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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 4

Obsolescence Forecasting Methodologies

There are various technological forecasting methods such as Delphi, forecasting by analogy, growth curves, trend extrapolation, measures of technology, correlation methods, casual models, and combining forecasts (Martino, 1983). These methods are dominated by the “exploratory” attempt to estimate the future based on facts about the present and past. Alternative methods, known as normative methods (Martino, 1983), focus on future needs and track them backwards to the present.

All exploratory methods offer individual advantages and disadvantages—a discussion of which is out of the scope of this chapter—but the best forecasting results can only be achieved by a specific method adapted to an individual problem. To satisfy the needs for electronic part obsolescence forecasting, a combination of exploratory methods is generally used. The obsolescence forecasting methods discussed in this chapter are designed to be objective and reproducible so that they can be implemented in software in order to support forecasting for the large volume of components in electronic systems.

Taking a deeper look into obsolescence forecasting methodology, there are several traditional methods, such as the “scorecard” or the “availability factor” techniques. In the scorecard approach, the life cycle stage of the parts is determined from an array of technological attributes, and each attribute is given a life cycle code ranging from 1 through 5 (or 6 in some ...

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