How to Enhance PCB Design with Reverse Engineering Services?

Designing the printed circuit board (PCB) and then building it based upon the specifications is what engineering PCBs is all about. But sometimes, you go in the reverse order. You may start with the PCB and from there develop the design used to build the PCB. This is the reverse engineering process, in very straight and simple terms.


Reverse engineering is carried out most often when some other company or individual has designed the PCB and you want to make a similar one. Keeping aside the complexity of its legality, reverse engineering can be carried out as long as no patents are involved. You make changes to the PCB design and there is no infringement of trademarks involved, reverse engineering can be extremely beneficial. In this post, we are going to throw some light on how Reverse Engineering Services Companies carry out the reverse engineering process to enhance the PCB design.


Why Reverse Engineer the PCBs?

There can be several reasons for this. Some of them are as follows:

1.You have a PCB which is quite valuable to you. You want to have more of that. However, the supplier has stopped making it or has gone out of business altogether.

2.Your competitor has a PCB which you can sell at a more reasonable price. Once you enter the market they may charge less because in the absence of any competition they had raised the price. Reverse engineering helps you to determine the cost basis.

3.Your competitors’ PCB may or may not work as efficiently as you think. You may want to determine if there exist certain weaknesses in your or your competitors’ design.

These are the 3 main reasons why reverse engineering PCBs is carried out. Apart from the marketing benefits, it can make the PCBs more efficient and effective.


The PCB Reverse Engineering Process

Reverse Engineering is not that simple as it may have been sounding until now. It requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of circuitry. This demands an understanding of engineering sketches and specifications, electronic analysis of the system, obsolescence analysis, material analysis, dimensional analysis, and more.


To begin with you test the PCB and find its limits with respect to temperature, efficiency, and performance. Two factors play a significant role here. One, what the PCB does, and second, what you might think will be useful for the customers.


The next thing to do is to determine the dimension of the PCB. Size often matters in the electronics industry and sometimes can play a significant role.


When you have deconstructed the PCB, you can estimate the labor and bill of materials. That is going to give you an estimation of the manufacturing cost.


At last but not least, trace out the circuit. You can identify the key functional blocks that will help you to determine the method on which the PCB works. Or else you can trace out the entire circuit which is required to copy the design. In some cases, the firmware is also reverse engineered.


What to do with the Reverse Engineered PCB?

Two situations can arise at this point. You can make a copy, if it is legal, and lay out your PCB. You are good to go with it. Second, you may want to produce a competitive part with a differentiated design and specifications. In that case, a different team will do the design rather than the team that did reverse engineering. It is important to note that the types of information that can be exchanged are limited.


Whatever may be the reason to reverse engineer the PCB, at the end of the day, you have a PCB with an enhanced and efficient design.

How Reverse Engineering Can Resolve Some of the Complex Woes of EMS?

The process of Reverse Engineering entails identifying and thoroughly analyzing the parts and components of a system and their interrelationship with one another to duplicate or upgrade the system. This system can be a final product, a subassembly, or an existing component.

In the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sector, reverse engineering is done without utilizing drawings, computer model, or documentation. So naturally, it requires skills, experience, and a sound knowledge of circuitry. When a finished product is deconstructed, a lot can be determined about how several parts fit together and work in unison. This can help in guiding reverse engineering services company to facilitate analysis, design, development, testing and maintenance of the system.


Machine Maintenance with Reverse Engineering?

The working of individual components and how they fit in together facilitates ease of machine maintenance. By analyzing the segregated components, a conclusive evidence to replace or update a system’s design architecture or chip technology can be achieved easily. Also, the need for designing additional programs or fine-tuning the existing ones can be decided upon in a hassle-free manner. Disassembling and reassembling the components at their minimum makes it quite simple to determine which components require maintenance and which do not. This is both time-efficient and cost-effective.


Reverse Engineering facilitates more periodic attention towards machine maintenance. This is because with reverse engineering, one can formulate a maintenance plan targeting only specific components saving time and resources for the overall maintenance of the whole system.


Repair and Rework with Reverse Engineering

Highly expensive machines can go down simply because of one component. What if the OEM goes out of business despite the machine being still in its initial days? When a highly expensive machine system is left with no support or repair, reverse engineering can come to the rescue.


Decision Making with Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering not only facilitates machine maintenance but also helps a lot to promote analysis, design and development. This leads to an efficient decision, saving time and money. If only a few parts or components require change in design or maintenance, with reverse engineering one can make the decision to formulate a plan only for specific parts and deploy them.


Summing it up

The process of Reverse Engineering demands time, dedication and skill. Mastering the entire process takes years of experience especially for complicated boards and circuits with obsolete components. It requires studying thoroughly how circuits are designed and why such a design was carried out. With Reverse Engineering, several complex issues associated with EMS can be resolved by efficient decision making with respect to analysis, design, development, maintenance, repair and rework.