How to Outsource DoD Re-engineering with Confidence

Election years bring uncertainties, and this one, perhaps more than most.  With budgets unsettled and procurements uncertain, military programs and defense contractors look for ways to do more with less.  This, while international terrorism would seem to require that we do more with more.  So…how to resolve the two.

There are large quantities of battle-used and aging equipment in need of refurbishment or replacement.  With the right approach, such equipment can be brought up to current standards.  But, often, the military and defense contractors do not have access to qualified personnel who can take the time to do tedious re-engineering. This is where outsourcing vendors who are able to supply tools and services required to re-engineer and update aging equipment are in demand. 

Technological Complexity

DoD legacy equipment may include obsolete electronics, technology, and systems designs–up to 30 years old and poorly documented. Many of these decades-old designs are pushing the limits of their engineered capabilities creating reliability and maintainability problems.

Reverse engineering is the method that reconstructs CAD models from physical objects by 3D scanning to acquire digital the represents the object.  That data is the data acquisition, pre-processed, surface fitted and made into a 3D CAD model.  In reverse engineering, we mainly handle point data of the surfaces of a model acquired by measuring devices such as CMMs or 3D laser scanners. Usually, a complex freeform shape model cannot be represented by a single patch, therefore, it must be divided into several less complicated surfaces.

The benefit of this process is that the existence of computer models enables engineers to improve the quality and efficiency of a design according to DoD standards.  Such designs can be easily adapted to CNC machines and other manufacturing processes for relatively easy manufacture.  Although reverse engineering technically does not include the machining process as one of its stages, an evaluation of the part dimensional accuracy after machining can be performed using much the same methods.

Meeting DoD Requirements

Outsource re-engineering vendors that can meet the military’s need for payload, performance, and protection, balanced against cost and time targets make valuable partners as DoD strives to update its equipment.  There is no magic solution.  It’s about time, technical expertise, and above all accuracy in providing an appropriately re-engineered part.

Whether it’s Humvees, tanks or fighter jets that need to be updated and refurbished, the process is the same:  identification of the parts that need to be refurbished/re-engineered and discussion of the budget and personnel required to do it.

Smart engineering is the key to meeting DoD requirements, in terms of budget, time and accuracy.  This is where to outsource engineering firms who have DoD clearance as well as the 3D re-engineering and simulation capabilities to perform the job frequently come out as winners.

One of the best strategies used by winning engineering firms is the systematic use of physics-based engineering simulation tools early in the engineering process.

Such use enables firms to meet quality targets 91% of the time, compared with a 79% industry average; meet cost targets 86% of the time, compared with a 76% industry average; launch on time 86% of the time, compared with a 69% industry average.

How CAD / CAM uses Physics-Based Simulation Tools

By using software to create and test virtual representations of components, subcomponents and complete systems (or very close approximations, at least) our designers and engineers can determine the performance envelope without actually building anything. When doing DoD projects, we are able to better quantify the design risk and pass the information onto the DoD contact, so that appropriate decision can be made.  As a design moves from stage to stage, continued interaction with the DoD contact ensures that all parties are in agreement with the process and that the end design is robust and meets requirements. We even assess nonstandard design points, so performance against future threats can be determined in advance.

We use physics-based simulation for a number of different clients, from DoD to the automotive industry, as well as key manufacturers.  Knowing how to make engineering and design processes more efficient and effective keeps CAD outsource vendors like us high on the list of preferred vendors.

 

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