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Military & Aerospace

Pioneer in Obsolescence Management and Legacy Sustainment for embedded technology

  • DNA tagging: A post production anti-counterfeit solution?

    DNA tagging: A post production anti-counterfeit solution?

    No matter what your opinion; DNA tagging is currently one of the top methods being discussed to ensure component authentication.  The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) even issued a Request for Information on the subject.

    Unfortunately, due to the costs projected and associated with DNA tagging and authentication, few businesses appear to be looking forward to the prospect.

    At first glance DNA tagging, like many of the industry’s current solutions, makes sense:  increase the complexity of the marks so that counterfeiters are unable reproduce it. DNA would be a “tag” both difficult and expensive to try and recreate.  However, DNA tagging and many of the solutions being proposed are “point forward” solutions that, in order to be truly effective, would need to be implemented at the component manufacturing level, not once parts have left the factory floor.

  • DMSMS 2012 – Sustaining an Integrated Supply Chain

    DMSMS 2012 – Sustaining an Integrated Supply Chain

    After our evacuation from New Orleans, we wrote about the part that collaboration played in our experiences. While we focused on how the collaboration mostly focused on safely addressing an incoming hurricane; generally when we talk about collaboration here at GDCA, we’re talking about collaboration in the sense of an integrated supply chain poised to protect the embedded industry from unplanned obsolescence.

    That is why we’re taking a moment to celebrate and announce that DMSMS 2012 is back in the saddle for November 26-29, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

    We know that in the face of obsolescence no one can afford to be isolated in the supply chain.  That is why we are pleased to announce that in partnership with Curtiss-Write, IHS, and Rochester Electronics we will be presenting on the realities of cross-industry sustainment: Building an Integrated Supply Chain to Support Warfighter Systems.

  • DMSMS 2012 – Evacuation from Hurricane Isaac and Collaboration in Action

    DMSMS 2012 – Evacuation from Hurricane Isaac and Collaboration in Action

    Proactive obsolescence management can often be an adventure.  I like to think of it as a cross-industry supply chain game of chess.  On one side, you have legacy experts like GDCA, with a quarter of a century of experience sustaining legacy systems.  On the other side you have counterfeit risk, disruptive technology and time.

    This year, we had an additional player when it comes to long-term support adventures: Hurricane Isaac.

    “DMSMS” is a defense industry term and you can’t talk about embedded obsolescence management without eventually coming across it.  For anyone not familiar with it, it stands for Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Material Shortages.  These shortages can happen due to ongoing disruptive technology (going from NAND to DRAM), environmental disaster (such a flooding in Thailand or the nuclear emergencies in Japan), and plain old EOL.  And, because you can’t always predict how obsolescence and end-of-life is going to impact a supply chain, you can imagine that the DMSMS conference is something we at GDCA look forward to every year.

  • The Human Factor: When losing older workers leads to obsolescence

    The Human Factor: When losing older workers leads to obsolescence

    Ask anyone who drives an older car.  As the system ages, it develops its own quirks.  You have to jiggle the shifter in park to get the keys out of the ignition.  You have to pump the gas twice before it starts up on a cold day.  The AC has to be turned off when going up a steep hill on days over 96 degrees.  A particular brand of brakes work better when driving in California, as opposed to Montana.  You know that you can get away with just 2/3rds of the thread on the bolts, but only for 6 weeks.

    In short, you know that system inside and out: all the bugs, the features, and quirks that impact operation and repair.

    Unless your mechanic is into vintage cars, though, he’s not going to relish working on an older vehicle.    A younger mechanic may tell you the car is “old” and you’re better off just getting a new one – just when the old one was about to become a “classic.”

    Not everyone, however, wants to — or can afford to — just buy a new car. The same goes for trying to sustain a legacy mission-critical system.

  • Vehicle Electronics and the U.S. Army’s New VICTORY Standard

    You can see in the picture of this Humvee (HMMWV), with all the bolt-on equipment there is barely room for the driver.

    Imagine, in order to do your daily job, you had Linux for email, an Apple II for web browsing, an old Windows 95 tower for excel spreadsheets, and a DOS machine for word processing. Rotary phones only work for some people you need to call, and you need a cellphone for others. Floppy drives, zip disks, punch cards, tape spools, fax machines, scanners, and a dot matrix printer… and the various hardware is all proprietary, yet necessary.  Not only is there no room for you at your desk, you seem to spend a lot of time (on your touch-tone phone) with technical support.

    Like the image above, modern combat vehicle electronics can resemble a bowl of hardware spaghetti.  Different “bolt-on” devices and adaptors are stitched together by multiple suppliers who may be using different standards and interfaces.  With barely enough room for a soldier wearing body armor, integration and interoperability have become key concerns.

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