In the world of manufacturing, machinery and equipment breakdowns can be potentially disastrous and costly for a business – especially if the fix isn’t an easy one. Repairing or replacing an equipment part isn’t always as simple as calling in an order. It’s possible the equipment is old, the original manufacturer is no longer in business or blueprints have been lost. When these types of issues arise, the process of reverse engineering can be used to recreate or repair a damaged component.
What is Reverse Engineering?
Reverse engineering is the process in which a team of engineers use an existing part and work “backwards” from the original design to understand and ultimately, replicate its design. Depending on the complexity of the part itself, the process can be relatively straightforward or more complex.
By analyzing a part’s structure, functions and operations, you can identify its properties and understand how it was originally designed. This analysis can be done using basic hand measuring tools or advanced measuring equipment such as scanning arms or white light technology that allow you to build a virtual 3D model of the component.
When is Reverse Engineering Needed?
Oftentimes, companies have limited knowledge pertaining to a part’s engineering. Original documentation might be lost or missing and, in many cases, there are no 2D or 3D drawings/models to use as reference material. Other times, companies might need a part reverse engineered because the original OEM no longer exists or no longer creates the part in question. In some scenarios, reverse engineering can be used to improve a failing part or enhance an existing part with new features to optimize performance.
Reverse engineering can prove vital for manufacturers in a number of ways. In addition to the primary purpose of rebuilding or repairing damaged parts that can’t be easily recreated with existing drawings and files, it can also help to reduce the risk associated with legacy parts or components that have underlying vulnerabilities. Not only can it allow for the replacement of these older parts, it can also identify potential problems and correct these faults in the reconstruction.
What is the Process of Reverse Engineering?
Although the process of reverse engineering can vary depending on each unique case, it typically involves 3 essential steps:
The original part is examined and studied in order to extract the information that will ultimately be needed to reconstruct a new part. Typically, an engineer will want to gather as much information as possible with the part intact before deconstructing it.
After collecting the necessary information, the team will be able to create a sketch or model of the part. Taking data specific to the original part and using it to generate a 2D sketch or 3D model helps guide the team through the process of recreating the part.
Once the model has been reviewed and tested, it can be used to reengineer the original component. As with the other steps of the process, engineers can continue to learn during the rebuild. It can help to test their knowledge and identify potential changes to the design.
When all steps have been taken and the process is complete, you should be left with an efficient, working component that can be seamlessly integrated back into the original piece of machinery.
Utilizing Reverse Engineering in the Manufacturing Industry
The importance of reverse engineering in the manufacturing industry is undeniable and it will continue to grow with advancements in technology. At Monti, we do all that we can to complete a quality reverse engineering job as quickly as possible to ensure you aren’t left with unusable equipment and costly shutdowns.oIf you are interested in finding out more information about our reverse engineering services, fill out our contact form or give us a call at 513-761-7775.