Re-Engineering and Reverse Engineering

PCB Reverse Engineering

Reverse engineering is the process of analysing an existing product or design for the desire & purpose of replicating the similar functionality or the behaviour without the aid of original manufacturing or actual design documents. Reverse engineering as such is a wide term and is applicable in multiple fields including electronic engineering, software engineering and mechanical engineering.

It’s a challenging task as the information given is limited and the task requires committed experienced professional to start from minimal information to the point where the production of the new design can take place.

In electronic engineering there is no standard to govern Printed Circuit Board Reverse engineering however from software perspective IEEE has defined reverse engineering as “The process of analysing a subject system to identify the system’s components and their interrelationships and to create representations of the system in another form or at a higher level of abstraction”, where the “subject system” is to be considered as the end product of software development.

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Top Reasons for PCB Reverse Engineering.

  • Obsolete products with no circuit diagrams or documentation available.
  • Re-positioning of obsolete components.
  • Design recovery.
  • Products Re-designed for RoHS/ WEEE compliance.
  • While retaining the core features & logic of existing systems migration to emerging technologies.
  • Design Changes For increased performance.
  • For new Feature additions.
  • Manufacturing process changes: Through-hole to SMD parts Migration
  • To address support/Repair issues on older PCBA where documentation does not exist.
  • Cost Optimization /Lower System Cost
  • Reduced life-cycle costs
  • Competitor Analysis and gain
  • Speed up the time it takes to get your product to market
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Tools used for PCB Reverse Engineering

  • Good multi-meter.
  • Continuity Tester.
  • Inductive short tracer.
  • Milli-Ohm meter.
  • Microscope.
  • Light panel & Torch for detailed PCB inspection.
  • X-Ray imaging of PCB.
  • Lot of Patience & Passion.

Steps for PCB Reverse Engineering

  • Assign reference designations (U, J, R, C, D) to unmarked components before starting PCB reverse engineering.
  • Create a Component level BOM.
  • Design -Identify the system’s components and their interrelationships.
  • Components Placement & Mechanical.
  • XY locations of Connectors, LED, Switches etc.
  • Board mechanical Mounting holes & any special cuts on Boards, Board size etc.
  • Download datasheets, application notes, and architecture information.
  • Create net list.
  • Make the Schematic Drawing and PCB Layout.

Where we can help

PCB reverse engineering is grueling process which seems impossible sometimes but right experience, dedication and success gives paramount satisfaction and overshadows the hurdles faced in the journey. Argus Embedded System PCB Re-Engineering Services are designed and developed in accordance with the specific customer’s needs and demands. If the product or the PCB is re-engineered by us, we take responsibility of the custom developed hardware to test the functionality as per the original product. This assurance can not be given by most of the design bureau as either they are in to only manufacturing or only in the electronic product design. Our services are widely appreciated by the clients for their quality, timely execution and genuine prices.

Reverse and Re-Engineering Case studies

Power & Energy

  • Reverse Engineer Hardware & supply Cards for spare usage in Nuclear Power plant.
  • Bill of Material Extraction and Cost Analysis of Competitor Smart Energy Meter products.

Oil & Gas

  • Re Engineer Product (Hardware & Software) with New Feature addition.
  • product Certification and Manufacturing of Mid volume quantities for field deployment.

Process & manufacturing Industry

  • Reverse Engineer Product & Manufacture spare cards to be used in steel and superalloy manufacturing Plant.
  • Re Engineer Product (Hardware & Software) with New Feature addition for application of Water Purification & Vending Machine


  • Reverse Engineer Product & Manufacture spare systems to be used in railway having application of minimum voltage relay, Power Control Card, Minimum Voltage Indicator


  • Reverse Engineer PCB Assembly to generate schematic and Bill of material for Debug/RMA activities of satellite modem.


  • Reverse Engineer Product & Manufacture low-mid volume quantities having application of Audio amplifier, power supply, Tilt Detector, RF Amplifier

Technology Migration

  • Reverse Engineer Product, from Through hole parts to SMD parts and Manufacture mid volume quantities.
  • Reverse Engineer Ceramic PCB to FR4 PCB & Manufacture low-mid volume quantities.

Tear Down Analysis

  • IGBT Module Bill of Material and Cost Analysis used in Drive Control application.
  • Tear Down Analysis of potted PCBA (TPMS) to understand Bill of material for competitor Product e-BOM Cost Analysis.
  • Tear Down Analysis of potted PCBA (Automotive ECU) to understand Design Architecture and Bill of material having application of TPMS.

Die Analysis

  • Analyse Integrated Circuit Die for process and Cost Analysis

Quality & Delivery Process

  • Dedicated Resources with Phase gate-controlled project management.
  • Support of Deliverables Post acceptance.
  • Automated Processes and control.
  • Documentation and reporting system with Live reporting of data.
  • Project lead and account Manager directly involved in assuring the success of the program.
  • Commitment to KPI Quality of product / Service Delivery.
  • Transparent and competitive business Process with Collaborative business approach leads to Business risk reduction.
Reverse Engineering and Re-Engineering Solutions

Reach out to your application engineering team to discuss your Requirements.

Argus Systems (AESPL) is a globally recognized Product Engineering and Electronic contract Manufacturing company providing electronic product design, product Re-engineering, reverse engineering, value engineering, Product Life-cycle Management services , PCB Fabrication, PCB Assembly, Cable Assembly, Conformal Coating & Potting, PCBA Stencil fabrication, Box Build, Test fixture, System-Level Assembly, Regulatory compliance Testing and Electronic manufacturing supply chain solutions for Its Global Clients in India, USA, UK and Australia.