Reverse engineering is the process of examining and deconstructing a design that is already built and acquiring all the necessary data required to reproduce it. Here at Perception we perform this process for a variety of customers and with each project a unique set of challenges and ingenuity awaits. There are many situations that may require reverse engineering, but we most frequently see cases in which the company who contracted us needs to reproduce or enhance a design that they have no data for (prints, models, BOM, etc.). The design is typically undocumented because it was quickly built on the floor (i.e holding fixture, makeshift part, or simple machine), or the data was lost/not provided from the manufacturer. from the manufacturer.
Our process at Perception Engineering usually depends on a variety of different questions. What type of design is it? Is it a large machine or small part? What type of access do we have in examination, rather, do you need us to come out to your facility to acquire necessary data or can you provide access at our office? Finally, what is your intended scope for the project? What are the deliverables and how much detail do you require?
We have the capacity at Perception to work both on and offsite and on a variety of design types to accommodate our customers. We have all the necessary tools required to accurately measure and document the data needed to reverse engineer a desired piece. Finally, we can take the design in any direction you require whether it be models, 2D manufacturing prints, or even help in finding a manufacturer to reproduce it.
An example of a past reverse engineering project involved a skid press machine that needed to be replicated to speed up production on the floor. A small team from Perception Engineering traveled onsite to take measurements using tape measures and calipers, collect pictures and videos of the machine and its use, and record additional specifications from the customer. We transitioned this data back to the office and virtually recreated the machine in SolidWorks and then generated all the necessary assembly and part drawings needed for manufacturing.
Since working on reverse engineering projects, I have come to appreciate the process and enjoy the systematic approach behind it. Although it may not be as gratifying as creating your own design from scratch, I really appreciate studying how and why a design is manufactured the way it was, what was its design intent, and how can I offer solutions and simplifications to make the design better functioning, more robust, and even more cost efficient to reproduce.
Have a reverse engineering project in mind? Let our team at Perception Engineering lead the way!