Automated system obsolescence is an inevitable aspect of any manufacturing operation. Accumulating replacement parts and properly timing equipment updates are two tactics for keeping older systems operational.
To stay on the cutting edge of new technology and gain competitive advantages, many OEMs regularly refresh their equipment catalogs to provide end customers with the fastest, most intelligent, and energy-efficient options to support the recent advancements, older one’s systems’ maintenance and support are neglected. End customers are left with a potentially barren market for spare hardware, electronic shortage, and even essential software.
To better manage obsolete parts, various strategies, tools, and services can help.
- Prepare for obsolescence well in advance.
- Before a part becomes obsolete, stock up on it.
- Identify substitute parts
Always remember the more complex a component or part, the lesser strategic options you have to manage obsolescence.
Firstly, you will need a separate team authorized to build and manage obsolete electronic parts, inventory, and other processes. While every organization has its way of managing obsolescence, these are a few tips that can help you get started.
Create a report
Have your teams create a report to alert the departments when a part becomes obsolete. To figure out what parts haven’t been created in a certain amount of time, use part numbers and order history. This may be six months or two years, depending on how long your firm considers enough. Maintain the process regularly to avoid accumulating a large backlog of obsolete pieces.
Communicate with the sales team
Use the report to alert your sales team when it’s time to inquire about slow-moving parts or goods with a customer. Customer engagement will help your sales team build trust and better understand your client’s products, demands, and market movements.
Allocate a location for the obsolescence management teams
Designate a location for the OBS and EOL teams to stage damaged inventory during the procedure so that it does not enter production.
The area doesn’t have to be big as inventory should move through efficiently, especially if you employ the FIFO technique. As you don’t have much room to let stuff accumulate, a compact area can also help you retain an efficient pace.
Make a last-time bulk purchase.
This is where the last-time purchase (also known as lifetime purchase) comes in. Make a final bulk buy if a component is critical to your design before it dies. Last-minute purchases are advantageous since they allow you to stock up in case you’re producing a regulated product or if current business conditions prevent you from redesigning your product. A last-time purchase allows you to keep using your product in its current state until you find a better option.
When a component manufacturer delivers an end-of-life notice, anticipate how many of that part your goods will require over the course of their lives and purchase as many as possible. Later, you’ll pat yourself on the back.
Learn from any weaknesses you identify in the process to improve them.
It is natural to come across errors, but it is up to the teams to identify the mistakes and improve the process by fixing them.
Any manufacturing industry has to deal with obsolescence. Although upgrading systems before they become obsolete is the optimum answer, it is not always logistically feasible or cost-effective. It’s critical to have a plan in place to deal with the support of older equipment. Whether that means building a calculated spare parts stockpile, collecting a team of experts to support a complex system, or deciding to update before obsolescence, a variety of factors must be considered. An experienced integrator with a track record of sustaining older systems can be a valuable resource in navigating this common but complex problem.
Summit Electronics is a global distributor and sales agent for the latest, assigned hard-to-find and obsolete electronic parts and electrical components, such as transistors, diodes, IGBTs, capacitors, switches, power rectifiers, electron tubes, integrated circuits, relays, MOSFETs, and voltage regulators, among other things. Thanks to our global distribution network, we’ve become purchasing agents for some of the world’s leading component firms.
Summit Electronics Corporation can give you unique services to ensure the smooth flow of your production line. Summit Electronics is one of the best distributors of obsolete electronic parts and components in the US.