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GDCA's Critical Thoughts

Informed opinions and innovative ideas from a trusted source

What Happens When IVs Dry Up: Interruptions in the Saline Supply Chain

By GDCA | July 28, 2014

Saline isn’t one of the products that most people tend to think about in terms of supply and demand. It has become almost universal in the medical world—especially if you stop to consider how often you see it adorning the background of hospital scenes in film and TV. In addition to being thought of as […]

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The JTAG Interrogator: The Arrival of a New Counter-Counterfeiting Tool

By GDCA | June 18, 2014

The extent of component counterfeiting can be staggering when you think about it: Unmarked refurbished units Salvaged components dressed up to look new Illegal clones or second-run components Tainted components  manufactured with malicious hidden features If non-authentic components have made their way into your production line, then each such situation represents a unique set of […]

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US Navy: Sailing Full Steam Ahead… and Making Petro-Fuels Obsolete?

By GDCA | June 4, 2014

Earlier this spring, scientists at the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) announced a prototype process for producing liquid hydrocarbon fuel from seawater. NRL’s proprietary process uses a modular reaction system to remove CO2 from seawater (with 92% efficiency) while producing hydrogen gas. Once separated, the nickel-supported catalyst conversion system combines them again into liquid hydrocarbon […]

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DARPA’s Defense Against Counterfeiting: SHIELD

By GDCA | May 21, 2014

At DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office (MTO), proposals are already being accepted for the new Supply Chain Hardware Integrity for Electronics program, aka SHIELD. The SHIELD program will be the DOD’s response to component counterfeiting in the supply chain and will include the use of a “a small (100 micron x 100 micron) component, or dielet, that authenticates […]

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Microgrid Death Spiral: The Argument Over “Obsolete” Power Infrastructure

By GDCA | May 7, 2014
City Lights

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 […]

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Counterfeit Components Hurt More Than Military Applications

By GDCA | April 23, 2014

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 […]

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

By GDCA | April 9, 2014
Avengers Ship

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 […]

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Drinking From a Too-Short Straw: The Brutal Costs of Mismanaging Obsolescence

By GDCA | March 12, 2014

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 […]

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Obsolescence: Too Soon or Not Soon Enough?

By GDCA | February 26, 2014
High Voltage Utility Pole

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? […]

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Keys to Managing DMSMS: A Clear Assessment of Obsolescence Risk

By GDCA | November 13, 2013

“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 […]

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