HOME
        TheInfoList







Ending the Depression Through Planned Obsolescence by Bernard London, 1932

Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained or degraded even though it may still be in good working order.[1][2]

The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management - Application Guide defines obsolescence as being the "transition from availability of products by the original manufacturer or supplier to unavailability".

Obsolescence frequently occurs because a replacement has become available that has, in sum, more advantages compared to the disadvantages incurred by maintaining or repairing the original.

Obsolete also refers to something that is already disused or discarded, or antiquated.[3] Typically, obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity.

Consequences

Driven by rapid technological changes, new components are developed and launched on the market with increasing speed. The result is a dramatic change in production methods of all components and their market availability. A growing industry sector is facing issues where life cycles of products no longer fit together with life cycles of required components. This issue is known as obsolescence, the status given to a part when it is no longer available from its original manufacturer. The problem of obsolescence is most prevalent for electronics technology, wherein the procurement lifetimes for microelectronic parts are often significantly shorter than the manufacturing and support life cycles for the products that use the parts. However, obsolescence extends beyond electronic components to other items, such as materials, textiles, and mechanical parts. In addition, obsolescence has been shown to appear for software, specifications, standards, processes, and soft resources, such as human skills. It is highly important to implement and operate an active management of obsolescence to mitigate and avoid extreme costs.[4]

Types

Technical obsolescence

Technical obsolescence usually occurs when a new product or technology supersedes the old one, and it is preferred to use the new technology instead. Historical examples of new technologies superseding old ones include bronze replacing flint in hand-tools, DVDs replacing videocassettes, and the telephone replacing the telegraph. On a smaller scale, a particular product may become obsolete when a newer version replaces it. Many products in the computer industry become obsolete in this manner. For example, central processing units (CPUs) frequently become obsolete in favor of newer, faster units. Singularly, rapid obsolescence of data formats along with their supporting hardware and software can lead to loss of critical information, a process known as digital obsolescence.

In many cases, a new technology does not totally replace the old technology because the old technology is still useful in certain applications. For example, transistors replaced vacuum tubes in TV and radio receivers in the 1960s, but vacuum tubes were still used for powerful transmitters because transistors for these power levels were not available. Even today, one has to use multiple transistors for a purpose that used to require just one tube.

Products may also become obsolete when supporting technologies are no longer available to produce or even repair a product. For example, many Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer maintained or degraded even though it may still be in good working order.[1][2]

The international standard EN62402 Obsolescence Management - Application Guide defines obsolescence as being the "transition from availability of products by the original manufacturer or supplier to unavailability".

Obsolescence frequently occurs because a replacement has become available that has, in sum, more advantages compared to the disadvantages incurred by maintaining or repairing the original.

Obsolete also refers to something that is already disused or discarded, or antiquated.[3] Typically, obsolescence is preceded by a gradual decline in popularity.