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11 Must Satisfy Reverse Engineering Vendor Requirements

Posted by Mike Knicker on Aug 8, 2013 6:00:00 AM

11 reverse engineering requirements

Whether you decide to outsource reverse engineering services or purchase equipment so you can do it in-house, you must work with a qualified provider that you trust. The reasons may be obvious in the case of outsourcing, but selecting a good reseller when you decide to buy is just as important.

Whichever route you choose, make sure your vendor satisfies the following requirements:

Four Criteria for Outsourcing Reverse Engineering Services

For many reverse engineering applications, selecting a qualified provider is critical, especially if you must satisfy regulatory requirements. Look for the following factors when you evaluate providers:
  1. Certification and accreditation - The current certification standard is ISO 9001, and the accreditation to look for is ISO 17025.

  2. Expertise - Look for a long track record of success in multiple industries, particularly the one in which you operate.

  3. Technology - Advances in reverse engineering technology are ongoing. Look for a provider that stays on the cutting edge and adopts new measurement and scanning technologies as they are developed.
  4. Diversity - Successful reverse engineering is sometimes a combination of science and art. A reverse engineering provider that has experience across a range of industries and applications will be better able to solve problems and produce the best results.

Seven Criteria for Purchasing Reverse Engineering Equipment

If you have ongoing reverse engineering needs, purchasing equipment for in-house use might be more cost-effective. Although there are a number of places where you can purchase equipment, not all providers are created equally. Look for the following factors when selecting a vendor:
  1. Collaboration - Most reverse engineering equipment requires an investment that you want to feel confident about making. Look for a provider that will help you select the best solution for your needs and not just sell you the device that will boost its bottom line.

  2. Diversity - Working with a reseller that carries multiple manufacturers will give you more choices and help ensure that you evaluate all the available options.

  3. Flexibility - If you are working with a limited budget, look for a provider that allows you to lease equipment or set up a payment plan.

  4. Expertise - The companies that also use reverse engineering equipment are the most qualified to help you decide what to buy. A provider that uses the same devices every day will be better able to help you make an informed decision than a provider that only sells equipment.

  5. Installation - Before you buy or lease the equipment, make sure your provider offers installation, calibration, and validation services so you can be confident that you have the proper setup.

  6. Training - Look for a provider that offers a variety of training options, especially if your staff will need to learn how to use your new equipment.

  7. Support - Sometimes problems arise. You don't want to be left on your own to troubleshoot or to set up maintenance schedules. Also, understanding your equipment warranty is important in order to ensure that you fulfill any requirements. Look for a provider that offers ongoing support so you can get the most from your investment.

Whether you decide to buy or outsource, Q-PLUS Labs can help. We meet all of the above criteria and more. We'll work with you to find the best solution for your reverse engineering needs. We'll even help you make the decision whether to buy or outsource. Request a quote today to get started.

What do you look for in a reverse engineering provider?

 



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Topics: equipment, reverse engineering, equipment purchasing, reverse engineering equipment, equipment purchases

Reverse Engineering: Should You Purchase Equipment or Outsource?

Posted by Mike Knicker on Jul 2, 2013 2:20:00 PM

reverse engineering purchase or outsource

If you need reverse engineering for your business, you may come to a point when you must decide if you want to outsource to a qualified provider or purchase equipment to do the job in-house.

Both approaches come with advantages and disadvantages. Ask the following questions to help you make an informed decision:

  • How frequently do you need to perform reverse engineering? If the answer is not that often or for a short-term project, you might consider outsourcing as a more cost-effective solution. On the other hand, if you foresee a consistent need for reverse engineering, buying or leasing equipment might be a better approach.

  • How quickly do you need results? If the answer is yesterday, outsourcing is likely to be faster than purchasing new equipment and training staff to use it. If you think buying is a better solution, factor in the time needed to acquire equipment and train your staff.

  • How much can you spend? Working backward from a set budget is a good way to evaluate your options. Remember to factor in more than just equipment costs. You might also need to train staff and pay for maintenance, so the up-front expenses do not necessarily reflect the total cost of ownership. On the other hand, if you will need reverse engineering services for the long run, owning your equipment could cost less over time.

  • What types of objects do you need to reverse engineer? If you expect to scan multiple objects with different sizes and surface characteristics, you might actually need more than one piece of equipment to get the job done. Outsourcing to a provider that has multiple devices can save you time and money. However, if you know you'll be reverse engineering similar objects, doing it in-house could be more efficient.

  • Does your staff know how to reverse engineer? Just because employees are skilled in one area does not mean that they will have the necessary knowledge and skills to use new equipment that they are not familiar with. If you do decide to buy, consider investing in training.

  • Is NIST traceability important? If you require NIST traceability, ensuring that the personnel operating the equipment have the necessary skills becomes even more important. A qualified provider can ensure NIST traceability, or you can train staff so you can achieve it in-house.

  • Can you handle tech support and maintenance in-house? Owning equipment means that you are responsible for calibrating, operating, and maintaining it. If you’re not prepared to do this for the life of the equipment, consider outsourcing. Some equipment resellers also provide ongoing training, support, and maintenance, so if you do buy, look for a provider that offers these services.

One approach that many businesses take is outsourcing before they decide to make an equipment purchase. This way, you can ensure that the equipment you are considering is adequate for the task at hand. You will also have time to hire skilled staff or train your existing employees to use the new equipment.

Whether you buy or outsource, Q-PLUS Labs is here to help. As a reseller of multiple types of equipment, we offer a large selection of manufacturers. Because we use this equipment in our own labs, we are uniquely qualified to help you make the best selection for your specific needs.

If you’re not yet ready to buy, we can perform the reverse engineering for you, either for a single project or on a long-term basis. Get in touch with a representative today to start exploring your reverse engineering options.

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Topics: equipment, reverse engineering, budgeting, project planning, outsourcing, equipment purchasing, purchasing

11 Dimensional Inspection Equipment Factors to Consider Before Purchasing

Posted by Mike Knicker on May 7, 2013 2:30:00 PM

11 dimensional inspection factorsPurchasing dimensional inspection equipment requires making a big decision, and in most cases a significant financial investment. It is important to be certain that the equipment you buy will serve its intended purpose and provide the results you need.

Because there are so many different types of equipment that can be used for a broad range of purposes, it helps to know what questions to ask before you buy.

11 Dimensional Inspection Equipment Questions You Need to Ask

  1. What sensor type do you need?

    Depending on the surface characteristics of the objects you intend to measure, you may need either a contact sensor or a non-contact sensor. Within each of these two categories are several other options and different sensor types. The more you know about the objects you will be measuring, the better able you will be to select the right types of dimensional inspection equipment.

  2. What tolerance levels are required for your application?

    There is a big difference between replicating an antique to sell in a gift shop and mass producing components that will be used in a medical device. In the former case, a certain amount of inaccuracy is tolerable, while in the latter case the requirements are more stringent. Make sure you know how precise you need to be, especially if you have to maintain regulatory compliance.

  3. Does your equipment need to be portable?

    Do you need a machine that will always sit at the end of a production line, or do you need a more portable unit that can take measurements in the field?

  4. What size(s) are the objects you need to measure?

    Some objects are small enough to be put into a machine, while others are simply too large or heavy. On the other hand, objects that are on the nano scale will require specialized equipment.

  5. What shape(s) are the objects you need to measure?

    Does your object have internal geometry that you need to measure? Bore holes, threads, and other complex geometry cannot always be measured by certain types of dimensional inspection equipment or without certain accessories.

  6. How fast do you need results?

    Measuring the occasional prototype is a different scenario than inspecting every component that comes off a production line. It is important to know how quickly you will need results so you can purchase a machine that is capable of meeting your needs.

  7. Does your equipment need to be automated?

    Some dimensional inspection equipment can be automated, but not all of it can be. If this is an important factor for your application, make sure it is a high priority in your purchasing decision.

  8. Who will be using the equipment?

    Ease of use should be considered if you are weighing multiple options. Will you need to hire new staff or train employees to use this new equipment? Does your budget support that?

  9. What is required to maintain the equipment?

    High-precision measurement equipment needs to be properly set up, regularly maintained, and periodically calibrated. Does your staff have the skills to do this, or can you outsource it?

  10. How durable and reliable is the equipment?

    Dimensional inspection equipment is an investment. It is important to compare multiple manufacturers and work with an expert who has experience will all of them.

  11. What is your budget?

    Perhaps one of the most important factors is your budget, however, be sure to weigh all of the above before you make a decision.

If you would like to learn more about selecting the right dimensional inspection equipment for your application, download our free guide. You can also schedule a consultation with one of our dimensional inspection experts who can walk you through the entire process. Contact us today to schedule an assessment.

What type of dimensional inspection equipment are you looking for?

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Topics: dimensional inspection, manufacturing, measurements, dimensional measurement, equipment, criteria, dimensional inspection equipment, metrology, budgeting, project planning

How to Determine Which Dimensional Measurement Product to Buy

Posted by Mike Knicker on Oct 10, 2012 11:19:00 AM

EZ Starrett Dimensional MeasurementDimensional measurement has very different meanings for different industries, which is one of the reasons it can be so difficult to determine what type of equipment to purchase. Even if you know exactly what you need to measure, there are still a lot of steps in the process before you make a purchase.

Dimensional Measurement Criteria

Specifying the equipment is the first step in the process. You will need to ask and answer a series of questions, including the following:
  • How precise do you need to be? This is perhaps the most important question you must answer. Precision is a limiting factor that must be addressed early in the purchasing process. If you buy equipment that is unable to meet your precision requirements, it will be useless for your project.
  • Do you need to meet regulatory requirements? If you work in an industry that requires regulatory reporting or auditing, it is important to take the correct measurements at the correct level of precision.
  • How long will you need to use the equipment? Testing a series of prototypes may require you to use the equipment for several months and then no longer have a need for it. On the other hand, testing equipment for a production line will be in operation more frequently and for a longer period of time. In this case, it's important to select equipment that is durable and reliable.
  • Is your staff trained to use the equipment? When it comes to dimensional measurement, the testing procedure can be just as important the equipment itself. Make sure you have qualified staff or an adequate training budget before you make a purchase.
  • What is your budget? Knowing how much money you have to spend on equipment, staff, training, and operation is a critical factor in purchasing dimensional measurement products. You may find that purchasing used equipment is more cost effective, or decide that you can only support one type of measurement in-house?
  • What is the size range of the parts? Smaller parts need different equipment than larger parts.
  • What are the parts made of? Measuring soft rubber requires different sensors than hard metal.
  • How difficult is it to use, calibrate, and repair the equipment? While your staff may be trained to use the equipment, it's important to know what type of support you will receive from the manufacturer and the supplier. 

Work with a Dimensional Measurement Expert


Because there are so many factors to consider when making such an important decision, it's important to work with a qualified specialist throughout the purchasing process. A good provider will work with you through every step of the process:
  1. Specify - You should go through a rigorous process to determine exactly what type of equipment you need. This will include answering the above questions and many more to ensure that your new equipment can meet your needs and integrate successfully into the rest of your process.
  2. Purchase - After deciding what type of equipment you need, you have to decide which manufacturer to go with, whether to rent or buy, and whether to buy new or used products.
  3. Set Up - A good provider will continue to support you after you've made a purchase. Proper set up is critical for accurate results.
  4. Integrate - If your new equipment is part of a larger process, integration with other systems is a necessary part of setting it up.
  5. Validate - After setup and integration, your new equipment must be tested to ensure that it is working properly.

In addition to providing outsourced dimensional measurement services, Q-Plus Labs also resells new, pre-owned, and custom measurement and inspection equipment. We work with a broad range of manufacturers and only sell equipment that we have approved to work in our own lab, so you can be confident that it will work for you. Contact us today to learn more about the products and services we offer.

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Topics: dimensional measurement, equipment, criteria, inspection