Challenges in obsolescence management and system engineering using the example of the German supplier industry

Winzer, Janis; Wagner, Eduard; Benecke, Stephan; Nissen, Nils F.; Lang, Klaus‐Dieter

FG Transdisziplinäre Nachhaltigkeitsforschung in der Elektronik

Obsolescence, in the sense of short lifetime of predominantly electronic products, is increasingly becoming a problem for industrial processes and ultimately for the community. The number of cases in which professional customers want to buy products, which are no longer available for purchase is steadily increasing. In the industrial setting this situation leads to strategies, which are necessary but actually undesired, in order to be able to maintain the business activities. Basically, more money and time has to be spent on countering obsolescence. In order to better meet these challenges, enabling people to exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues, who are in the same situation, and to jointly develop strategies for solution processes, an interest group driven primarily by the electronics industry has been founded under the name Component Obsolescence Group Germany (COG-D). The purpose of this paper is to describe the current state of affairs regarding Obsolescence Management (hereinafter referred as OM). OM in the sense of dealing with obsolete or discontinued components is not completely new, but the problem has increased significantly in recent years, which makes it interesting to take a closer look at the reasons in order to derive solutions. The findings are based on a survey taken among the members of the COG-D.