When you need an embedded board that is still in production, it is easy to call the OEM, order what you want, and receive delivery. Because everything needed to produce your product is still readily available, you don’t have to worry about issues like accessibility, documentation, or counterfeit parts. However, after the point when an […]
Embedded World 2017 was a blast! After 2 weeks on the road of sub-zero temperatures in DC, Boston, Ottawa, and Montreal it was great to see spring for the first time in 2017 in Nürnberg (Nuremberg! German beer is best consumed in the sunshine!) At the fair, all the OEMs I spoke with were jam packed with […]
Plan sustainment early Budget for sustainment Identify your high-risk/critical components Manage the big picture Strategically plan your design refresh Innovation is known for making products better, faster, and smarter. When it comes to technology, that also means smaller and more compact. In an ideal world, innovation moves society and culture forward, saving lives and bringing […]
Have you ever requested additional post-EOL LTBs from your board OEM, only to find you need more boards later on?
Board OEMs care about their customers. If these OEMs could continue to provide the quality products their customers have come to depend on, most would. For the majority of customers, upgrades are a welcome and viable option; however for some, upgrades are not possible.
Board OEMs do what they can. Most offer some kind of lifecycle assurance plan that can extend support for 5-10 years after EOL of the board. Unfortunately, funding and forecasting for unusually long and sometimes indefinite program lifecycles leave these plans out of reach for many customers.
Obsolescence can pose a grave threat to individuals, economies, and nations. Security and defense receive a great deal of attention in our Critical Thoughts section, partly because they are domains in which obsolescence is highly visible and easily conceived. In fact, the defense industry has its own acronym, that specifically outlines the necessary steps to avoid problems caused by counterfeit and obsolescence.
The medical industry can be a loaded topic for a variety of reasons and, unsurprisingly, obsolescence within the health tech field can be equally touchy. Obsolescence in medical technology forces us to take a critical look at some of the equipment we use every day to help millions of people around the globe—equipment we’d much rather assume was cutting edge and in tip-top shape. Like defense systems, the embedded electronic systems in the health field save lives, keep people healthy and able to work, and ultimately contribute to the stability of loved ones and nations around the world.
Imagine waking up in the middle of the night with chest pains. You can’t call 911 because you live in a region without telephone service. There are few emergency services available and, even so, there are few functional roads. The pains pass, but you know you need to have it looked at. You begin the long, possibly dangerous trek from your remote home to one of the surrounding urban areas. You will try to locate a medical center, where you will receive modern medical care and access to high-tech diagnostics and treatments that aren’t available in your area.
In January of 2013, the Edison Electric Institute released a report titled “Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business”, which outlined a variety of challenges traditional power utilities will face in the upcoming years. The current power infrastructure in the United States wasn’t constructed with end-user power generation in mind, so the increasing power independence of households and businesses creates threats of “irreparable damages to revenues and growth prospects.” Chief among new technologies are advanced renewable energy sources, including solar, and the growth of grid-independent distributed power generators, aka microgrids.
When reading the news around counterfeit components, much of the dialogue is driven by the defense industry. When you are dealing with systems that protect our national security and the lives of the people out in the field – you’re not dealing with counterfeits in a bunch of trivial electronics. You’re taking necessary steps to protect the lives of men and women who depend on the systems for their safety. Since 2011 more than 1800 cases of counterfeit components were reported in defense applications, including mission computers operating the THAAD missile system, in the Air Force’s C-27J, in the Navy’s P-8A, and in electromagnetic interference filters on an SH-60B helicopter.
However, the trouble with counterfeits isn’t limited to the defense industry and the military. They’re just currently the ones driving the conversation and legislation such as the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Sec. 818.
It can be easy for those of us in the embedded industry to think of obsolescence as predominantly an electronics or software issue and to imagine its scope as limited to small- or medium-scale consequences. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that obsolescence is a problem across many industries, and the consequences can be severe. The […]
It is strange how onboarding the concept of legacy sustainment can change the way you look at the world around you. On a recent road trip along one of the nation’s many two-lane highways, I found myself wondering about the thousands upon thousands of wooden utility poles dotting the landscape. How often are they repaired? […]