Solving The Issue of Obsolescence 
 
What is Reverse Engineering?

Reverse engineering is the process of discovering the technological principles of a device through analysis of its form, fit and function. It is  often  performed with a disassembly of the device and an analysis of its design, detailed construction and operation with the intention of constructing a new device that performs the same functions as the original one.

Reverse engineered component​s designed and supplied by Kinectrics meet or exceed the most stringent industry standards.​


 

Recreating obsolete parts and components from first principles


 

The issue of obsolete parts and components is becoming more critical as nuclear plants worldwide continue to age and components used in safety systems are no longer commercially available. At Kinectrics, we design new equipment to replace aging units as form, fit and functional equivalents to originally installed items. 

Our focus is on saving our customers time and money by providing high reliability replacement components for obsolete items that can be directly and harmoniously installed into an existing system, maintain the safety function, have minimal impact on station documentation and no negative effect on system performance.​


 

An integrated approach to reverse engineering

 

We follow a rigorous process that is fully aligned with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission methodology to ensure replacement components  are fit for system use. First, the component’s safety function is defined from first principles based on: customer technical specifications, station wiring diagrams, OEM literature, and legacy component walk-down.

Then, critical design characteristics based on FMEA analysis of the safety  function are derived. 

We utilize legacy design wherever possible in our replacement components to avoid introducing new failure mechanisms into the system. 

 

The Reverse Engineering Process
Needs Identification

A comprehensive market search is conducted to determine if the subject device can be procured from commercial vendors or distributors. Rigorous investigations are also conducted to determine the patent protection status of the device.

Device Functionality Review

We conduct a thorough assessment of the component's functional characteristics, physical appearance and dimensional details to determine if an existing commercial device can be modified to provide the same fit and functions, and to confirm practicality. For example, electromechanical relays require that a replacement unit be mounted in an identical case and cradle, with wiring terminals and markings exactly matching the original.

Prototype Design & Development

Kinectrics' prototype design and development involves the preparation of technical specifications, device design, search for component suppliers and confirmation of quality standards, procurement of components, and assembly of the required number of prototype samples.

Comprehensive Testing

Kinectrics develops a test plan in consultation with you. From there, rigorous tests are performed on prototype samples in our lab facilities. Testing areas can include: performance, functional, environmental, electromagnetic capability (EMC), seismic, thermal aging, and dimensional testing.

Production

Our Reverse Engineering Center of Excellence has a full range of production capabilities including an in-house machine shop and electronic soldering stations, enabling the RE team to efficiently assemble products under the control of Kinectrics’ stringent QA program.

Complete Documentation

Kinectrics prepares complete documentation for the device including a device design manual and drawings, a maintenance and operation manual, device component lists, spare parts list, commissioning procedures, test procedures and test results.

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