes or the current production for weak points.

Our services consistently help our clients to strengthen their image. A good product, a great brand is characterised by its secure and reliable handling. Costs and customer complaints are reduced minimising compensation payments of manufacturers and insurances.

We are proud to say that the claims volume of our clients is constantly decreasing.

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Seminars

We are in demand as expert speakers at congresses and seminars. Furthermore, in training and further education for

  • insurance companies
  • criminal investigation department
  • Lectures at technical universities
  • Qualification for work on vehicles with high-voltage systems, according to DGUV Information 209-093 Level S; Level 1S (FuP) and Level 2S (FHV).

Up to now, the main aim has been to sensitise experts and clerks to the subject of fire in order to enable an initial assessment of the incident. This involves asking the question: Could it be a known problem, arson or operational damage? These seminars are specifically tailored for insurance companies and for the criminal investigation department. The lectures at the technical university focus on the procedure for investigating damage and the legal background.

In 2020, new seminars on electromobility were added. We inform and qualify participants about the new vehicle technology, the components and the dangers of electric current and how to protect themselves from it. These seminars serve insurance experts, damage assessors and rescue services such as fire brigades, service personnel, paramedics and towing companies for further training and, above all, for self-protection against the dangers of electric current.

On request, we can also create a seminar specifically tailored to your needs and conduct it in presence or online. Benefit from our many years of experience in this field.

Have we aroused your interest? Then simply contact GOTTWALD & BACK.