Int. J. Product Lifecycle Management, Vol. X, No. Y, xxxx

Strategic Management of Component Obsolescence Using Constraint-Driven Design Refresh Planning

R. Nelson III and P. Sandborn
Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20740, USA


Technology obsolescence also known as diminishing manufacturing sources and material shortages (DMSMS) is a significant problem for systems whose operational life is much longer than the procurement lifetimes of their constitute components. The most severely affected systems are sustainment-dominated, which means their long-term sustainment (life-cycle) costs significantly exceed the procurement cost of the system. Unlike high-volume commercial products, these sustainment-dominated systems may require design refreshes to simply remain manufacturable and supportable.Design refresh planning (DRP) is a strategic method for reducing the life-cycle cost impact of DMSMS and increasing system availability. The objective of DRP is to determine when a design refresh should occur (or what the frequency of refreshes should be) and how to manage the system components that are obsolete or soon to be obsolete at the design refreshes. This paper describes the formulation and implementation of constraints in the DRP process for systems impacted by DMSMS type obsolescence and proposes a method of transforming an implicit system limitation into an explicit DRP constraint. These constraints can reflect technology roadmap requirements, obsolescence management realities, logistics limitations, budget limitations and management policy.

Complete article is available from the publisher and to CALCE Consortium Members.

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