Product obsolescence is becoming a big issue with increased technological advancement and products such as mobile phones, computers, TVs, cell phones, cars and medical & biotechnology equipment are among the greatest hit for parts being obsolete. Based on our research into why electronic parts and components are becoming deprecated quickly after a short life cycle we realised that rapid globalization and technological advancement in the electronics industry has been a massive contributor to this in the past few decades and this has been contributed mainly by the design and principle of electrical and mechanical systems.
As business try to maintain their ongoing concerns, they are creating systems that have a short life span as we the uses want systems which process large data in a flash and offer more user-friendly feel. Other sectors that have been affected by this at a great cost is the aviation industry where planes have to be modified with new tech every so often and because of design restraints there is often a lot of obsolescence of electronic parts.
How do they do this?
Often you will hear that certain products will not be supported and this results to people swapping them for new things as they have no other option even when they are fit for purpose. This is a strategy used by manufacturers to ensure quick market saturation of their products for the newer versions. Recently, I requested an engineer to come check my boiler and we ended up discussing parts vital to testing things like carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide and we touched on SCD30 gas sensor. If these parts became obsolete, they would affect a lot of industries and they are critical because of the good the tools assist us in terms of safety.
Typically, a products life cycle can be broken down to six stages:
Case study example:
I don’t like using Apple as an example, but they have mastered this game mainly because they have loyal customers. They normally release a new phone every year and each year we know they end up using the latest electronic components in their phones like sensors, chips, microprocessors units etc. If you think about it, the size of sensor 2 years ago is not the same currently.
You can fit 40-50 sensors on an adult’s nail, this shows you how far technology has come and at the same time this sensor chip can do much more than their old counterparts could do in terms of functionality and energy consumption.
To add to this narrative of the smartphone product life cycle, it is highly likely that electronic components such as its embedded sensors, for the same model are being revised year after year, which will change the measured performance results.
Looking for Difficult To Find Electronic Parts and Components?
When you as a buyer or product developer is faced with notification that an electronic component has been declared obsolete what do you do especially if redesigning your product is becoming a nightmare. Do you source a last time buy or redesign line replaceable units.
Either way, electronic components search engines like oemsecrets.com have set mechanisms you can use to request obsolete and difficult to find parts.
In the past weeks, we have seen industries that were heavily affected by covid-19 shutdown experience shortages in chips. We know that semiconductor manufacturers reassigned capacity from car makers due to lower car sales demand and prioritised production of chips for mobile phones, gaming consoles like PS5 and Xbox which remained in high demand. This shift is now causing strain for industries like automotive who are trying to scale up their production. This is a special case because it’s based-on demand and supply.
However, if you are an OEM and are finding it difficult to source difficult to find parts the electronic suppliers below might help ease pressure on your sourcing teams.
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Electronic parts and Components suppliers
Distributors in this article refer to authorised distributors. These are the ones mandated to sell products on behalf of the manufacturers and a few of the names I’ll list in this post might be familiar to you depending on which country you reside.
You will often see these distributors as well as independents on comparison price aggregator website. A few big brands include; RS Components, Digi-Key, Mouser, Newark, Arrow, Avnet, Farnell, Argussoft, Future, Allied electronics, TTI, Master, PEI-Genesis, Rutronik etc,.
Although a lot of sales come from repeat business, over the years we have seen majority of supplies increase their online presence and if not, they have invested in platforms that facilitate having data of their stock on electronic components and electronic parts search engine aggregators.
Nokia has been a poster child of how easy it is to lose market share when you ignore the evolving marketplace and not be agile to survive and thrive.
This article has been written by electronicscomponents.co.uk team.