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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 7

Reactive Obsolescence Management

This chapter discusses the reactive management approaches that can be employed to mitigate obsolescence. These tactics and strategies can be short-term solutions adopted for a particular case to bridge to a future design refresh or longer-term efforts employed until the end of support of the system. Depending on factors such as system support life, period, and volume of production, the type of part, and plans for future design refreshes, the equipment manufacturer must decide which strategy to use to best handle part obsolescence issues when they occur (Wilkinson et al., 1999; Condra, et al., 2000; Porter, 1998a; Condra, 1999; Wasson and Wilkinson, 2001; Cavill, 2002).

The reactive obsolescence management approach consists of determining an appropriate resolution to the unavailability of a component that is already obsolete or the impending unavailability of a component that will become obsolete in the near future, executing the resolution process, and documenting and tracking the actions taken (Condra et al., 1997; Condra and Matthews, 1999).

Many tactics and strategies can be employed to deal with obsolescence problems. These are described in detail in the sections that follow. At the end of this chapter there is a reactive obsolescence management checklist that includes the factors that need to be considered when choosing the most appropriate mitigation approach. Furthermore, reactive obsolescence management guidelines are provided ...

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