Q-Plus Labs

Sitemap | Contact Us 

Dimensional Measurement Blog

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.

Read More

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?

Read More

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