Re-Engineering and Reverse Engineering

PCB Reverse Engineering

PCB Reverse engineering is the process of analyzing an existing product or design for the desire & purpose of replicating the similar functionality or the behavior without the aid of original manufacturing or actual design documents. It’s a challenging task as the information given is limited and the task requires committed experienced professional to start from minimal information to the cusp where the production of the new design can take place.

Do we have any standard to govern PCB Reverse engineering?

Before understanding the steps used for PCB Reverse engineering, let’s understand, is it ethical to use Reverse engineering or are there any standards which mentions about reverse engineering ? Reverse engineering as such is a wide term and is applicable in multiple fields of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering, software engineering, chemical engineering, and systems biology.

From software perspective In 1990, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) had defined reverse engineering as “The process of analyzing a subject system to identify the system’s components and their interrelationships and to create representations of the system in another form or at a higher level of abstraction”, where the “subject system” is to be considered as the end product of software development.

In electronic engineering there is as such, no standard or guidelines which mentions about reverse engineering. Jerry can, Panzerschreck, Tupolev Tu-4, SCR-584 radar, V-2 rocket BGM-71 are historic few examples which are reverse engineered to make similar powerful weapons.

PCB Reverse Engineering

hardware architecture

Top Reasons for PCB Reverse Engineering.

  • Obsolescence : Obsolete part replacement.
  • Interfacing of different parts of system.
  • Product security analysis.
  • Cost Optimization.
  • Re-positioning of obsolete components.
  • Competitor Analysis and gain
Component engineering

Tools used for PCB Reverse Engineering

  • Good multi-meter.
  • Continuity Tester.
  • Inductive short tracer.
  • Milli-Ohm meter.
  • Microscope.
  • Light panel & Torch for detailed PCB inspection.
  • X-Ray imaging of PCB.
  • Lot of Patience & Passion.

Steps for PCB Reverse Engineering

  • Assign reference designations (U, J, R, C, D) to unmarked components before starting PCB reverse engineering.
  • Create a Component level BOM.
  • Design -Identify the system’s components and their interrelationships.
  • Components Placement & Mechanical.
  • XY locations of Connectors, LED, Switches etc.
  • Board mechanical Mounting holes & any special cuts on Boards, Board size etc.
  • Download datasheets, application notes, and architecture information.
  • Create net list.
  • Make the Schematic Drawing and PCB Layout.

Where we can help

PCB reverse engineering is grueling process which seems impossible sometimes but right experience, dedication and success gives paramount satisfaction and overshadows the hurdles faced in the journey. Argus Embedded System PCB Re-Engineering Services are designed and developed in accordance with the specific customer’s needs and demands. If the product or the PCB is re-engineered by us, we take responsibility of the custom developed hardware to test the functionality as per the original product. This assurance can not be given by most of the design bureau as either they are in to only manufacturing or only in the electronic product design. Our services are widely appreciated by the clients for their quality, timely execution and genuine prices.

  • Obsolete products with no circuit diagrams.
  • Products Re-designed for RoHS/ WEEE compliance.
  • Through-hole to SMD parts Migration.
  • While retaining the core features and logic of existing systems migration to emerging technologies.
  • Design Change.
  • To improve operations, maintenance and support issues on older circuit Board.
  • For increased performance.
  • Reduced life-cycle costs and lower System Cost.

Argus Systems is a globally recognized Product Engineering and Electronic contract Manufacturing company providing electronic product design, product Re-engineering, reverse engineering, value engineering, Product Life-cycle Management services , PCB Fabrication, PCB Assembly, Cable Assembly, Conformal Coating & Potting, PCBA Stencil fabrication, Box Build, Test fixture, System-Level Assembly, Regulatory compliance Testing and Electronic manufacturing supply chain solutions for Its Global Clients in India, USA, UK and Australia.

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