Parts Obsolescence Continues to Cause Headaches in Electronic Manufacturing

Close up of electronic contract manufacturing.

The electronic manufacturing industry has been battling the problem of parts obsolescence for decades. In an environment where the lifecycle of a component is shorter than the lifecycle of a product, part shortages lead to other headaches.

Counterfeit electronic components entering the supply chain is one of the biggest issues resulting from hard-to-source parts. Manufacturers often find themselves scrambling to obtain parts, and when this happens it makes them particularly vulnerable. The key to combat this is by making sure steps are in place to minimize risks by practicing counterfeit electronic component detection and avoidance.

Importance of Supply Chain ManagementLegacy - Square

A carefully monitored chain-of-possession will greatly reduce the risk of low-quality or counterfeit parts being used in your build. Counterfeit components often lead to product failures which take away from your profits and your reputation. It is important to track and manage the availability of parts so you know the chance of when a part may become hard to find or obsolete.

It is best to use only original component manufactures and/or franchised or authorized distributors to reduce the risk of counterfeit parts. However, working with an electronic contract manufacturer with an existing trusted network of vetted suppliers can be extremely valuable when a part is in danger of becoming hard to find. Your ECM will be able to validate suppliers’ environmental and regulatory compliance certifications and use its supply chain resources to find an adequate substitute for the part or an appropriate aftermarket source.

Importance of On-Site Engineering

It may be easy to overlook the importance of an ECM that has on-site engineers when it comes to part obsolescence and counterfeit electronic component detection and avoidance. But, in an industry where a product may not even be assembled before a component becomes impossible to find, on-staff engineers are priceless. These engineers can step in when it is impractical or too costly to redesign from scratch. They might discover a great part substitution or be able to re-engineer for a retrofit.

On-site engineers can also successfully update legacy products to be manufactured with more readily available parts. They have the ability to reverse engineer your legacy electronic product and make it current while maintaining its integrity.

More Than Design

Importance of Counterfeit Electronic Component Detection & Avoidance

When obsolete parts become an issue, implementing an obsolescence management plan will go far in reducing the risk of counterfeit components being used in your product. It is important to have a plan for when a part becomes obsolete in order to avoid turning to an unauthorized supplier.

You may also choose to employ independent testing of components for counterfeit electronic detection. This can include visual inspections and x-rays of packaging, along with visual and electrical tests of the parts themselves.

In order to avoid complications that result from parts obsolescence, it is best to partner with an electronic contract manufacturer that already has counterfeit electronic component detection and avoidance plans in place. Levison Enterprises has a Zero Counterfeit objective and a commitment for continual improvement and customer satisfaction.

We perform precise inspections which carefully screen for the threats of counterfeiting and ensure the delivery of quality products. Our on-site engineers are experts in problem solving and are ready, willing, and able to find a solution once the issue of parts obsolescence arises. Need help with your next electronic project? Contact Levison Enterprises today for a free quote.

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