Advantages of an executable Obsolescence Management

11 Jan 2013
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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?

Nowadays obsolescence is almost unpreventable because of the rapid technological revolutions and evolutions, but also because of the changing market demand day by day.

The brownfield site is led by the consumer sector and the products are non-durable because the end-user hungers for new, modern and making-life-easier commodities. Another cause of obsolescence are the environmental policies and restrictions of special substances like RoHS, RoHS2 and REACH which confront producers with further costs.

But how can be secured that the industry sector´s needs will be fulfilled in the long run, too? Industries like the railway supply industry and aviation industry have constant demand for the same, unchanged components over a period of 30 to 40 years!

This means that Obsolescence Management should be an appliance to deal with the correlation between durable systems and obsolete components.

The impacts of obsolete components are mostly pricey for the user especially when a redesign is necessary and costs incur for engineering services, but also for operating capital or testing equipment.

Often there are still some of the obsolete components available on the market but mostly sold by high-cost brokerage companies whose authenticity often can´t be confirmed.

As a result of the globalization counterfeits or fakes from all over the world are imported unsuspected and could be, for example, built into airplanes or pacemakers what means an enormous risk for the end-user.

In the following the costs of products containing the obsolete components will rise and often an inefficiency appears.

But not only direct costs are consequences of a missing or careless Obsolescence Management, it can also influence the business image and market share and lower the turnover indirectly. As a result of a non-ability of continuing fabricating products containing obsolete components the corporate clients will switch over to competitors with more innovative or cheaper alternatives.

To prevent these risks of obsolescence following three strategies are established:


Proactive Obsolescence Management:

Premature analyze of the bill of material to get the information about the actual lifecycle status to estimate the risk of components becoming obsolete

Strategic Obsolescence Management:

Long term strategy to avoid the use of endangered components

Reactive Obsolescence Management:

Instruction to deal with obsolescent components after receipt of EOL notice


The combination of these three Obsolescence Management strategies will mainly lead to longevity of systems, but also to many other advantages:

Important points are the early determining of endangered components and the maximization of the acting horizon to find efficient alternatives.

But also the reduction of the use of pricey broker commodities and the avoidance of redesigns and requalifications are essential for a working Obsolescence Management.

If the Obsolescence Management strategies are followed product-specific the result will be an overview over the complete product-lifecycle costs and highest safety for components.



Last modified on Friday, 11 January 2013 16:52
Stefanie Koelbl

Stefanie Koelbl is working in Obsolescence Management for TQ-Systems.


TQ-Systems is an E²MS service provider and supplier of embedded modules and systems near Munich in Germany.

TQ offers Obsolescence Management services to its corporate clients but also to external businesses.

The spectrum extends over analyses of bills of materials and products, monitoring endangered components, redesigns, audits and workshops about obsolescence issues and long-term storage in nitrogen.

TQ´s strong points are flexible terms, supplies on time, German quality standards and client-specific solutions.

Because of the membership in the Component Obsolescence Group Germany -COG Deutschland- TQ´s clients further are always kept informed about the latest progresses in obsolescence issues for a fair payment and will experience high ROIs on their mature products.



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