July 7, 2020

RISK – There’s more to Obsolescence Management than Proactive Component Monitoring…


For many years now, Obsolescence Managers and Engineers have utilised our Component Monitoring Reports to track the availability of components on their Bill of Material, with some also using online tools such as QSTAR to supplement this. However, questions often faced by our customers are:  

  • How do I determine which components to monitor?”
  • “What actions do I need to take when obsolescence issue is reported?”

Here at CMCA(UK) we are increasingly working with our customers at the outset of their Obsolescence Management Strategies and assisting them in the creation of their Obsolescence Management Plans. A key element of this is conducting Risk Analyses and Assessments on the entire Bill of Materials. This results in components being identified either at a Low Risk of Obsolescence and requiring a Reactive approach, and those that are at a Medium or High Risk of Obsolescence requiring a Proactive approach. In general, for electronic components the principals of the obsolescence triplet of Probability, Impact and Cost are applied in accordance with the international standard IEC62402:2019. However, experience teaches us that ‘one size’ does not fit all and as such we work closely with our customers to develop risk processes tailored to their needs and product ranges. By following this approach we are able to conduct Risk Assessments on the full range of component types including, for example, mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic; and we are able to include additional factors such as the impact of the REACH Regulation. Following this risk analysis the component monitoring lists can then be produced.   But that isn’t the end of the process with regards to risk. Once an obsolescence issue has been identified for a component, any mitigations or resolutions require management. We can also work with our customers to produce and manage Risk Registers where the process of mitigation or resolution can be tracked to completion, be that a simple ‘watching brief’, undertaking Last Time Buys , identifying alternatives or equivalents through to conducting more detailed investigations into different engineering solutions. We also have our own specialist Long Term Storage facilities where we store Last Time Buy and critical spares on behalf of many clients, either in a nitrogen or dry-store environment depending on their specific needs. These spares are then issued forward as and when required to enable the client to meet their ongoing repair, maintenance and support commitments. If you’d like to know more then please do get in touch with us.


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