Reverse engineering is a cost-effective approach towards product innovation and is often utilized by manufacturers to evaluate competitor products. The process of RE involves understanding the product design and the manufacturing processes involved to realize the potential required to build a similar or an improved version of the product.
While the reverse engineering technique is quite complex, it requires a right blend of resources in terms of professional engineers and tools. The technique is also best suitable for determining design data for products that no longer have any design information available. This is especially needed for products designed to work for a large duration such as aircraft engines and power plant turbines.
The process of RE is an intensive one; engineers need to study every single design feature, associated manufacturing processes and tools required for the product development, to finally store the information digitally using CAD tools. Once the model is digitized, it is possible to perform required design modifications simply using the tools in the software.
However, the process consumes a measurable amount of time and money, since a dedicated engineering team and right software and hardware tools are required. This adds to the product development cost and nearly turns the cost-saving strategy into an expensive one.
On the contrary, shedding this activity from the development cycle to outsourcing providers can significantly reduce the cost and burden on the engineers who can then focus on developing innovative design solutions for the product into consideration.
Some of the important benefits of outsourcing the reverse engineering requirements are listed below:
By outsourcing the task of converting the physical model into a digital CAD format, further investigations on design modification or innovation can be made in house to avoid information leakage.
However, engineering outsourcing service providers also have the provision to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the manufacturer to ensure risks of loosing intellectual property rights.
Reverse engineering is indeed a profitable strategy for manufacturers in today’s competitive scenario; however, considering its outsourcing brings along the other benefits as well that helps in ensuring that the product development process remains cost-effective.
About the Author: Gaurang Trivedi is engineering consultant at TrueCADD. He has applied his engineering expertise across several highly complex and big scale projects, consequently managing to flawlessly deliver as per the client requirements.