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Obsolescence guide for maintaining existing equipment

10th October 2022
Sam Holland

Obso Global has launched a new guide, highlighting the importance of having a full obsolescence management plan for spare parts, to ensure equipment uptime in mission-critical applications.

Available to download for free here, it guides operators through the key steps to take when implementing an action plan and provides recommendations for outsourcing obsolescence management to a supply partner.

In the current economic climate, longer lead times and rising costs are a primary concern for many plant managers tasked with maintaining the equipment and machinery estate. Often, this equipment may not have reached the end of its lifecycle, and still have many years of useful service remaining, but sourcing the genuine spare parts required is proving a challenge.

The non-availability of one part cannot be allowed to be the cause of a complete production line or assembly failure, so a methodology for purchasing replacement parts needs to be considered.

However, according to a recent report from ERIKS, in conjunction with the IET, 19 per cent of respondents admitted to having no obsolescence policy at all – and only 21 per cent said they had undertaken an obsolescence audit in the last year.

The new guide, entitled ‘Obsolescence management and the role of third-party sourcing partners’, provides practical advice on mitigating for these issues, with methodologies for the purchase and stocking of genuine spare parts and the management of equipment lifecycles.

Alongside a 10-point plan for creating an obsolescence management strategy, the guide also outlines a systematic approach for handling substitute or replacement parts, using the risk assessment defined in the BS EN IEC 62402:2019 standard as a useful starting point.

This provides specific guidance to help ‘manage items that have diminished manufacturing sources and material shortages that can result in long lead times, reduced availability and ultimately obsolescence of those items.’

Managing maintenance

Forecasting precisely when a critical component may reach the end of its service life and when the manufacturer may stop supporting the part are key components of an obsolescence policy. However, the practice is much harder than the theory, which is where it can pay dividends to enlist the expertise of a third-party supplier.

Third-party suppliers can offer numerous solutions for the management of the physical spare parts’ stock that a business requires, including sourcing, replacements, upgrades, software, and training requirements.

For further information and to download a copy of the free guide, visit this page from Obso Global.

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