Fixing things forward with reverse engineering
After 25 years in QC inspection, we’ve seen a lot of applicability when it comes to the reverse engineering process. Oftentimes, a request comes in when a client’s old machine finally wears down. They are unable to replace broken parts because the manufacturer has long gone out of business.
In this case, they required our services to measure the broken part. We extrapolate the part using CAD to digitally “heal” it and create a model or blueprint. They can then take these design documents and fabricate brand new parts. Through rapid prototyping or traditional CNC machining, a broken machine has new life.
Others have used our services to improve an already working design. Clients have taken advantage of the downtime in their shops by focusing on optimization. They would spend the time to analyze the shop floor, running production lines in slow motion and opening maintenance panels. When they decide that they can improve their process through optimizing a machine, they come to us.
Using reverse engineering techniques through CMMs and scanners, we provide the high-resolution data that best represents the part. By using this data, our clients are able to make the slight tweaks to either form, fit, or function; with the end result being a much more efficient machine.
AML has worked with the reverse engineering process for as long as we’ve been in business. 25 years and counting.
We developed our knowledge early, working with point splines back when we only had a manual CMM to digitize contours. We took what we mastered from those days and applied them to programmable CMMs. Since then, we have fine-tuned our CNC programming because of our understanding of the manual process. In fact, we just acquired 2 new Nikon CNC machines this year.
This laid the foundation for the systems that we have today. Our long-cultivated knowledge is now backed by an array of sophisticated tools and machines:
Our Faro arm is able to capture contour splines with thousands of points in seconds. This drastically cuts the time spent on inspection while maintaining the quality inspection methods we’ve developed over the years. The arm allows us to approach undercuts and grooves that are challenging to most bridge CMMs. Our 3D-based inspection software ensures that we can compare our inspection points to the ideal CAD quickly and accurately – with visual graphs that show discrepancies better than the usual matrix of numbers.
Laser and White Light Scanners
Laser and White Light Scanners have granted us greater digitizing coverage over whole parts. We use our knowledge in metrology to bring out the best capability for these scanners. Through analyzing features and we determine the optimal capture angle and method. Our attention to detail means that any anomalies in the point-cloud mesh are quickly identified and repaired in subsequent scans.
Finally, we extrapolate our own data using our CAD software. 25 years has brought us a deep knowledge in form, fit, and function. We’ve seen plenty of models in our metrology service, and we know what models work and what did not. This informs our decisions when we draft models, ensuring that any changes we make are what makes sense for the part’s design intent.
So, we know our stuff, and we'll be happy to put our knowledge to work for you.
On top of our inspection and CAD modelling services, we can also provide consultation when finalizing designs. If you require GD&T compliant drawings, we can assist you in finding the right callouts. We’ve worked with thousands of blueprints over the years, and we can apply what we’ve learned to your product.
And since we’re also a metrology lab, we can check our models using the best inspection tools in the business. Using machines accurate up to 5 micron (or 0.0002 of an inch), we test and assure the end product that you receive is of quality at the microscopic level.
We can also conduct a full first article inspection on a blueprint we generated through Reverse Engineering. This way, we can check for the inspect-ability of a part so that you are confident that it can be done in your own quality departments.
Contact us if you need reverse engineering services.
As with parts, there are many ways we can customize our reverse engineering services to suit your needs. Whether you need a new blueprint to bring an old part back into production, a machine has shut down because of a broken component, or you want to improve a component and optimize your equipment, you can bring your part to us and we can come up with a method to achieve your goals.