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 […]
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.
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? […]
“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 […]
“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 […]
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.
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.
Throughout my work with GDCA and all the issues around obsolescence, I have never come across someone who believes that obsolescence is something to be celebrated and welcomed. Everything associated with obsolescence is considered something to be avoided.
The concept of planned obsolescence brings with it connotations of either designing a product to wear out too soon or creating something newer and better to encourage people to upgrade. Forced obsolescence brings connotations of scrambling to source the parts that will keep legacy systems sustainable and having to redesign or recertify systems not yet ready to upgrade.