Component obsolescence will cost industry

 - January 31, 2007, 4:33 AM

Along with other industries, the aviation industry will face mounting costs if it fails
to deal with the problem of obsolescent components. According to newly published research, the cost of providing replacement components for long-lifespan equipment could be more than $500,000 per item if a major component redesign is required.

Research conducted by Arinc and QinetiQ on behalf of the UK Ministry of Defence found that major component redesigns could cost as much as $550,000 and that finding a substitute component could incur a bill of around $25,000 per item. These figures relate only to non-recurring engineering costs and do not include factors such as aircraft downtime, new training procedures and manuals and parts storage costs.

According to the Component Obsolescence Group (COG), the issue is of increasing importance to the aviation industry, and a growing number of aerospace firms are joining the UK-based organization to formulate a joint approach to ensure a cost-effective supply of components over the full operational life of aircraft.

COG chief executive Michael Trenchard said that with components such as semi-conductors becoming out-of-date in as few as five years, companies are confronting the problem of obsolescence much sooner. “By identifying an obsolescence problem early, the more expensive solutions (such as designing replacement components) can be avoided,” he said.

More information about COG’s initiatives on component obsolescence can be found at www.cog.org.uk.