Reverse engineering is the process of analysing the structure, function and operation of a piece of equipment, object or system.
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Reverse engineering involves collecting data from the required equipment; object etc, often when there is no digital data available to analyse. It may also involve deconstructing an object to analyse 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 Optical Scanning – Blue Light Scanning
Computed Tomography (CT) scanning
Class ‘A’ Surfacing
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 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.