Glossary of Terms

Designed to help you understand the jargon and decipher the acronyms.


Bill of materials is a list of the parts or components that are required to build a product.

BoM Health Check

A BoM (bill of materials) health check determines the current status of a component or the availability of required parts i.e. current, obsolescent or obsolete.

BoM Scrub

BoM scrubbing is a key service that guarantees ordered part accuracy to ensure that the correct components are monitored.

BS EN 62402

BS EN 62402 is the British Standard version of the Obsolescence Management application guide.


Codification is the process by which a detailed catalogue of everything our Armed Forces use on a daily basis is compiled– in a common and consistent manner. Technical descriptions of every item are stored on a central system along with who makes and supplies it.


COMPASS is the CMCA(UK) proprietary Obsolescence Management Tool

Component Analysis

Component analysis is a statistical technique for revealing hidden factors that underline sets of random variables, measurements or signals.

Component Monitoring

Component monitoring is the monitoring of items, components, substances and chemicals current availability and impending obsolescence.

Counterfeit Prevention

Counterfeit prevention is the process of identifying and screening hardware solutions to avoid introducing fraudulent or imitation components into the supply chain.

DATA cleansing

Data cleansing is the process of detecting corrupt or inaccurate records for a component or part and then finding the original source for that component or part if it still exists.

Diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages (DMSMS)

The loss or impeding loss of manufactures items or supplier’s items of raw materials. DMSMS is often used as a substitute reference to Obsolescence Management.

End of Life (EOL)

End of life is a term used with respect to a product supplied to customers, indicating that the product is in the end of its useful life (from the vendor’s point of view), and a vendor intends to stop marketing, selling, or sustaining it.


Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short or dielectric breakdown.

ESD protection

ESD protection is the prevention and control of electrostatic discharge.

Fit Form Function (F3i)

The term fit form and function is the identification of an items key identifying characteristics.

Humidity control

Humidity control is the control of the water vapour in the air.


IEC62402 is the international standard guide for obsolescence management.

Integrated Logistics Support (ILS)

ILS is an integrated and iterative process for developing materiel and a support strategy that optimizes functional support, leverages existing resources, and guides the system engineering process to quantify and lower life cycle cost and decrease the logistics footprint (demand for logistics), making the system easier to support.

Interactive Parts Catalogues (IPC)

An interactive Parts Catalogue (IPC) is a fully illustrated digital catalogue of parts that enables users to select and order items online, the main purpose of which is to reduce search time and avoid part order errors.

Inventory Management

Inventory Management is crucial for maintaining the optimum number or amount of each inventory item. The objective of inventory management is to provide uninterrupted production, sales, customer service levels at the minimum cost.

Last Time Buy

Last Time Buy’s are necessary when a product is flagged as obsolescent but still required indefinitely as part of an assembly, so the remaining quantity available is purchased and stored until required.

Life Time Buy

One strategy used to combat diminishing manufacturing sources whereby the end user will buy additional parts during the production run of an assembly, in quantities sufficient to cover the expected number of failures throughout the life of the equipment.

Line Replaceable Item/ Unit

A line-replaceable item (LRI) or unit (LRU) is an essential support item which is removed and replaced at the field level to restore the end item to an operational ready condition.

Long Term Nitrogen Storage

Long term nitrogen storage is the storage of components in nitrogen filled cabinets of suitable relative humidity in order to “time-lock” them until they are required. CMCA(UK)’s storage facilities are both EPA and ESD protected.


NAMSA is the acronym for NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency.

NATO Codification System (NCS)

The NATO Codification System (NCS) is a uniform and common system for the identification, classification and stock numbering of Items of Supply, used by all NATO countries. It is designed to achieve MAXIMUM effectiveness in Logistic support (One Item – One Number)

NATO Stock Number (NSN)

NSN’s are issued by the National Codification Bureaus’ and consist of a 13 digit number which individually identifies all standardized material items of supply. NSN’s form part of the NCS.


NCB is an acronym for the National Codification Bureau. In the UK the NATO Codification System is run by the UKNCB in Glasgow.


Obsolescence can present itself in two ways; the item in question is no longer suitable for current demands, or is no longer available from the original manufacturer. Obsolescence is not limited to electronic components although they are the most severely affected.

Obsolescence Management Plan

Obsolescence Management Plan (OMP) refers to the strategy put in place to combat any identified obsolescence risks.

Obsolescence Management Services

Obsolescence Management Services (OMS) describes the Obsolescence related services provided by an organisation to identify and mitigate obsolescence risk. This will typically cover such aspects as risk identification, component monitoring and BoM health checks.

Obsolescence Management/ Obsolescence Mitigation

Putting plans in place to reduce future obsolescence risk. Implementation of a Proactive Obsolescence Management Plan can significantly minimize the impact of obsolescence and its potential high costs.


The identified source of the component has stated that its availability will cease at a given point in time.


The item is no longer manufactured by the original equipment manufacturer but does not necessarily mean it is unavailable.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) is a term used when a company makes a part or subsystem that is used in another company's end product.

Proactive Obsolescence

Proactive Obsolescence Management consists of a robust cycle of planning, monitoring, mitigating and reviewing that is designed to minimise the impact of obsolescence on system support costs and availability, through the early identification and application of appropriate strategies, resources, tools and resolution options.

Procurement Services

Procurement Services within CMCA(UK) refers to a global parts sourcing and delivery service for hard to find and obsolete parts on a 'No Find, No Fee' basis. Our team of parts experts are proud of their collective ability to source parts that have eluded others.


Q-Star is the Obsolescence Management Tool of QTEC Solutions. CMCA(UK) is the exclusive European agent for the web-based software.


QTEC Solutions is a global provider of innovative component obsolescence counterfeit solutions for manufacturers of long life products with significant electronic component content. Their flagship product is the Q-Star Obsolescence Management tool.

Reactive Obsolescence

It is crucial to identify possible ways to react if obsolescence occurs and a critical part is no longer available. Reactive obsolescence can start with investigating alternative (F3i) and substitute items, securing one-off life-time buys or undertaking a major redesign of a product. Reactive obsolescence can prove very costly which is why it is important to implement an Obsolescence Management Plan (OMP) to mitigate obsolescence threat and reduce through life cost.

Supportability Engineering

Supportability Engineering is important in ensuring an item is available and fit for use over its life cycle demands.

Through-Life Support (TLS)

Through-Life Support describes the integrated, performance-driven approach and activities associated with supporting a product during the operational phase of that product's lifecycle.


The UKNCB is an acronym for the United Kingdom National Codification Bureau based in Glasgow, who are the sole authority in the UK for all NATO Codification Services and policy guidance.


An acronym for X-ray Florescence. XRF is a proven technique for material analysis in a broad range4 of industries and applications; from Positive Materiel Identification, scrap metal sorting, measuring sulphur in oil, analysing coating thickness of metal finishing and metal alloys to quality control in the electronics and consumer goods industry.