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Got an obsolete board? Reverse Engineer it!
Written by Gizmo   
Friday, 29 June 2007 16:10

There's a very interesting story over at Press Release Newswire about a company the reverse engineers PC boards.  What makes this story interesting is that the company in question, Armistad Engineering, specializes in reverse engineering OBSOLETE boards.

Read the full story at Press Release Newswire :

Case in point from the story: a modest sized ommercial printing company had a piece of equipment where the control boards had gone out.  The control boards had been repaired and/or replaced several times over the life of the equipment, and finally it got to the point where the manufacturer of the board could no longer get components to repair the boards, and had no replacement boards.  The printer was faced with the prospect of a substantial capital outlay to replace this piece of equipment, whose only defect was that the control boards were worn out (the rest of the equipment was in great shape).

Enter Armistad Engineering: they reverse engineered the control boards in question, updated the boards with new technology and components, added some functionality, and got the printer operating that piece of equipment again for a fraction of what it would have cost to replace the equipment.

So, why am I bringing this up?  Too often, we replace equipment, not because the equipment is truly unable to fulfil its purpose, but because some critical component no longer works, and because it is no longer PROFITABLE for the company which manufactured the equipment to continue supporting it, for any of a variety of reasons.  The fact that an outside firm could go in and reverse engineer the faulty boards, source components, do a 10 piece production run of PC boards, and STILL save the equipment operator a substantial amount of money, seems to suggest that the real reason the equipment was no longer manufactured is because the company was more interested in selling machines than in supporting customers.

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