Tackling discontinuation problems in the components industry

10th July 2018
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Tackling discontinuation problems in the components industry

To help engineers and buyers in the electronic components industry with End-of-Life (EoL) issues and getting around long lead times for current products, BEC Distribution has announced the availability of direct alternatives to TOKO/Murata, Coilcraft, Vishay and Sumida lines, with short lead times of 6-8 weeks, where most manufacturers are reportedly currently working on 16-30 weeks.

BEC’s range of EoL replacements and pin-for-pin replacements for current passives include, shielded power inductors, multi-layer ceramic chip inductors, radial peaking coils, open wire-wound chip inductors and thin-film chip inductors.

Background to EoL and current component supply issues occur because often large component manufacturers discontinue product lines after five to ten years. This can have a potentially disastrous impact on customers whose products have longer expected lifetime, for example, Aerospace, Medical, Surveillance or Defence industry equipment. The availability of BEC’s component replacements will far exceed 10 years.

BEC Distribution’s EoL component supplies will be a lifeline to R&D engineers and buyers, where components have been designed into their product lines. With a stock of 15 million passive components and franchised distribution agreements with quality alternative component manufacturers, BEC can provide high quality, pin-for-pin direct replacement or alternatives. If the required components are not in stock, then BEC will track down and source matching alternatives, aiming to ensure that EoL issues will not hinder customers’ projects.

Planning for the future

With support from BEC, engineers and buyers alike can plan ahead right from the beginning when components are first used or when they are designed in, ensuring that EoL does not necessarily mean end of supply or support.

BEC will perform a ‘scrub’ service to flag EoLs, recommend alternatives and collate other information for buyers to update their ERP systems. When customers have ‘nearly’ consumed their scheduled ordered parts or have bids on their active bills of materials, BEC would trigger proactive discussions about what actions can be taken, including offering alternate suppliers or substitute parts, redesigning a board or a suggesting a long-term stocking solution. 

Sourcing EoL components without proper assessment and technical due diligence could involve potential risks to performance or quality of final products. Engineers and buyers need to carefully consider from whom to source EoL components. One of the most important things to look for in a distribution partner is their technical sourcing ability and proven experience in the market, together with guarantees that the alternatives fully match original specifications. 

BEC can help ‘design-out’ substandard components and replace them with newer, improved alternatives. As a result, buyers and designers should find a distribution partner that can offer a wider choice and expertise to help them with these challenges. In addition to technical support, BEC can also provide samples (often FOC).


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