It’s broken! Now what…..
Friday, 10 December 2010 12:34

Tags: CAD | PCMM | Reverse Engineering

With every challenge there is opportunity.  Today’s economic struggles certainly have us all looking for the opportunity to help survive the immediate economic challenges we are all being faced with.

Replacing new parts instead of buying new machines has been an age old source of finding a way to positively affect the bottom line.  The general question these days is not “should I repair it” but “how can I repair it quicker and more accurately”.


Reverse Engineering as a maintenance solution

Traditional reverse engineering tools, calipers and micrometers, are the manual methods often used to record the physical math associated with existing molds, models and parts.  Today’s reverse engineering tools consist of several 3D digital technologies grouped together as a reverse engineering bundle.  These bundles consist of a 3D scanner or 3D portable CMM, a computer, a 3D CAD software program and a 3D reverse engineering plug-in that resides within your design software.

A reverse engineering bundle can automate the function of scanning a broken mold, model or part direct in your CAD of choice.  Popular 3D scanners being used today are the FARO and ROMER portable coordinate measuring machines (PCMMs) and various laser scanners that attach to their devices.  You can either hard probe individual entities directly into your CAD or attach the laser scanner to a PCMM and scan small, medium or gigantic molds, models or parts to be processed and brought into your CAD package for further design, repair or downstream manufacturing applications.

The cost associated with a reverse engineering bundle might be miniscule when compared to the need of repairing a broken part.  Corporations are sprouting up across the country and are specializing in the quest to repair and maintain.  One major industry that is booming in this service is the mining industry.

As technology advances, an industry might find that the cost of machinery has climbed so high that replacing complete machines is cost prohibitive.  Such as in the mining industry not only does a machine breakdown impact production but it can shut down an entire site.  Or for instance, when considering repair on mining equipment it might be unreasonable to try to move a machine for repairs because of the monumental size of the equipment.  Once installed, it could be impossible to remove for traditional maintenance objectives.

This is where a reverse engineering bundle comes into play.  Such as the names implies, the measuring hardware is “portable”.  Maintenance and repair engineers these days consist of a small team of employees that can be quickly deployed to a remote site with a fully self-contained portable reverse engineering bundle.

They can take the dimensions of the broken object quickly and accurately in a matter of minutes or hours, email the data for redesign and remanufacturing and the replacement product can be in production before the team even returns to their home destination.  In fact, it somewhat stirs one to think of the “Replicator” that the old Star Trek TV series used to use!  It’s here, it’s real, this isn’t TV…..

How does this affect your profitability?

  • Take control of your own maintenance and overhaul
  • Quickly repair and maintain your equipment
  • Repair costs less than replacement
  • Implementing repair and maintenance results in an immediate ROI

While you are at it, don’t just replace, why not improve your existing molds, models or parts?  Think about it, you now have tools to cut your costs significantly and take control of your bottom line.  You already have a design team and often these folks can pick up the reverse engineering skills required within a few days.  Reverse engineering trainers come to your site and teach you how to do this on your parts, with your team, with your gear.  Talk about taking control of the situation, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

Not only are you getting the maintenance done quickly but now you are in control of the process.  Easily overcome the obstacles that have been forcing you to pay prohibitive and inflated prices for new equipment when all you ready need is a replacement part.

No doubt we are in a time where we meet challenges at every corner.  Why not take advantage of this challenge and turn it into the opportunity that can ultimately change your life for the better?  Reverse Engineering just might be that opportunity.

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