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Strategies to the Prediction, Mitigation and Management of Product Obsolescence by Michael G. Pecht, Peter Sandborn, Ulrich Ermel, Bjoern Bartels

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Chapter 3

Introduction to Electronic Part Product Life Cycles

The electronics industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in the world economy. In the United States, this industry has grown at a rate three times that of the overall economy since the 1990s. The rapid growth of the electronics industry, the massive competition among part manufacturers, the high investments in production lines, and bankruptcies attibutable to the economic crisis of 2008–09 have together cumulatively spurred a dramatic change in the manufacturing of the products and systems we buy. New parts are constantly being introduced with increased speed, reduced feature size and supply voltage, and leading-edge interconnection and packaging technologies. As a result, new products and systems that use these new parts are exploiting these capabilities both to provide product differentiation and to increase demand and sales. Even as the worldwide per capita income decreased by 2 percent in 2009 in comparison to 2008, the number of smart phones sold grew by 13.2 percent, the number of shipped LCD TVs by 42 percent, and the number of netbooks shipped by 100 percent (Markt & Technik, 2010a).

As described in Chapter 1, for product sectors that require a long use life, the electronic parts that comprise a product have a procurement life cycle that is significantly shorter than the support life of the product they are in. It is this product life cycle mismatch between the parts and the product that is the root of the ...

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