As much feasible Reverse Engineering and its outsourcing sounds, there are specific steps to follow and factors to keep in mind. Few crucial points to discuss when outsourcing RE are as follows:
- The objective of reverse engineering; as your provider needs to know your goals to suggest a rather cost-effective solution
- Whether reverse engineering has to be for design intent or as-built which, yet again, depends solely on the organizations end goal
- What kind of measurement data should be approached and to what extent the accuracy of measurement should be implemented, depending on organizational planning,
- For obtaining the most accurate measurements, the original object is often disassembled or even destroyed. Whether to go ahead with such a step or keep the original product intact for future reference is something an organization should carefully decide on
- What tools to be used for digitizing the final date, like desired software with its version to suit the complete development ecosystem
Once the decision to outsource the reverse engineering process has been finalized, the next important step to consider is, choosing a vendor. Responsive and efficient vendors make all the difference. Finding a professional vendor with a high level of efficiency and even heightened work ethic is a complex but satisfying process. Be aware that once you are engaged with a vendor, it becomes little difficult to break the deal and discontinue ‘business’ with the existing vendor. So choose carefully but commit completely after the contract.
When a vendor has been finalized, organization issues a request for quotation (RFQ). RFQs are created to invite suppliers to a bidding process to bid on specific services/products. The organization should also take a legal approach and have the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) signed by the service provider. This is done to prevent unlawful, authorized distribution or illicit adoption of the product.
Now that the legal approach has been taken and paperwork has been taken care of, the organization sends the physical product to the service provider or the scanned files of the same; which solely depends on company needs. The vendor is also supplied with measurement specifications and related industry standards to follow. Eventually, the vendor creates digital CAD formatting required software and sends them back to the organization for further investigations on design modification or innovation.
For manufacturers, reverse engineering is a profitable strategy in today’s competitive scenario; however, outsourcing it brings along the other benefits as well that ensures product development process remains cost-effective.
We all know reverse engineering is an economical approach towards product development & innovation which is often utilized by manufacturers to evaluate and redesign competitor products. The method requires understanding the product design, system integrity and the manufacturing processes involved to realize the potential required to build a similar or an improved version of the product. The reverse engineering technique is best suitable for producing design data and related technical manuals for products that no longer have any design information available.
The entire work-process involves engineers studying every single design feature, associated manufacturing processes and tools needed for product development and storing information using CAD tools. After digitizing the entire information, suitable design modifications are carried out as per requirements.
However, to get things right one should have an efficient and dedicated engineering team, right software and hardware tools, etc. which seems difficult to have within the organization always.
Here comes the advantage of outsourcing reverse engineering projects where the activities can greatly reduce the cost of product development and burden on the engineers who can, then, put full emphasis on developing innovative design solutions for the product.
If one still questions outsourcing, some of the important benefits to outsourcing reverse engineering projects are mentioned below.
- Outsourcing can bring in a global pool of talent with the myriad of innovative ideas that can assist in product design and development without investing in infrastructure and resources.
- As the in-house resource can focus on R&D, it greatly helps in improving the productivity of an organization.
- Product development time reduces considerably.
- Hiring an outsourcing partner who matches requirement scale greatly enhances the organization’s capability.
- RE outsourcing presents a scope to develop the product at a competitive price since the development cost is considerably less.