When reverse engineering a circuit board, it is imperative that you copy it identically in terms of form, fit, and function. The reason why we do this is so the board is completely operable in a working environment.
The customer can take the new engineered board and place it into their machine- and it will work without having to do any modifications- we aim for a “ plug and play” approach. We have done all the hard work, it should be easy for the customer to get up and running once the project is complete.
Sometimes customers will ask ENA to do upgrades to the existing printed circuit boards. And when we do an upgrade, we take the original board and work with the customer to determine what changes need to be made.
Let’s say the customer says there is an issue with functionality, perhaps it is overheating or needs an LED indicator; or perhaps they want a different form factor. What we do is we modify the existing design and upgrade it with the customers recommendations and requests.
Before any modifications are made we look at patents, copyright and intellectual property. For more information about our legality policies; click here: enaelectronics.com/legal/
When we reverse engineer a printed circuit board, in many industries, it is critical; that it looks and functions identically to the original.
An example of this, in our experience, has been in the aviation and nuclear industry. When we reverse engineer PCB we have to make sure that we add specific jumpers and capacitors, just as they are found on the original. The reason for this is because the PCB jumpers and capacitors that have been added to assist in EMC regulations
Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) are frequently referred to when discussing the regulatory testing and compliance of electronic and electrical products
When a board is certified; it goes through an EMC test. When it goes through that test, additional components are added to reduce noise or interference. EMC emission and immunity standards are developed to specify terms, measurement methods, limits for conducted and radiated electromagnetic emissions and level of minimum immunity.
When you do the testing, you often must add additional components to reduce noise, which ends up in the final design.
Let’s Talk About Certification
When we do a clone or reverse engineering of PCB, it needs to be the same form, fit and function so that the printed circuit board does not need to be recertified.
Recertification is extremely expensive. It can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. (So, you want to avoid this at all costs) That is the biggest cost savings of reverse engineering with ENA Electronics- we can save you millions and produce a quality product, saving you even more down the line.
The circuit is replicated and original components are chosen; jumpers are added if present and traces are matched identically.
One instance we have dealt with previously was a circuit board for a certain customer.It had green fixing wire running across the entire board. It was a botched job by the OEM – most likely due to time and pricing constraints, and the wire was there because of a mistake on the circuit board.
Because that wire was there, we had to clone it in our final product even though it would be far easier and cheaper for us to modify the PCB; but the board had already been certified; so, we had to copy the form fit and function – exactly.
The board was then taken by the customer; installed; and tested and worked perfectly. We are committed to the process of ensuring the customer has a working item with no issues and avoid having them incurring any additional costs.
When we are reverse engineering, we want things identical to the original – a clone, if you will. We even go as far as to replicate items such as casing. If the original casing is a certain colour, we will replicate it. If a screen has a certain property, we make it the same.
If we have to make any changes to any parts of the design; then we have to certify that part and prove that it’s the same or better. The customer approves any and all changes.
When ordering obsolete parts, we have a network of places that we use. These vendors have been around for over 20 years. (We celebrated our 20th anniversary – just last month) We are committed to efficient sourcing, but those often hard to find parts are found, tested and individually; to prove authenticity of the product.
Here at ENA we are committed to producing quality products and working with the customer to ensure superior service. To start the process and send an inquiry to our reverse engineering team, visit our reverse engineering pages at: enaelectronics.com/engineering.
To send a direct inquiry, customers can email firstname.lastname@example.org but in order to begin a project and send the appropriate information to our engineers, customers should fill out our getting started form found here:
If you have further questions before beginning, here at ENA we are happy to set up a discovery call between your company and our engineering and sales team. At ENA, Reverse Engineering is our passion, and our expertise. When you bring those two components together, it’s magic.