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Reverse Engineering - Relays

Reverse engineering and replacement of obsolete electromechanical relays to enable significant savings and equipment performance improvement for clients.

In many cases, reverse engineering of an electromechanical relay and replacement—with a relay of identical fit and functionality—is necessary when the original manufacturer stops manufacturing the device, no spare parts can be obtained, and no design drawings or documentation are available. 

The Reverse Engineering Process

Kinectrics offers extensive experience in the reverse engineering process for electromechanical relays, which typically involves the following steps:

  • Need Identification
  • Device Functionality Review
  • Design and Development of Prototype
  • Testing
  • Production
  • Documentation

Need identification involves a comprehensive market search 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.

The device functionality review by Kinectrics entails a thorough assessment of its functional characteristics, physical appearance and dimensional details. Investigations are conducted to determine if an existing commercial device can be modified to provide the same fit and functions, and to confirm practicality.  For electromechanical relays in particular, it is often critical that a replacement unit be mounted in an identical case and cradle, with wiring terminals and markings to exactly match those of the original. 

Advanced Prototyping by Kinectrics

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 the client.  From there, rigorous tests are performed on prototype samples in our lab facilities. In the case of relays, testing will include:

  • Steady state and dynamic testing using Kinectrics’ Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS)
  • Environmental testing including surge withstand
  • RF testing
  • Dielectric testing
  • Seismic testing
  • Temperature and voltage withstand tests
  • Per applicable test standards

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. 

Reliable Precision Reverse Engineering 

The entire reverse engineering process is completed under Kinectrics’ ISO 9001 Quality Assurance program.

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.  The intention is to construct a new device that performs exactly the same function as the old one but without any copies from the original unit.

When a specific design is protected by a patent, reverse engineering of electromechanical relays can result in infringement of the patent. However, reverse engineering is considered lawful when a device has been obtained legitimately and is protected only by trade secrets.