On September 25, the junior research group Obsolescence organized an expert discussion on the topic of discontinuation of electronic assemblies, which was attended by over 100 industry representatives, most of whom are organized in the Component Obsolescence Group.
While obsolescence has been brought into society and discussed in recent years, particularly in the media through aspects such as planned obsolescence or planned wear and tear, today it is the leading technology media that are including the phenomenon of obsolescence in their headlines. After all, the standards in electronics are now set by consumer electronics and no longer by automotive engineering. As a manufacturer of capital goods in particular in the fields of automotive engineering, medical technology and plant and mechanical engineering, Germany is dependent on parts from suppliers from all over the world. If the supply stops, production stops. The greatest challenges German companies face today include the service and repair of products. But also for ongoing production, components are becoming increasingly unavailable and solutions must be found quickly, which are increasingly left unsolved at national and European level. Problems arise in particular with active components that can calculate or store, and with displays. Driven by various factors, changes are made to components every year, leading to the discontinuation of current production. The problems, which have so far only been discussed in the B2B (business-to-business) sector, are increasingly turning into an environmental problem, as a circular economy is impeded. Repair, reuse, refurbishment and remanufacturing are only possible in a circular society if components are made available on a long-term basis to restore functions. Almost all industry representatives filled out an online questionnaire after the technical discussion, which is currently being evaluated by the research group in order to better understand obsolescence in the B2B sector.