Obsolescence Management and the Engineering Industry

Obsolescence management, or OM, is becoming increasingly important in mechanical engineering companies. Technology is advancing at an ever increasing pace; no sooner has equipment or components been installed, than they are in danger of being made obsolete by something newer.

The days of keeping the same machines or systems for years and years, repairing and replacing parts as they go wrong, is over. Today’s society is a disposable one, and the engineering workshop, like the domestic home, is at the mercy of manufacturers, who are constantly coming up with “new, improved” products to replace old ones. This is often planned obsolescence, a devious method by which manufacturers deliberately ensure products have a limited lifespan, becoming of limited use or non-functioning after a certain period of time, thus ensuring future sales of new products.

The most common reason for components becoming obsolete, however, is technical obsolescence – development of new technology or products which are superior to the old. In this case, there is a changeover period during which the product is still available. It becomes less popular as it is replaced on the shelves, eventually being phased out altogether. Often, online retailers stockpile popular products in advance of them going out of circulation, such as is the case with many obsolete semiconductors. However, other examples, such as digital TV replacing analogue television, reflect a whole new technological breakthrough in which the old products become more-or-less useless.

Obsolescence is a common problem with electronics and engineering components. We at Enventure Technologies offer part obsolescence management solutions to companies of all kinds, using cutting-edge obsolescence management tools.

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