Obsolescence is now beginning to affect a wide range of industries at a greater pace than ever before. Throughout series 2, we delve deeper into the innovative ways that manufacturers can manage obsolescence and look more closely at some of the benefits that both pre-emptive and predictive approaches can achieve for a facility.
Did you know that the term ‘computer’ originally described a job title? Before being electronic machines, computers used to be people who did mathematical calculations for companies or governmental authorities. Human computers played a vital role at institutions like NASA, but with the advent of electronic computers, their job became obsolete. The same happens to a lot of automation components, made obsolete by more modern and efficient alternatives.
When an obsolete component breaks, manufacturers might struggle to find a replacement. This is especially true in highly regulated sectors like pharmaceuticals or food processing, where like-for-like replacements are not an option and the exact same part has to be sourced. Second-hand parts might seem like a great solution, but they come with a variety of risks.
Evidence shows that components obsolescence is increasing rapidly. According to recent research by IHS Technology, in the year 2000 alone, component manufacturers issued 1,164 end-of-life or product discontinuance notices, and the figure spiked to 5,506 by 2014. Though IHS forecasts that the number of such notices is going to decline, it’s always best to be prepared.
Three innovative approaches to obsolescence management
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