The Importance of Long-Term Availability
“Long term” has many different meanings. To some, it’s a few years. To others it has to do with convenience: “If all of the components are easily obtainable, we’ll continue to manufacture the product a little longer”. VersaLogic’s outlook is a little different. VersaLogic is focused on long-term availability (10+ years) from the day a new design starts.
What is “Long” Term?
Products in markets like medical and defense often have real product lifecycle needs of 10, 15 or 20 years. The lifecycle of the embedded computer, which is often the heart of the product, is critical in these projects. Even when the customer’s product development is complete, the certification or acceptance process can take years. Having a dependable supply of critical parts, especially the embedded control system, is essential at the point that the system finally goes into production.
Why does it matter?
Does availability or long lifecycle really matter? As an example, medical devices typically take a year or two to develop, and then several more years to complete clinical trials and certification. Once the product goes into production, a life of 6 to 8 years is usually expected. If the embedded computer is available for 4 or 5 years, the product will need to be redesigned and certification restarted. Short lifecycles can lead to high costs incurred by the customer.
The selection process for defense projects is often long and drawn-out as well. Proving ruggedness and readiness, and completing the award process, can take years before deployment occurs. Once approved, systems are usually needed for a decade or more. Having the embedded computer go obsolete in this process derails huge investments in product development.
Addressing lifecycle requirements in the early stages of a project can enhance long-term ROI and the overall success of a project.
It’s in the Genes…
The foundation of long-term availability is in VersaLogic’s DNA and part of its core values. Product lifecycle is considered at every step of the process, from designing products with components that will be available longer, to close ties and feedback from component providers, to providing formal Life Extension programs to keep very old assemblies in production.
The proof is in the deliveries. For example:
- Continuing shipments for a project that went into production 30 years ago
- Holding component inventories at the ready for more than 12 years before starting production for a medical customer
- Guaranteeing a 25-year delivery schedule to coincide with Navy docking schedules
If a continuing long-term supply of product is important to your project, then the right embedded computer partner is vital to your program.
- Designs based on the most available multi-sourced components
- Proactive supply chain management supporting early notification of component availability changes
- Deep in-house stock of hard-to-get parts
- Formal lifecycle extension programs
- Migration support for very-old products
The Next Step
If you have lifecycle questions or concerns about any VersaLogic product, contact the VersaLogic Sales staff today. Matching your project lifecycle needs to the correct embedded product is something that everyone at VersaLogic takes very seriously.