Beer manufacturers are to cease producing the beverage by summer. Consumers are being advised to stock up on supplies while it is still available, get used to enjoying soft drinks, or obtain equipment so that they can make beer themselves at home.
How surprised would you be if this news dropped into your email inbox? If you’ve been working in the electronics industry for a while, it might just sound familiar: we’re faced with the problem of electronic component obsolescence.
There are several reasons which could lead to this situation, and they include the following:
- The rapid growth of the electronics industry, which means that components have a shorter life cycle than the systems that use them.
- The implementation of new processes or materials which allow semiconductor manufacturers to reduce their costs by adapting to them.
- The introduction of more restrictive environmental regulations which affect the materials used for construction or assembly.
- Programmed obsolescence…
Although it affects all sectors, its impact is greatest in industry and the rail, vertical transport, aerospace and medical industries, as these are obliged to keep their products “alive” for periods which greatly exceed the short lifespan of 5-6 years that many electronic components have nowadays.
How can we manage such situations? Basically by knowing the status of the component in terms of its life cycle. This indicator tells us whether the component is Pre-Release (not yet in a stable production phase), Production (in normal production), NRND (not recommended for new designs), LTB (the product will no longer be available from a certain date), Obsolete (no longer being manufactured)…
Instead of adopting the passive attitude of “we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”, our aim at IKOR is to work proactively during each stage of the product in order to minimise its impact
- During the Development Phase of a new product, by ensuring that we use components that are not in decline and incorporating different design alternatives.
- During the Industrialisation Phase, by checking the status of components included in the BOM supplied by the Client and suggesting alternative components which could replace those which pose any risk Check our services.
- During the Mass Production phase, by periodically monitoring the status so that we can identify risky situations sufficiently in advance and take corrective action (procurement of materials, redesign, finding other safe sources of supply…)
If component obsolescence is poorly managed, it can create significant problems for the OEM. In response, the industry has introduced standards (IEC 62402 Obsolescence management – Application guide) and created specialised websites like obsolescence.com where the various parties affected can share information and find a solution to their problem.
At IKOR, we can’t stop beer from becoming a thing of the past, but we can help prevent stories such as this from keeping you awake at night.