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Equipment Loss

Brewery Fermentation Tank Implosion

10 February 2022

At a brewery in Wisconsin, the fermentation tank, an essential part in the beer-making process that stores and ferments wort into beer, imploded as a result of an improperly positioned valve during a routine draining operation of the tank. 

The size and position of the tank within the facility led to limited repair and replacement options because of space constraints, as the original tank had been installed during the building’s construction. Envista Forensics dispatched both a mechanical engineer to evaluate tank replacement options and a civil/structural engineer to determine if building modifications would be required to accommodate the replacement equipment. 

It was originally proposed by the insured that a new building be constructed with the necessary amenities to house a replacement tank, which had a total proposed cost of $719,000. 

Envista engaged multiple tank fabricators and determined that a replacement tank, along with all the necessary controls and connections for both brewing operations and a clean-in-place system, could be fabricated onsite using standard-sized door accesses without the need for any building rearrangements.

This was not only a time-saving measure but could be accomplished for a total estimated cost of around $394,000, a 44% reduction in costs.

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About The Author
Matthew Darnell
Matthew Darnell
Senior Project Engineer

Mr. Matthew Darnell is a Senior Project Engineer with over 15 years of experience working with mechanical and electrical equipment and systems, including a background in the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. At Envista, Mr. Darnell assists insurance adjusters, attorneys, and private parties in projects involving damage assessment, cause and origin, repair options, and like kind and quality replacement recommendations.

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