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Many aerospace systems have life cycles of up to 30 years

Fly Through end-oF-liFe sourcing issues

A tailored end-of-life programme helped one aerospace manufacturer avoid critical supply problems. Rochester Electronics' George Karalias explains

Sixty per cent of electronic components used in aerospace systems reach end-of-life in five years or less, however,many of these systems have life cycles of up to 30 years. It is not just the aerospace industry that has semiconductor end-of-life problems. Applications in virtually every industry today use semiconductor components with life cycles that are considerably shorter than the systems they drive. So it’s no wonder that end-of-life issues represent an ongoing challenge for OEMs whomust find a long-termsource of high-quality semiconductor components.

For example, Rochester Electronics was recently able to help a

designer,manufacturer and supplier of aerospace systems and components for the international space program. This aerospace specialist had received a semiconductor end-of-life announcement that forced it tomake some critical decisions. Unfortunately, the semiconductors affected were used across several aircraft engine controlmodules and instrumentation platforms for bothmilitary and commercial aircraft.

TheOEMconsidered and rejected three options. Although a last-

time buy fromthe original semiconductormanufacturer is often the first recommended solution to an end-of-life notice, in this case the up- front expense, combinedwith costs for safe and long-termstorage, whichwere around 10 to 15 years,was toomuch of a strain on the current budget.

A re-design of the PC

boardswould cost hundreds ofmillions of dollars and therewas no guarantee that the semiconductors onwhich the newdesignswere basedwouldn’t go end- of-life as soon as the re- designwas up and running.

Rochester Electronics was able to re-create the part with the authorisation of the original manufacturer

16 | December 2010 Thirdly, the risk of receiving counterfeit or

substandard goodswas far too great to consider purchasing from independent, unauthorised distributors and brokers, since faulty parts in critical applications can have grave consequences. Additionally, these sources cannot guarantee pricing or long-termconsistent availability.

Three stage support

ThisOEMfound a solution that came together smoothly in three stages as a result of its partnershipwith international continuing semiconductormanufacturer and distributor, Rochester Electronics.

Authorised bymore than 60 semiconductormanufacturers to

provide services to their customers, thismanufacturer/distributor had some of the parts in stock for immediate shipment, so production and maintenance operationswere never interrupted.

When the in-stock supplywas depleted, Rochester Electronics,

through a previous relationshipwith the original component manufacturer,was able to negotiate a last-time buy, then store the inventory and ship it to theOEMon an as-needed basis at a fixed price.

When this supply was completely used, Rochester Electronics

was able to re-create the part with the authorisation of the original manufacturer, whichmade it possible tomanufacture a continuous supply of devices with identical form, fit and function to the original parts.

This story had a happy ending: the OEMsavedmanymillions of

dollars by taking advantage of three of Rochester Electronics'many flexible solutions. There were no delays in production or delivery and the company can look far into the future with the assurance that there will be an unlimited supply of the critical parts, all 100 per cent guaranteed.

When Rochester's in-stock supply was depleted it negotiated a last-time buy and arranged storage

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