Reverse Engineering Components: Existing Design Enhancement

At WCS Industries, we don’t pretend to be an expert on your overall product. You know what you’re doing better than anyone. Our role is to bring specific expertise and components that enable your product and process to come to life. We do this for a wide variety of products and applications. Over the course of time, there isn’t much we haven’t seen or experienced.

That’s why our talented team is able to illuminate opportunities for more effective and efficient solutions. Our expertise has helped customers make their products stronger, last longer and less expensive to produce or manufacture. It all begins with a two step process.

The Purpose of Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering serves a number of useful purposes in manufacturing, and design enhancement is one of them. What is reverse engineering? It is the practice of analyzing and deconstructing the makeup of a part of component: its design, material makeup and any other differentiating qualities.

By reverse engineering components, manufacturers can achieve several different benefits:

  • Understanding the design of a component for future development and improvement, especially when the OEM is unavailable
  • Creating digital models that can be used in product design iterations
  • Running inline diagnostics to address issues with performance or maintenance

With the right reverse engineering services, manufacturing organizations can create a new stream of part and component availability if the OEM is no longer in business. Reverse engineering can also help if part drawings or blueprints have been lost or damaged. With the deeper understanding of product and component construction that reverse engineering affords, manufacturers are better positioned to improve product quality in significant ways, often while reducing costs as well.

Step One

Review customer drawing/requirements


In existing product analysis, the first step involves evaluating performance and effectiveness of the design and construction of the product and components, including purpose, performance, quality and more. This is also the time to take an objective, realistic view of any potential weaknesses in the design, especially those that effect efficiency or quality.

During this stage, it is also useful to undertake a comparative analysis of similar competitors’ parts and products and to review the degree to which the product exceeds or falls short of competitor standards and performance.

Items to review in this stage include:

  • Review fit, form and function
  • Review stress
  • Review material
  • Review tolerances
  • Review fatigue life

Step Two

Review path to smarter, faster, stronger solution

Once the Step One analysis is complete, it is time to use the results to take action towards design enhancement and improvement. At this time, it is important to review the unique requirements that have been defined for the component. In many cases, requirements may be outdated or vague or may not exist at all. Taking the time to define and improve upon component requirements can make a major impact on the success of this undertaking.

At this stage, it is also often useful to create digital prototypes with detailed dimensional and geometric analysis. When reverse engineering mechanical parts, this step can help to reduce product development costs. Finally, this step should also include a review and analysis of any regulatory compliance needs or patent requirements for the product at hand.

  • Provide feedback for design improvement
  • Reveal streamlined process

With this understanding of the design review process, you are now ready to analyze existing products, parts and components and to begin iterating and making improvements. These improvements can enhance your product quality, boost customer satisfaction, increase production and maintenance efficiency and reduce your overall costs, from production to sourcing. At WCS Industries, we feature extensive reverse engineering services designed to create the precision parts and components you need to keep your production lines up and running – even without access to the OEM, drawings or blueprints. Whether you need to design a new component or get replacement parts quickly, we are here to help.

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