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Military & Aerospace

Pioneer in Obsolescence Management and Legacy Sustainment for embedded technology

  • A Tale of Two SHIELDS: Marvel Comics, DARPA, and Counterfeiting

    A Tale of Two SHIELDS: Marvel Comics, DARPA, and Counterfeiting

    Marvel Comic’s SHIELD (Strategic help Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) and, slick as it is, it is more likely to wind up counterfeited than prevent counterfeiting

    It is a program devised by a secretive government agency. Its purpose is to organize and motivate the top actors in their fields to come together to prevent crimes that threaten not only the economy but our national security. It focuses its attention on producing cutting-edge technologies. It is SHIELD, and it is becoming a reality.

    No . . . no . . . not that SHIELD. That’s Marvel Comic’s SHIELD (Strategic help Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division) and, slick as it is, it is more likely to wind up counterfeited than prevent counterfeiting. We’re talking about the Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics Defense program being initiated by DARPA, and rather than placing a series of gigantic floating gun platforms in the upper atmosphere, it’s looking to place tiny 100 micron by 100 micron authentication dielets on all the electronic components used in Department of Defense programs.

  • Keys to Managing DMSMS: A Clear Assessment of Obsolescence Risk

    Keys to Managing DMSMS: A Clear Assessment of Obsolescence Risk

    “Proactively consider DMSMS through[out] a system’s life cycle by anticipating potential DMSMS occurrences and taking appropriate logistics, acquisition, and budgeting steps to prevent DMSMS from adversely affecting readiness or total ownership cost.” SD-22 DMSMS Guidebook Continued from a previous post: Being Proactive While obsolescence management traditionally starts after products become mature, that is really waiting […]

  • Keys to Successfully Managing DMSMS: Being Proactive

    Keys to Successfully Managing DMSMS: Being Proactive

    “Proactively take timely and effective actions to identify and minimize the DMSMS impact on DoD acquisition and logistics support efforts.” SD-22 DMSMS Guidebook The DMSMS conference is just around the corner. As a conference all about obsolescence management, it tends to be one we look forward to every year. This year, we’re looking to take […]

  • SAE AeroTech 2013: Innovation and Total Life Cycle Support

    SAE AeroTech 2013: Innovation and Total Life Cycle Support

    The SAE 2013 AeroTech Congress and Exhibition in Montréal, Quebec, Canada, brought together an international community to discuss both design and total life-cycle sustainment. Commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) boards and components continue to bring technological achievements in the form of advanced flight systems, heads-up displays, sensors that track aircraft usage to identify the best time for […]

  • CALCE Counterfeit avoidance: Tags won’t fix the supply chain issue

    CALCE Counterfeit avoidance: Tags won’t fix the supply chain issue

    When it comes to avoiding counterfeit components, the CALCE and SMTA “Counterfeit East” symposium at the University of Maryland, College Park is a conference we look forward to attending.  Counterfeit avoidance discussions continue to fall in a couple of camps: tags and tagging, test and inspection and quality/process control.  On the legal side of things, […]

  • Counterfeit Components: More than parts — it is about people

    Counterfeit Components: More than parts — it is about people

    With the dialog about counterfeits in the supply chain, it is easy to lose track of what counterfeits actually mean.  Yes, they will hurt your business. Yes, they can lead to heavy penalties and jail time, but counterfeits can also lead to jeopardizing lives; a risk that could otherwise have been avoided.

    I am always looking for recent numbers and reports to keep the topic fresh and moving forward. But, recently, as I researched my paper for the upcoming SMTA International conference, I’ve come across some new numbers that drives home, once again, how vulnerable everyone is to the issues around counterfeits.

    I personally take an average of 2-4 flights every month. According to the FAA, the amount of travel Americans are doing both for business and recreation is increasing. It is projected that the total number of people flying commercially on U.S. airlines will increase from 732 million to 746 million in 2013, and increase to 1.2 billion by 2032. And in 2010 the FAA estimated that some 520,000 counterfeit parts make their way into planes each year.

  • Refurbished Boards: What works today may not be reliable tomorrow

    Refurbished Boards: What works today may not be reliable tomorrow

    Saying that something is “good enough for government work” is often meant as a joke and the reference implies “mediocre work.” The irony is that “government work” is often highly sophisticated; systems are designed and engineered to operate in the most extreme environmental conditions for a very long period of time.

    I recently had the pleasure of having lunch with a talented component engineer who has spent much of his career working in the defense industry.  During the course of our discussion I learned that some aviation systems need ICs to operate in temperature extremes ranging from -55°C to 125°C; ground units often travel in harsh environmental conditions (e.g. fighting extreme heat and sand storms in deserts) while being exposed to hostile attacks; satellites traveling through orbit are exposed to protons and heavy ions from solar flares, yet must operate reliably in space.

  • Will sequestration increase the risk of counterfeit components in the supply chain?

    Will sequestration increase the risk of counterfeit components in the supply chain?

    Between Section 818 in the NDAA FY12 and the NDAA FY13 Amendment, the defense industry is highly aware of the risks of counterfeit components in the supply chain.  As a rule, logistics teams know not to purchase parts off EBay but from authorized sources, or purchase directly from the manufacturer.  They know about the SAE standards AS5553 and AS6081 for business processes and they know about guidelines for purchasing and authenticating components.

  • Looking at Legacy: Proactively managing the risk of counterfeit components

    Looking at Legacy: Proactively managing the risk of counterfeit components

    In general, defense sustainment and counterfeit avoidance has been left to DMSMS teams and logistics or engineering tactics.  However, so far the solution has primarily been to develop standards, authentication and anti-counterfeit technologies.  These responses have been critical, but have largely remained reactive and have not produced the dynamic collaboration crucial to maintaining a healthy, proactive supply chain.  Instead, each player is left facing inward — focusing on solutions from their own particular positions in the supply chain — but without the resources to truly be proactive.

  • The Risks of EOL: Lifetime Buy in “real world” terms

    The Risks of EOL: Lifetime Buy in “real world” terms

    In the past we’ve talked about the challenges of Last-time Buy and overstock.  In Dr. Sandborn’s CALCE Obsolescence Management training, this question illustrates the challenges and risks in regards to what customers can face, at the time of EOL.  The answer might be easy if you were looking at a “bridge buy”, where you only need enough to get you to the point of a planned upgrade.  If I had to only buy shoes to get me through five years it would be challenging but I could probably come up with a pretty good estimate based on the last five years of my life.

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