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Re: Release of Calcs.

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> A client has asked for a copy of my structural calculations.  I never give
> my calculations to anyone except the Building Department, as required by
> law.
Over here on the Dark Side, most of my clients expect a report proving 
that the design meets requirements stated in the customer's product 
specification. Most of my stuff is one-off capital equipment, and the 
calculations are summarized in (just) enough detail to justify the 
conclusion of adequacy. They don't get the arithmetic, the memos, the 
scratchwork, FEA input files, the backs of envelopes or paper placemats. 
There is also no applied mechanics or ASME Code tutorials. They do get 
methodology, references, summary tables or charts of results, and the 
logic of conclusions. 

One very good reason for doing this is to make sure my thinking is 
straight and that I haven't forgotten something. It's real easy to punch 
and send a copy of a job file, but far better to go through the work and 
make sure I've proved and furnished what I said I'd prove and furnish. A 
wrap-up also furnishes a basis for addressing customer questions. 

As far as legal protection goes, engineering files are discoverable, so 
if there's trouble, the calculation package will be provided if the 
opposing counsel wants it. Handing it over to the client doesn't mean 
additional risk. Actually a formal or at least an organized report is 
easier to defend than the average engineering file. The realities of 
CE/SE practice may not permit much time to be spent on this kind of 
documentation, but it's a worthwhile part of the action for us gearheads.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw


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