Obsolescence Management takes into account the life span of all the moving pieces of your complex system with a plan to replace obsolete parts as they age, before it becomes a crisis. This is not a simple process. Challenges include parts availability, diminishing materials, counterfeit avoidance and knowing where to look to find what you need.
Mirriam Webster defines obsolescence as “the condition of no longer being used or useful.” This simplified definition is inadequate for our purpose.
For our purposes, Obsolescence is when a part, service, or resource is no longer available even though it is still needed. Every industry that depends on technology runs into this critical issue. If not managed effectively, obsolescence will have a negative impact on your business.
The trajectory of technology is doubling every two years; and the rapidly changing landscape often renders needed parts difficult to find or unavailable. This is a critical issue for applications with long lifecycles. Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM’s) support their products for as long as possible but when a part vital to sustaining your system for the next 30 years is no longer available you still have options.
When it comes to obsolescence management of embedded board systems, it is imperative to plan, monitor, forecast and understand where you’re at risk. A complementary Obsolescence Risk Assessment is a risk-free way for you to determine the places you’re vulnerable. The threat of supply chain erosion, OEM End of Life (EOL) notices and LTB notices are real, however, you can mitigate your risk. No one wants to be forced into re-engineering or upgrading.
Obsolescence Management must be anticipated. It’s not cost effective to replace a whole machine simply because one part or a piece of an embedded board system is no longer manufactured, neither is it necessary.