By Jeff Exley, Caplugs
Reengineered parts and components are often perceived as lower quality than OEM units. However, this impression is – for the most part – unfounded. In fact, components that have been reverse engineered regularly correct issues following product recalls or improve upon the performance of an original design with each iteration of multigenerational products.
The medical technology community faces a dichotomy in this respect. Operating in a heavily regulated industry, medtech manufacturers are traditionally wary of change that could disrupt a product’s continued success. However, the need to bolster supply chain security or replace components discontinued by their current vendor is a reality most manufacturers face at some point. In many of these scenarios, sourcing a replacement component also offers an opportunity to improve upon the OEM part in terms of cost, performance, weight, or production speed.
Understanding the reengineering process, as well as how it is applied to molded plastics, is key to determining how a reengineered component can benefit a medtech manufacturer. Sometimes, an exact replica remains the best option for a given product. Other times, a minor tweak to the material utilized or a design change to refine fit against a mating part improves component functionality.