Shop Tour – Part 2: Research & Design
When beginning the process of designing a new component, we start with an OEM part, as discussed in Part 1. Once we have an original, the research begins on the details of the component. The OEM part numbers, cross-fitments, production numbers, vehicles in operation, components of the part, related parts, as well as the manufacturing data, all go in to making the decision to start the creation process.
When the decision is made to start manufacturing a part, the original goes to the engineers on the design team. They work on re-engineering/reverse engineering the part and create a 3-dimensional electronic file in our CAD/CAM system. This step is where all of the physical details of the part are scrutinized so we can produce the most authentic parts.
We use laser scanners and the expertise of our design team to recreate a part from a (sometimes very) deteriorated original piece. Knowledge about the decomposition and wear and tear a part goes through in it’s life, and how to translate that into producing a “fresh” piece, only comes from experience and engineering skill. Once the high level of detail is achieved, the process moves into the tooling phase.