Performance factors like teamwork, training, coaching and confidence during learning and improvement phases of obsolescence management are highly important for a successful and sustainable enhancement.

The tension of results and atmosphere, working groups, workshops and team building activities have enormous importance.

It is impossible to foresee accurately every change that will occur over the decades of long service life system’s production and maintenance. Nevertheless, thoughtful planning and programming of systems can do much to avoid early obsolescence, both for new constructions or substantial reconstruction.

Abstract: “Many technologies have procurement life cycles that are shorter than the life cycle of the product they are used in. Life cycle mismatches caused by the obsolescence of technology often result in large costs for long field life products, such as aircraft, critical infrastructure, medical systems and military systems. DMSMS (Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Materials Shortages) is a type of obsolescence, which includes the loss of the ability...

We invite you to a 1-day substance regulation electronics seminar (held in German) to obtain general knowledge on product specific statutory regulations and requirements with respect to the environment and product safety (RoHS 2 I REACh I POP I WEEE)

The word “obsolescence” comes from the Latin term “obsoletus” and refers to something that is already disused, discarded, or antiquated.

The VDI (Association of German Engineers) - corporation Production and Logistics - has founded a new expert committee "Obsolescence Management" (FA209) within their department Factory Planning and Operation (FB2). The constitutive meeting took place at the VDI location in Duesseldorf on the 22. August 2012.

Obsolescence of products occurs due to future part innovation especially in areas where technology develops rapidly. Today, innovation cycles in all areas, from the smallest daily objects up to complex electronic circuits, are significantly faster than in the past.

Safe availability of material – discontinuation and part change management

It seems to be the best way to tackle obsolescence at the point it occurs, e.g. direct at the supply parts. Therefore, it is helpful to use the bill of materials (BoM) to find the corresponding items in the system. This is a paramount activity in order to manage obsolescence proactively and cost effectively. The aim is to categorize all the parts out of the BoM in a systematic scheme and treat them in different ways. In general, seven steps are required:

Abstract: “Taking into account the object of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as given in Article 2 of the Statutes, the particular object of the IECQ System, operated in conformity with the Statutes and under the authority of the IEC, is to facilitate international trade in electronic components of assessed quality, by providing a global framework for independent assessment and certification.”

ABSC invites you to a 2-day obsolescence management seminar (held in German) to obtain the basic certificate according to the ΩM³ training course.

It is important to identify possible ways to react if obsolescence occurs, starting at a simple part substitution up to a major redesign of a product.

Most people associate counterfeiting with street vendors not quite looking trustworthy and pulling out brand name watches from their cloak asking “Wanna buy a Rolex?” However, combating counterfeits has become a major concern for the information technology industry today and is raising awareness of original component manufacturers (OCMs).

Invitation to an „FED - Fachverband für Design, Leiterplatten- und Baugruppenfertigung“ lecture in German on Friday, 21th September 2012, 8:15 at the 20th FED Conference at the Maritime Hotel and International Congress Center in Dresden, Germany.

Daily thousands of Product Chance Notifications (PCNs) and End-of-Life notifications (EOL/ PDN) are received by companies worldwide. But have you ever thought about all the consequences of these notes? Can you appraise all risks of a false or tardy reaction in handling obsolescence?

Many device manufacturers have exited the military market in recent years, resulting in decreased availability of devices specified to operate over wide temperature ranges.

The importance of a vital mix of the semiconductor supplier chain is evident. One good way to get the right parts in time and in the designated quality is to have a variety between original manufacturers, franchise distributors, catalog distributors and brokers.

A well-planned obsolescence management strategy measures three dimensions: the impact of obsolescence (which parts are affected), the probability of obsolescence occurring to specific parts and the cost associated with the resolution chosen. Costs occur when alternate sources are needed to procure parts from a different manufacturer, a redesign of a system is unavoidable or because of other parameters (see figure below).

Mobile phones are probably a good example for a very short lifetime. Next to a few exceptions, like the Nokia 3310, which was so robust that it would have probably survived the apocalypse, most mobile phones have a very short lifespan. They break very fast and through new innovations almost every year, they run out of fashion. The question is, do people even want mobile phones with a long lifetime?

What is CM? 
CM is a management process technique which attempts to fully implement a process of documenting all requirements, designs and operational information of configurations and products in line over their lifetime. CM is a widely used technique in organizations to manage complex systems. CM manages the product information through its whole lifetime. One of the most important points of a consistent CM process is the documentation of all requirements, designs, baselines, part lists etc.. The CM process is establishing a process for the correct implementation of documents and ensures that they are always up to date, validated and released before use. The documentation has to be available for all users. CM verifies that the configuration is in line with the requirements and the documentation and ensures the functionality of the product. An important CM rule states that a "requirement is not a requirement unless it is documented". Documents have to be clear, concise and valid. They can be seen as the product's mirror.

In order to cut costs, the first thing that many organizations do is to reduce salary costs: the laying off of employees. When this does not help with a significant enough result, they reduce training budgets and innovation programs. What follows are even more unpleasant and ineffective cuts. All these activities may help to reduce overall costs on an immediate or even possibly mid-term basis but the future of the organization is in jeopardy.

There are several reasons for the occurrence of obsolescence.

A comprehensive obsolescence management includes management of contracts. Suitable obsolescence management clauses on both sides of the supply chain with suppliers and customers are needed. Here is an example clause according to the “SD-22 - Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS) Guidebook,” published by the Defense Standardization Program Office (DSPO):

The right resources at the right time!
Many electronic parts have life cycles that are shorter than the life cycle of the product they are a component of. Life cycle mismatches caused by the obsolescence of electronic parts can result in high sustainment costs for long life systems. In particular, avionics and military systems often encounter part obsolescence problems before being fielded and nearly always experience part obsolescence problems during their field life. Successful obsolescence management strategies and plans should be analyzed before taking any decision for action as the goal is to reduce systems’ life cycle costs by minimizing the time needed to resolve obsolescence cases.

In the case of an interruption in production speed is of utmost necessity. Every lost minute costs money. Quite often the operator can resort to his own safety reserves and alternatives to compensate for such events.But what is to be done about the defective components? Or what can one do if the defective component is not in stock or if, even worse, the component which is available is not functioning?

Invitation to an RAeS lecture in cooperation with the DGLR and VDI on Thursday, 15th November 2012, 18:00 at HAW Hamburg about Comprehensive Obsolescence Management methods – an overview.  

To successfully operate obsolescence management, the ability to forecast obsolescence events for parts that are needed to manufacture or sustain a product is essential. Past trends are a valid indicator of the future. As a consequence algorithms developed by using data mining based forecasts can be helpful for obsolescence forecasting. Generally, a distinction can be made between forecasting for parts with evolutionary parametric drivers and for parts without evolutionary parametric drivers.

The professional long-term conservation of electronic components offers a low-cost and, in some cases, the only alternative to a redesign.

At the COG expo 2013 on Wednesday, 4 December 2013 in Frankenthal (Germany), 20 members of the COG (Component Obsolescence Group) Deutschland e.V. will present the most effective active and reactive strategies for the efficient handling of discontinued, manipulated and counterfeit electronic components.

Why is obsolescence management needed? While companies strive to achieve long term system availabilities, component obsolescence can negatively impact:

The SD-22, “Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages (DMSMS): A Guidebook of Best Practices and Tools for Implementing a DMSMS Management Program.” was published by the Defense Standardization Program Office (DSPO) in September 2010.

An obsolescence management audit is about revealing strengths and weaknesses within an organisation and to quantify them.

In the top league of repairs and maintenance the game goes on into extra time. Here the operator will be advised in advance of costs and necessary preventive measures by way of quotes and costings. Not every time does this apply to foreseen wear on equipment parts like condensers and similar components but often also to suspect production components which have to be eliminated.
Only when in this area foresight is applied can a repair also provide further additional advantages for the operator in favour of new acquisitions. It is not seldom that a component is returned to the operator better and safer than it was originally. Furthermore, it is not unusual for the manufacturers of automatic equipment to make use of such external repair services.

Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages(DMSMS) is an increasingly difficult problem for DoD weapon systems because the manufacturing lives of many critical items get shorter while the life cycles of military weapon systems keep increasing.

If beer becomes obsolete, would you...

Reactive Obsolescence Management
Reactive obsolescence management is the method of acting upon the end of life of a component, after the EOL (End Of Life) notice is released. Reactive management is concerned with determining an appropriate and immediate solution to the problem of obsolete components. Reactive obsolescence management tries the following solutions to mitigate the risk of obsolescence:

In order to avoid obsolescence a wide variety of specific and detailed actions can be taken at all stages of product development and production to minimize life cycle costs.

Executive Summary
Semiconductor end-of-life is an ever-present problem in every electronics manufacturing industry today, and it's not going away. The goal has always been to purchase a replacement that is the exact form, fit, and function as the original. Lately, companies have been offering a variety to aftermarket "substitute" solutions they claim to be form, fit, and function replacements; however, manufacturers are finding from experience that these parts often fall far short of that promise.

It seems to be everywhere. It is like machinations of a huge industry lobbying a premature end-of-life for essential components of systems. In addition, it is forcing customers and other industries to pay for it. Is it rather a mighty myth than a whole sector conspiring against poor customers?

Abstract: “This PAS (editor's note: Publicly Available Specification) applies to the long-duration storage of electronic components. Although it has always existed to some extent, obsolescence of electronic components and particularly of integrated circuits, has become increasingly intense over the last few years. Indeed, with the existing technological boom, the commercial life of a component has become very short compared with the life of industrial equipment such as that encountered in the aeronautical field, the railway industry or the energy sector.”

The objective of obsolescence management is to ensure that obsolescence is managed as an integral part of design, development, production and in-service support in order to minimize cost and detrimental impact throughout...

One of the goals if companies create a new system or product is to ensure the ability to avoid obsolescence once they start production. Comprehensive obsolescence management should integrate processes, methods and procedures in a company to ensure that their products are producible and can be supported over their complete life time. Therefore, the context of obsolescence management is to “co-ordinated activities to direct and control an organization with regard to obsolescence” [DIN62402].

You have a project of development, expansion, reorganization or daily business in regards to obsolescence management?

A complete set of tools for managing obsolescence in long-field life systems from the ABSC Obsolescence Management Lead Bjoern Bartels and partners.

A periodic-review inventory model with application to the continuous-review obsolescence problem - Yuyue Song and Hoong Chuin Lau

We all know the problem of parts becoming unprocurable and obsolete. It's omnipresent in our community. Easy to be observed for example by taking a look at sound carriers. From the 1900's on, the vinyl revolutionized the market, while being replaced by tapes later. When the CD was invented the tape became obsolete and in these days almost all music is saved as MP3 files on hard or flash drives. This change came slowly over many years.

Do you encounter problems with the discontinuation of production materials, processes or other various components? Do you identify obsolescence as potential risk for the ability to manufacture, repair or maintain your systems?

Generally, a distinction is made between six different reasons why obsolescence can occur. To avoid or minimize the effects of obsolescence it is inevitable and essential to understand why obsolescence can appear (see also Reasons for the Occurrence of Obsolescence):