Surferdude, Thank you for this important contribution. In fact, I would like to put a twist on your comments and say that in the materials business, end-of-life (EOL) notice shouldn't translate into termination. There are different ways to keep a particular equipment going for decades with the right input from companies that have the capability to manufacture the required components. End-of-life from one supplier can easily mean BOL (beginning-of-life) for another supplier. It might seem like marginal business but it is critical business and support for OEMs.
There is a third alternative. I work for Twilight Technology, Inc in Anaheim CA. that re-engineers obsoleted or EOL products for customers who need to extend the life of their product or are caught in the ever growing component availability pothole. EOL does not always mean End of Life as we know it! Sometimes a design could be hit with several notices when there are simple reasonable cost replacement alternatives available but are unknown because it takes an engineer to figure it out. i.e. The example of the FPGA manufacturer EOL a particular package type or lower gate density device. The larger gate density part can be put onto an adapter, pinned out and with the same footprint as the EOL device. I have done this several times for customers. Memory makes up a large part of most digital systems. An easy fix for lower density devices that go obsolete is to package larger density die, but waste half or more of the memory when bonding it out and provide a drop in replacement. There are replacements suggested by the information services and then there are value added replacements that Twilight provide. I welcome any challenges!
To be honest, no service can claim 100% assurance, but because PCN/EOL changes happen daily, it is wise to run a scrub during each phase of design to supply and before manufacturing runs to minimize downstream issues during the BOM lifecycle.
Even after running the scrubbing process, the BOM should be set up for automatic monitoring so alerts can be proactively delivered to all of the stakeholders (design, supply, manufacturing) when new PCN/EOL changes are generated.
Douglas touched on a point about CAD and I'd like to add some input: most CAD programs have to be manually updated by users and don't automatically refresh. And, for security and other reasons, CAD tools don't go out "searching" for EOL or part number data. Premier Farnell/element14 has done something I think is pretty cool: if you use the CAD program on the Knode site, the program will update itself with information as it becomes available to Premier Farnell. Distributors often get EOL and PCN notices directly from suppliers because they act as an extension of suppliers' salesforces. I'm not sure if EagleCAD--the tool on element14's site--refreshes lines not carried by PF/elemnt14, but if it isn't, I'm sure that will happen eventually. Distributors are trying to become increasingly agnostic about parts data: although distrbutors are charged with helping suppliers, they better serve customers if they can provide information on all parts, not just the parts they are franchised for.
I have been down that trail with a product design that I inherited from an engineer who left under unpleasant circumstances. The instrument amp IC that he used was out of production and the US government had purchased all available devices for their use.
I learned from that, and developed a policy that any component that is not multiple sourced must be verified as an ongoing product by the manufacturer. Analog Devices was very good about providing that information, some others have not been, with the result that their product is not on my design's BOM. I don't depend on purchasing or third parties to make that inquiry, it is something that I do myself.
Not only does it save me from a lot of grief and pain, it also allows some price shopping and makes my designs less expensive to produce.
As I understand from this article, it is clear that , for 100 % assurance against any oversight in using an EOL part in a design, one must run his BOM for the new design through the EEcontent.com site before releasing the same for purchase action. This will filter out any EOL parts inadvertantly used and force the designer to think again for the alternate parts .
I can't begin to tell you how frustrating it is to find out that a recent design is in danger of not being able to ship because of a missed EOL. The distributors typically don't let their customer's know about EOLs and for the smaller companies, the factories are not aware of who is using their parts. Consequently, they do not push EOL or other PCN alerts to the end users. PCNAlert was a life saver for me when I was the components guy at Microsoft. Everyday I would receive ALL alerts against any parts on any BOMs I had uploaded to PCNAlert. I never had another EOL line-down outage ever again. PCNAlert was sold to IHS, and now EEContent.com, founded by the former CEO of PCNAlert, is one of the companies that are saving the day...daily.
When I'm reading this arcticle I'm feeling nervous, because this is realy true.Everybody doing same fault, they are forgot to use life cycle management tools provided by 3rd part comapany. I know this consume money, it is payed services.This service can be undestand like waste of time but this is wrong interpreting. From the long time view it can bring more benefits like prevent to use NRND components, autoamtic ALERTS about PCN, PDN, EOL of the components in BOMs and ERPs.I know two good provider of this services, IHS and Silicon expert.Silicon expert have toll call BOM manager , yu can use trial demo and check how they are working...Other possibility is to hire army of component engineer which will doing scaning of the MPNs in ERP database and looking for EOL, PCN, PDN in a manufacturers pages.They can have at each manufacturer own account to PCN service if MFG have this possibility.Those account will sent automatic email to Component engineer mailbox and they will have daily hundred and hundred PCN, EOL, PDN messaged for analyzing...this is the worst scanario...welcome in real electronics industry life
Can Purchasing try to find any stock from any source, gray market included? (The gray market is becoming an increasingly dangerous alternative as part counterfeiters thrive in this venue.)
Legitimate U.S.A. independent "grey" market disti's are one of YOUR 1st lines of defense when it comes to identifying who is selling and what are counterfit parts. More commercial and mil / aero OEM's and their CM's are turning to this market when the chip mfg's obsolete a part and it disappears from the 'normal' supply chain.
Many of us, in this specific industry, have partnered with industry leading test houses to combat and identify counterfeit or sub standard parts.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.