Obsolescence is here to stay but it can be managed!
Globalisation, business consolidation and short development and production cycles, particularly in electronics, mean that components and equipment are often withdrawn from the market within 5-10 years of their launch; if the economic life of your asset is 30 years, sustaining the asset quickly becomes problematical. Obsolescence management becomes important in this business environment and is now formalised in the new standard IEC62402:2019, which describes how to assess and mitigate obsolescence risk. Obsolescence management covers all types of parts (electronic, electrical, mechanical), as well as materials, software, skills and infrastructure, and is essential to the sustainability of many businesses.
The importance of obsolescence management is increasingly being recognized outside the traditional sectors of aerospace, defence, railways and energy. B2B (Business to Business) customers are increasingly tendering for through-life design and support contracts where the obsolescence risk is transferred to the supplier for the economic life of the asset, and valuation criteria for tenders will include the supplier’s obsolescence management capability.
If they are to remain competitive as the B2B market evolves, suppliers must develop the capability to sustain their products to manage their service and servitisation order book; asset owners and operators need to be able to identify best-in-class suppliers who are able to deliver on their commitments.
Companies in the Automation Control Engineering sector may well be looking for support in this area.
The International Institute of Obsolescence Management (IIOM) is the organisation that can help you!
IIOM is a community of experts from more than 240 companies worldwide helping each other to resolve issues and exchange best practice, holding regular meetings and conferences in the UK, Germany and the USA. IIOM is developing professional qualifications for obsolescence management professionals, and three companies are now approved to deliver IIOM endorsed training; two in the UK and one in Germany. IIOM member companies can provide obsolescence management services such as parts management, and obsolescence solutions.
The next meeting of IIOM UK will be held on Tuesday 15th October in Swindon at Double Tree by Hilton; if you would like to attend as a guest, please contact the IIOM CTO.