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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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1.5 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON OBSOLESCENCE

Although the origins of electronic part obsolescence are often associated with the advent of acquisition reform in the U.S. Department of Defense in the mid-1990s, concerns about general technology obsolescence as it relates to procuring technology can be traced to much earlier times.

It is evident that the concepts associated with procurement obsolescence were noticed in the context of technology as early as the 1970s. In The Railway Game (Lukasiewicz, 1976), Lukasiewicz points out that the market environment in which the railway industry operates restricts them to, in many cases, only one supplier, thus creating a plethora of low-volume supply chain problems that include obsolescence issues.

Although the basic concepts of technology procurement obsolescence have existed since 1970 and probably earlier, the first known mention of the problem specifically related to electronic parts was in 1978 (Smith, 1983) and was associated with the transition from vacuum tubes to solid-state electronics.

References to the acronym DMSMS first appeared in the early 1980s when the U.S. Department of Defense began sponsoring electronic part obsolescence workshops and conferences. The usage of the acronym DMSMS is also seen on the cover of the proceedings from the 1983 DMSMS workshop sponsored by the Defense Electronics Supply Center, shown in Figure 1-5.

FIGURE 1-5 Cover of the proceedings from the 1983 DMSMS workshop (courtesy of Walter Tomczykowski, ...

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