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Strategies to the Prediction, Mitigation and Management of Product Obsolescence by Michael G. Pecht, Peter Sandborn, Ulrich Ermel, Bjoern Bartels

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2.6 EXAMPLES OF COMMON CHANGES

Semiconductor technology, packaging materials, and business environments are constantly evolving. New regulations, such as lead-free and halogen-free product initiatives, also bring about changes in electronic parts. Keeping track of current trends is important for equipment manufacturers, both for planning technology insertion and for part selection and management, in order to minimize the overall life cycle costs associated with their products and remain competitive in the marketplace. Explanations of many common part changes are provided in the following sections.

2.6.1 Fabrication Changes

A fabrication change involves moving the manufacture of semiconductor wafers from one location to another. Fabrication changes are often made to accommodate changing production volumes or to minimize costs (Texas Instruments, 2000a). To keep operating margins high, fabrication plants need to be kept as close to full capacity as possible. Fabrication plants may also be purchased or sold due to changing business needs, which can result in part changes or discontinuances. When Texas Instruments closed its fabrication plant in Hatogaya, Japan, in late 2000, for example, many parts sourced from the facility were discontinued (Texas Instruments, 2000b). Introduction of new product lines can also lead to fabrication changes, as production locations of existing product lines are rearranged to make room for them. Acquisitions also continue to be a popular strategy for ...

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