With the dreaded “gang of three” – RoHS, WEEE and REACH compliance – now in full force, obsolescence management systems are going into overdrive, not least in the fields of electronic component engineering and mechanical design. With environmental compliance now central to everything engineering companies do, it’s no wonder they turn so many of the tasks over to us at Enventure Technologies.
Obsolescence management comes under the umbrella of enterprise data management, and along with environmental compliance is essential in the engineering workplace. Normally, it takes around three years for components like semiconductors to become obsolete. Until the RoHS and REACH regulations came into force companies could expect a steady trickle of PCN alerts, which were easy to deal with as suppliers invariably held back-stock of obsolete semiconductors and other outdated components in store.
That trickle has now become a torrent, with component manufacturers disposing of their “non-green” stocks rather than holding on to them. Some continue to supply obsolete semiconductors containing SnPb (tin-leaded) residues, as certain end-users are not yet subject to RoHS, WEEE or REACH legislation, but these exemptions are slowly being phased out.
Responsible engineering firms want to be seen as “green” as possible. In the lead-up to RoHS and REACH legislation being made law, authorized distributors took the role of communicators, creating awareness and offering advice to clients. Now, they have shifted to obsolescence management, offering practical solutions and alternatives to discontinued products. Early communication is essential between end-user and supplier, to minimize disruptions in the supply chain. Our obsolescence management tools play a vital role in this.