1.7 PRODUCT SECTORS AFFECTED BY OBSOLESCENCE PROBLEMS
Increasing globalization and technological progress make markets and production in different countries dependent on one another and rapidly shorten the procurement life cycles of components and products. In the past several decades, technology has advanced swiftly, causing components to have shorter procurement life spans. Driven by the consumer product sector, newer and better components are being introduced frequently, rendering older components obsolete (Sandborn et al., 2007). As a consequence, the risk of components becoming obsolete exists in nearly all product sectors. However, some specific product sectors are affected more than others.
The complexity of the problem is demonstrated in Figure 1-6. This figure shows different military weapons systems that were each designed for a projected lifetime of 30 years. However, many systems for military and defense are being used far longer than originally planned. For example, the B-52 aircraft is projected to operate for more than 94 years, and many weapons systems are expected to have a life span of more than 40 years (Livingston, 2000).
Note that the length of time from the start of design to the beginning of production is increasing. This means that many technologies originally designed ...