Obsolescence: The Problem that Never Goes Away

In our last blog post (please see Form-Fit-Function Solutions: A Modest Proposal for Defense Department Cost Savings), we discussed a method in which replacement parts can be customized to supply the same functionality (or better) of an old part that may no longer be in production or may have become obsolete. While preparing that blog, we came across an article in New Electronics that discussed further problems with obsolescent technology and steps that can be taken to reduce the risk that it poses.

In the article Dealing with the Problems of Obsolescence, Graham Pitcher (an editor at New Electronics) writes that his magazine’s readers listed obsolete electronics as one of the biggest problems facing their businesses. ObsolescenceThe head of the Component Obsolescence Group (COG) told Pitcher that projects that need to “keep something in the sky or under the sea for 30 years” are increasingly experiencing problems with obsolete components. While designers today feel the pressure to shorten the upgrade cycle of their offerings, project managers are feeling the equal-but-opposite pressure to extend the life cycle of their ventures.

“While military projects were an early driver of obsolescence management, COG is now dealing with issues in the oil and gas, rail and nuclear industries, amongst others,” COG Chairman Stuart Kelly told the magazine. “These industries face the same issues, as do any with long-life projects.”

Kelly noted that the best approach to the problem is to meet it head on. COG’s website states: “Most companies deal with obsolescence in a reactive way, where they suddenly find that a component is not available. COG promotes proactive management where tools and procedures are put in place which monitor the life cycle of components and aim to have as much information as possible available on their bill of materials.”

Here at Behlman, we provide solutions to the problems of dealing with obsolete power supplies for a variety of applications. If you find yourself facing a problem involving obsolete power electronics, contact us for a potential solution.

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