Test & Measurement

Pickering Interfaces announces three-pronged approach to obsolescence avoidance

19th January 2023
Harry Fowle

Modular signal switching and simulation company offers and supports more than 1000 PXI and LXI modules, protecting clients from obsolescence.

Pickering Interfaces have announced the company’s formal approach to protecting customers from one of the most expensive challenges test engineers face when maintaining automated test equipment (ATE) – obsolescence.

“Mission-critical products with long lifecycles have components that need to be tested decades after they were manufactured and their initial test systems were designed,” said Keith Moore, CEO of Pickering. “When instrumentation providers discontinue components in those test systems – these companies, often in aerospace/defence, railway transportation, or power, are left stranded, trying to find a replacement or facing an imminent and costly test system redesign.”

Furthermore, in highly regulated industries like defence, changing significant components, software, or processes in a test system can trigger a demand for that test system to be re-certified, a process that can cost anywhere from $1m to $100m.

A proven plan to avoid obsolescence

Pickering’s growth in its modular signal switching and simulation business hinges on the company’s ability to not just help customers manage obsolescence, but to help them minimise the chances of it occurring.

Pickering’s obsolescence strategy includes three key factors:
  • Planning for obsolescence during the design phase: Pickering engineering teams evaluate complete plans and anticipate upcoming industry challenges to ensure there’s a test solution to meet full demands
  • Using standardised platforms: By supporting and maintaining more than 1000 PXI and LXI modules and thousands more iterated from those, Pickering offers standard solutions that are more easily evolved
  • Ensuring long-term support: Pickering commits to support modules designed into the customer system for the entire product lifecycle, even redesigning modules when necessary

If customers previously standardised on competitor platforms and now face obsolescence without a path forward, Pickering often can adapt modules to match the form, fit, and function of the original hardware.

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