Reverse engineering is the process of collecting data from a piece of equipment, object or system through the analysis of its structure, function and operation, often when there is no digital data available to analyse. It often involves deconstructing an object and analysing its workings in detail.
The data may not be available as it may be a pre-digital or legacy piece of equipment or an item where the data is not available and therefore it needs to be reconstructed into a digitised format and a model created in CAD.
The PES team specialise in reverse engineering and use various technologies to capture the data. Some of the technologies we have at our disposal include, however are not limited to:
- 3D Scanning – Blue Light Optical Scanning
- Computed Tomography (CT) scanning
- Rapid Surfacing
- Class ‘A’ Surfacing
- Digital Archiving
Reverse engineering was originally a crucial tool to gain military advantage and latterly for commercial analysis and gain. The purpose is to deduce design decisions from end products with little or no additional knowledge about the procedures involved in the original production. The same techniques are subsequently being used for legacy equipment to replace incorrect, incomplete, or otherwise unavailable documentation through digital archiving.
The reverse-engineering process involves measuring an object and then reconstructing it as a 3D model. The physical object can be measured using varies technologies employed by the PES team. The measured data alone, usually represented as a point cloud, lacks topological information and is therefore just an image. The image must be modelled in CAD and into a more usable format that can be manipulated or optimised.
Some reasons for reverse engineering:
- Optimisation: This is where the PES team excel and optimisation is about capturing the data of a current piece of equipment and improve its performance.
- Commercial or Military Data Capture: Learning about a competitor’s latest research by capturing data to secure as much information as possible to understand its capabilities. It may result in development of similar product.
- Documentation improvement: Reverse engineering can be used when documentation for a piece of equipment, production, operation or maintenance have shortcomings and the original designers are not available.
Legacy Equipment: PES will capture the data of a piece of equipment or product that was design pre digitisation. We will capture the data, reproducing a digital model in CAD. One of the applications for this process can be used as part of a Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) programme when we capture the data and have this archived. The data will then be available to manufacture spares, therefore reducing the ‘downtime’ and saving time and money in a manufacturing process.
Read more about Reverse Engineering in our pdf here .
If you would like to discuss your particular project or wish to understand how reverse engineering can offer you a solution then please contact us for a chat or e-mail your enquiry. We will consider any project no matter how small or large.