The process of reverse engineering was at one time an arduous task for product development; however, thanks to 3D measurement technology by FARO, the process is becoming more efficient and cost-effective than ever before. A 55-minute webinar, “Using Metrology Software to Capture Data for Reverse Engineering,” addresses the growing influence in the technology field, uses and cost justifications, as well as provides a real-world example.
Co-produced and moderated by Design World Magazine’s Leslie Langnau, the presentation is led by Les Baker, Senior Applications Engineer at FARO. In the first audience poll of the presentation, a majority of participants responded that they are intimidated by the myriad of choices they face when considering implementation of reverse engineering. They indicated that it would be preferred to take a step-by-step approach to becoming familiar with the concept.
Baker demonstrates the application of reverse engineering by first answering the question, “What is reverse engineering?” Reverse engineering is the process of examining and extracting information from an object or part, ultimately enabling an individual to analyze each component of the object in great detail.
Baker said, “In measurement terms, we are really just interested in the actual aspects of the part in question.” Reverse engineering makes it possible to understand the product after manufacturing without modifying the process. The dimensions can then be used as the nominal data to inspect future parts against it to ensure compatibility.
To further understand reverse engineering, Baker takes a look at Andritz Iggesund, a global supplier of plants and services for the hydropower, pulp and paper, metals, and other specialized industries, to examine how reverse engineering is useful to their company.
In order to reverse engineer superior repairs and replacement parts, the company uses 3D data from the inspection software of their Portable CMM Arm to record as-built information from internal and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) machines. Once the data is acquired by the FaroArm, it is used as a template for the CAD geometry and the final CAD model is produced. The initial samples can then be checked against the new CAD model using the Portable CMM and Inspection software, completely closing the loop.
Companies such as Andritz Iggesund use their Portable CMMs an inspection tool for product verification. Separately, they use CAD to initially design their products. Their reverse engineering capability was a successful marriage of two technologies in which they were already competent. There are numerous benefits of implementing 3D scanning into the reverse engineering process, such as time savings, reduced costs, and reduced scrap.
Les Baker concludes the webinar by asking the audience a final question: “Has any of the information presented given you any new perspectives on implementing Reverse Engineering?” Whether reverse engineering was an entirely new concept or a familiar concept being reinforced, Baker provided new insight into how companies are able to benefit from utilizing 3D scanning technology for reverse engineering to simplify the manufacturing process.
Watch the full webinar.