Microscopic Analysis Capability Update

We have recently updated our microscopic analysis capability. For several years we successfully used a 35 mm Minolta SLR camera to document microscopic material failures. We have now implemented a digital system which allows the user to take still shots but, also has a video capability. The camera, manufactured by Amscope, is specifically designed for use with a stereo microscope. The camera is not a point-and-shoot type device such as those found on the market for everyday use. The camera is focused using the coarse and fine adjustments of the scope itself. A ring-type adjustable LED light provides the necessary lighting. Once the subject is focused, video or a still photograph can be taken and saved on computer in bmp, jpeg and tiff formats. With our old system, we would scan a printed photograph, save in jpeg format and then convert to a pdf file for emailing. Now, all we have to do is convert from jpeg to pdf and email. As with our old system, the new system can also be used in the field. Typical applications include bolt and pipe failures, arcing and short circuiting of wiring; and circuit board examination for failed components. For a look at our new system, please visit our website at http://www.rjhill.com and click on special capabilities, then microscope.

Federal Jury Renders Verdict Against State Farm

ABC News is reporting that a Federal Jury has found that State Farm Fire and Casualty Company has committed fraud while falsifying reports of damage to a home damaged during Hurricane Katrina. State Farm auditors Cori and Kerri Rigsby testified that they witnessed widespread fraud in State Farm offices in Biloxi and Gulfport Mississippi. Specifically, using a falsified report, State Farm avoided paying $250,000 for wind damage to a residence and instead, was able to shift the resposibility to the National Flood Insurance Program. ABC News has also reported that the federal govenrment will seek reimbursement and that State Farm will appeal the ruling. Furthermore, the ruling opens the possibility for “review of thousands of similar cases”. The entire article can be found on the ABC News website located at http://www.abcnews.com.

Serious Recalls

The news section of our web site has been updated and discusses recalls from Chrysler, Hyundai, and Prevost for defects that can be life threatening. Please visit www.rjhill.com/news for the latest information.

Silly Little Key Fob

NHTSA has announced that Subaru is recalling 2010-2012 Legacy and Outback, 2012-2013 Impreza and 2013 XV Crosstrek vehicles. The Legacy and Outback vehicles were equipped with either an automatic or CVT transmission and an audiovox remote engine starter accessory; the other vehicles were equipped with a CVT transmission and audiovox remote engine starter accessory. The problem wth all of these vehicles is that each has a key fob and if that key fob is dropped, it can start the car without the owner’s knowledge. Imagine getting back to your car and finding the engine running! On the other hand, it is possible for the car to run out of gas. Imagine getting back to your car and wondering where your gas went. If you’re lucky, the engine will shut down after 15 minutes (as it is supposed to do) and save you some gas. Subaru is supposed to replace the fobs free of charge, starting at the end of April. For additional information, owners can contact Subaru by calling 1-800-782-2783. Subaru’s campaign number is WQF-42.

Exploding Glass Oven Door

An investigation has just been completed into the cause of the failure of an oven glass door. The situation was such that the owner had started the self cleaning feature of the oven. After a short while, the owner heard popping and cracking noises coming from the oven. Upon investigating, the owner found that the interior door glass pane had shattered. It appeared that a control malfunction caused the oven to overheat and expand the glass beyond its’ railing space. The result was the failure of the glass. The glass was part of a Kitchen Aid built-in oven, model # KEBS177SWH02. Has anyone experienced a similar failure? A photograph of the oven door is shown below.

Interior glass pane shattered, glass pieces shown in background

Interior glass pane shattered, glass pieces shown in background

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