Reverse engineering parts obsolescence
MGR Fluid Power is helping to extend the service life of military land and air vehicles by reverse engineering obsolescent parts when they reach the point of failure, the company announced on 23 August.
The service provides new hydraulic components that fit the exact same dimensions as the obsolete part by either producing a new component to print if the existing design is still available, or reverse engineering a new part from the existing component.
Previously, it has always been difficult to repair military vehicles once parts become obsolete due to the complexities of the work involved. In many cases, new components, such as hydraulic valves, have to be fitted into the exact same space as the original valves, and rarely does a standard model of valve suit these specific dimensions.
The company recently carried out a successful project to upgrade a previously obsolescent valve for a military vehicle through reverse engineering. Not only did the part have to fit in the existing space with no extra surrounding room, it also had to operate efficiently.
Mike Retford, managing director of MGR Fluid Power, said: ‘Obsolescence is a huge issue in the defence industry and often, when many vehicle components fail, the original manufacture of that component has long gone out of business, making a build-to-print process difficult.
‘For this particular project, we had to reverse engineer a valve to the same size to fit the original design criteria, connect the necessary pipes and perform a factory acceptance test for the customer to demonstrate that the vehicle will continue to operate successfully. We had to set the valve to withstand six different pressures in order for it to perform to capacity in difficult environments.’
The hope is that this method will be play a role in maintaining defence systems and keeping equipment operational for longer periods of time.
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