(Encompasses Commercial Grade Dedication/Reverse Engineering/New Replacement for an Obsolete Component)
Maintenance of aging components can extend their useful life. However, when either the maintenance becomes too costly, or the component wears out and/or is beyond repair – the component needs to be replaced. Given the robust designs of some components, some component lifetimes are greater than the longevity of the company that manufactured the component. Likewise, as technology advances, component models are replaced with new models that at times are not backwards compatible with existing models.
When a component needs to replaced and there is no off-the-shelf qualified replacement, there are three approaches which can be implemented: Commercial Grade Dedication, Reverse Engineering and New Replacement for an Obsolete Component.
Commercial Grade Dedication is the process of taking an existing commercial grade component, which is identical to the component to be replaced, and performing a defined dedication process that will validate the commercial grade component for its intended use. Depending upon the component’s function and operating environment, this may be an effective method for updating components.
Reverse Engineering involves studying and analyzing a select component in detail to obtain a fundamental understanding of the device. It can also involve the physical process of taking the select component apart to analyze its geometry, design, construction and operation to identify the functional requirements of the component and design and improve an existing component or manufacture a like replacement to replace one that is no longer available.
New Replacement of an obsolete component with a new one that has similar or improved function and/or performance can become necessary when the original component or an existing replacement cannot be found. Replacement of an obsolete component with a new component involves a complete understanding of the component function and operating environment in order to design the new component either from scratch or by using select existing components. Depending upon the component function, an Equipment Qualification process may be required.
Commercial Grade Dedication, Reverse Engineering and New Replacement for an Obsolete Component offer considerable benefits including utilization of existing design documentation and component knowledge to identify/create a suitable replacement, establishment of a reserve inventory to facilitate future obsolescence needs, reduced downtime and ultimately, cost savings.
FAI has extensive experience supporting the commercial grade dedication, reverse engineering and obsolescence needs of our customers. Our engineering staff has a solid understanding of various component operations and is able to meet rapid turnaround requirements.