OUT WITH THE OLD Steps for managing ob

Claire Stevenson , quality manager at Anglia Components, confronting product compliance and the fluctuating trends


obsolescence. Directives like R in what might be termed an ‘obsolescence event’: a whole slew of devices becoming obsolete at once. Regulatory issues aren’t

n the light of the looming RoHS 3 o think about oHS 3 result

deadline, it is opportune t g

the only cause for these events though – sometimes other industry changes lead to whole classes of device becoming purchasing

unavailable. How can prudent teams avoid being caught out?

LOOKING AT THE BIG PICTURE With directives such as RoHS 3, there normally is plenty of not ice. The directive was announced in 2016 and manufacturers have unt il 22 July 2019 to comply. With t his, there are always devices that end up being withdrawn as the cost of modifying them cannot be justified. But distributors like Anglia will support customers t hrough these challenges. This means t alking to our suppliers continuously as they move towards compliance and ensuring the elimination of non-compliant stock well before the deadline. Customers are made aware of devices that will not be manufactured in a compliant form. Shifts in the high-volume consumer goods market can also lead to whole classes of device becoming unavailable. For example, there is a long-t erm t rend for manufacturers to discontinue, or make fewer bat ches of, the larger sizes of chip passives: from 1206, 0805 and 0603 t o 0201 and smaller. T here is a managed obsolescence programme on some of t hese larger chip sizes where capacity is being severely restricted. Currently the larger global manufacturers are recommending customers use the smallest chip sizes possible in their designs, this often means 0201 size and below for new designs.

Larger sizes are still available with some manufacturers, but customers should actively start to downsize the chips in their designs, in order to avoid an endless cycle of lengthening lead times, restricted capacity and rising prices as larger sizes become increasingly scarce. It is also recommended t hat customers move current designs to the smallest

sizes available in the value and voltage required and to design out the larger sizes at the earliest opportunity.


WITH THE NEW bsolescence

lays out the groun dwork for s in the electronics industry


Finding equivalents can be avoided, if cust omers make the correct long term choices with their Bill of Materials (BoM). Cust omers need to know which devices are likely t o be available for the lifetime of the design.

Online, one can readily obtain small pack quantities of devices which have actually already been discontinued by their manufacturers. However, distributors such as Anglia provide detailed availability information on their website. This should include product change and termination notifications (PTN

N and P d PCN), current stock levels and the supplier lead tim published on the Anglia L INVENTORY MANAG

THE LIMITATIO If a device in a d in the past buye ‘equivalent’. How

ONS OF ‘EQUIVALENTS’ esign becomes obsolete, rs would seek an

increasingly difficult t In a highly comp semiconductor m

wever, it is becoming cult to identify one. petitive market,

manufacturers try to

differentiate their solut ions by adding functions and en address perceive

nhancing performance to ed market opport unities.

This means that fewer devices from rival manufacturers re – increasing the

eally are fully equivalent e risk when selecting an

alternative to the original device on the BoM/AVL. Even if a device is electrically n t erms of form, fit and may st ill be a variation fference. i

equivalent and in t function, there m

that makes a difference. Truthfully, sele the BoM/AVL is purchasing is no guess their choic should be assess design team to e acceptable, cont

ection of devices on a design decision and ot qualified to second- ces. Any ‘equivalent’ sed by the original ensure that it is textually.

f d i

Claire Stevenson, quality manager, Anglia Components

ent stock levels and me: this information is glia Live website.


When it comes to ensuring continuing availability of all of the parts on t

AVL, the key is to work closely suppliers to cushion cust obsolescence. Anglia can let know when a part they

nsuring continuing he BoM/

ork closely with these customers against

to continue using becomes subject to a PTN or PCN. Anglia can also put

a buffer stock of a device before it get withdrawn or changed, providing time before the part affect

s they use it. This

Many customers now use Anglia’s 80/20 service, where they hold inventory on site and pay for it as t

service provides a great st

Anglia to work with customers t obsolescence challenges.


in one’s design becoming obsolete is largely an avoidable problem. Occasionally a manufact

Getting caught out by a key component ming obsolete ble problem.

part without prior notification, but of the time adequate warning is given. Distributors have a key role to play feeding this informat chain, making sure t the affected part are and can react in a tim

key role to play in

at ion along the supply t hat customers using e aware of the issues mely manner.

Do this and obsolescence issues can be managed and overcome.

scence issues can be ome.

Chips are just one of the victims of obsolescence

Anglia Components


ufacturer does pull a otification, but most

a can let the customer hey are intending ecomes subject to a can also put in place evice before it gets ed, providing time cted is designed out. w use Anglia’s 80/20

eat starting point for customers to manage nges.

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