Equipment obsolescence has a major impact on the Availability, Supportability and Through Life Costs of systems and projects across the complete spectrum of technologies. If Obsolescence is managed early and addressed methodically it has the potential to provide significant cost avoidance through the life of the project. The following pages are designed to assist organisations in assessing the benefits of establishing an obsolescence management framework.
Why Choose CMCA(UK) to Manage Your Obsolescence?
Many organisations do not have the resources or knowledge to manage obsolescence and therefore prefer to employ the expertise of a Subject Matter Expert. CMCA(UK) has a proven track record in providing this expertise to a number of blue chip companies within the UK and across the globe. Our services can be tailored to meet your specific needs but would typically include:
- Obsolescence Management Strategy Advice;
- Obsolescence Management Planning;
- Obsolescence Management Health Checks and Impact Appraisals;
- Tracking of all equipment within the Bill of Materials for your Project(s);
- Advanced notification of impending obsolescence together with mitigation options;
- Sourcing, procurement and storage of critical components and assemblies.
Our approach is compliant with industry standards including BS EN 62402:2007 (Obsolescence Management Application Guide). We also pride ourselves on being innovative and we are always developing solutions and thought leadership that go above and beyond industry guidelines. Our mission is simple: CMCA(UK) – Protecting your future today…
What is Proactive Obsolescence Management?
Today’s technologies are changing so rapidly that system and design engineers have trouble keeping up with combinations of ‘available’ components that are compatible with supported versions of their products, both legacy and new build. Given that commercial components are being declared obsolete at an increasing rate and with greater frequency, the situation has become a major challenge for any company involved in the support of complex or long life equipment. Many mechanical and electrical systems are expected to have a service life of between 10 and 40 years although the components and assemblies used in these systems have significantly shorter lifecycles, the impact of which cannot be completely mitigated by technology refresh and mid-life upgrades alone. 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.
Why Perform Proactive Obsolescence Management?
In the current economic climate many systems are being extended beyond their original ‘Out of Service Date’ and this is forcing organisations to rethink their support strategies. Put simply, obsolescence is a major through life cost driver for any complex or long life equipment. The potential impact is compounded further for systems that have a reliance on active components such as processors, semiconductors and logic devices. Consequently, Obsolescence Management is recognised as an intrinsic part of the Logistic Support planning process and it is imperative to address obsolescence risk early within the project Through Life Management Planning cycle. The deployment of a proactive Obsolescence Management framework as a systems engineering discipline will help you to achieve the best availability at the optimum cost of ownership through integration of the obsolescence support solution with product design or selection.
Impact of not Performing Obsolescence Management
The impact of a ‘do nothing’ or purely reactive approach to obsolescence can be highly damaging both in terms of rectification costs and company reputation. Furthermore, organisations are increasingly turning to support contracts where ‘availability’ is a key metric within the performance assessment and payment of milestones. Unavailability is often a consequence of poor Obsolescence Management and the development of a tailored strategy, plan, monitoring and review regime will therefore reduce the likelihood of system downtime due to an obsolescence arising.
A number of studies have been completed that seek to quantify the impact of not performing fit for purpose Obsolescence Management. In 2004 the UK Ministry of Defence commissioned QinetiQ and ARINC to complete a Component Obsolescence Resolution Cost Metrics Study. The project team consulted with 99 sources across industry to analyse the average engineering resolution costs across the range of solutions from proactive obsolescence options through to major redesign. The report presented the following metrics:
A similar study was carried out by the US Government in 2010 during which these non-recurring costs were revalidated and released to US departments as a benchmark.