Causes, Consequences and Solutions: Preparing for Parts Obsolescence

10/30/2018 | Elizabeth Wilson

Parts obsolescence presents ongoing challenges and inherent risks within a number of industries, including tissue converting. Minimizing the threats posed by obsolete parts is both imperative and possible provided you identify the causes, understand the consequences and proactively find solutions.

What causes parts obsolescence?

Parts manufacturers are tasked with first creating then continuously improving components for equipment within a variety of markets. Time, technological advancements, increasing production requirements and cost, changing regulatory mandates or limited availability of components compel manufacturers to discontinue certain parts.

What are the consequences of parts obsolescence?

The effects of part obsolescence are far-reaching. Two of the most obvious are:

  • Increased potential for downtime if equipment malfunctions and the repair is prolonged by limited or lack of part availability.
  • Increased costs associated with purchasing still-available parts that are being phased out in order to have them on-hand and avoid worst-case scenarios in repair, downtime, etc.

Many tissue converters use equipment that requires obsolete or soon-to-be obsolete parts, so these consequences are all too real and potentially costly. Decide to risk downtime and possibly pay the price later, or stock up on possibly unneeded parts and pay the price now.

What solutions are available to mitigate the impact of parts obsolescence?

End-of-Life processes (EOL) and Last-Time-Buy (LTB) forecasting may carry some decision-making clout, but the imprecision of predicting EOL and LTB also carries some inherent risk. Having these best practices in place can help tissue converters eliminate the guesswork and devise a solid approach to parts obsolescence:

  1. Implement and follow a routine preventive maintenance plan to gain a clear understanding of appropriate replacement intervals for your particular converting equipment.
  2. Avoid the temptation to overestimate need during the “create and stock” phase of initial spare parts purchasing. Set aside emotions or self-interest in favor of data, gleaned from lifecycle perspectives and/or actual parts stocking history.
  3. Partner with a reliable supplier that can source obsolete components, and work with you to find fast and accurate solutions. Fabio Perini North America offers Spares On-Line, preferred by tissue converters across North America for easy, 24/7 ordering and near-immediate shipment. Watch this short video to find out more!

While tissue converters would love to be able to continually upgrade systems to the newest and best technologies, the reality is that solution is not as economically feasible as making wise choices in stocking spares. A well-designed, managed and maintained machine can operate for many years efficiently and productively with reduced downtime and related operating costs. Learn more about the benefits of preventive and predictive maintenance in our infographic, Fail to Plan? Plan to Fail. Click the button below to access your copy now.

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Topics: Operations, Spares

Elizabeth Wilson

Written by Elizabeth Wilson

Elizabeth Wilson is Aftermarket Spares/Customer Service Manager for Fabio Perini North America. She holds a Masters of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management, and has 19 years of tissue converting industry experience inclusive of roles in customer service, procurement and international business.

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