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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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8.3 INITIAL OBSOLESCENCE RISK ANALYSIS

Once the initial selection of required components has been completed, an obsolescence risk analysis is performed. The purpose of this analysis is to get an overview of future availability, possible alternatives, and critical single-source items. This analysis delivers relevant bill-of-material (BOM) data (including availability forecasts), identifies risky materials (such as single-source components), and provides an overall health status. These elements are described in the following sections.

The initial analysis is of major interest, because it prevents the design-in of already obsolete components and components that are close to obsolescence. Therefore, the results of this analysis should be considered before the final design is finished and qualification started.

There are several ways the obsolescence management department can gather information on the preselected components. A fast way to access this data for electronic piece parts is to subscribe to one of many commercial databases. An organization’s individual requirements and product and part mix determine which service fits best to the project. Some services are specialized for military parts and others offer more general commercial part databases. Generally, services are online and thus require the upload of part lists over the Internet. Solutions with post-firewall databases exist as well; these services generally cost more. After uploading the parts list, the online tool indicates ...

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