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September 2017 – Component Obsolescence Solutions

Published on: 15/09/2017

Many systems are becoming obsolete, learn about the options you have with GD Rectifiers’ component obsolescence solutions

Component obsolescence solutions by GD Rectifiers

Electronic components have evolved massively over the past 20 years, with OEMs now known to change product specifications within 18 months of a product launch.

In the event of a system or component failure, spares and replacements might not be available anymore. At GD Rectifiers, we explore obsolescence solutions and the options procurement specialists and electronic component buyers have in the industry today.


Component Obsolescence Solutions

Ways to keep systems operational and understanding your options

The key to getting your systems up and running depends on your businesses overall goal.

1. Require the system to be fully operational again as quickly as possible

2. Source the most cost effective replacement part on the market

3. Demand a reliable component to keep ordering over time and to minimise the possibility of component obsolescence


Fast Replacement

Most procurement specialists will look to replace the control equipment with a more modern day equivalent, this is the quickest way to get your systems back up and running. The quickest way to source the alternative part is to contact your component distributors and ask for their suggestions on parts that can be used in replacement of the original part. Distributors are very knowledgeable of what parts can be used in replacement and the likes of GD Rectifiers are likely to have that component in stock because we stock the higher rated versions. If in stock, these replacements are available on a same day or next day delivery service, making sure your systems downtime is minimalised. We offer a wide range of solutions for obsolete semiconductors and hard to find electronic components.


Cost Effective Replacements

Often when a part becomes obsolete, a procurement specialist will be tasked to find the most cost effective solution as a much bigger project, making sure to incorporate long term benefits and improved availability on components already on the market.

Some businesses take this as an opportunity to revaluate their component inventory and component forecasting. This can be a lengthily process and so it is important that the systems downtime is not critical to the business, ideally you would have spare parts already on order or in stock so that there was limited disruption.



The option to remanufacture a component is often the preferred solution for many businesses. Seeking a modern day alternative isn’t always possible but numerous industries have to follow strict protocols in sourcing electronic components, this is because the military, oil and gas sectors have to retain proven systems.

In these cases, procurement specialists are tasked with finding manufacturers that can replicate the components from existing drawings or sometimes without any reference material at all which can often prove challenging.

This process can be a lengthily one because a prototype will require sign off before production can start, and manufacturers can sometimes find that businesses will require changes being made to the spec in order to manufacture an even higher performance product than its original predecessor. Although it can be a lengthily task, most businesses prefer this solution because they are developing bespoke components to meet the needs of their systems and products which will only benefit them in the long run. They also have the peace of mind that their part is unlikely to become obsolete because they have found a manufacturer that can reproduce the same if not a very similar part.


How to prevent component obsolescence

Electronic component obsolescence is inevitable because OEMs are launching new products faster than ever and are always looking to launch the newer, better versions of older parts.

GD Rectifiers has two simple ways to help plan your component buying schedule whilst limiting component obsolescence in your business.

1)    Work closely with your distributors on the visibility and product shelf-life of your components. Distributors are usually told 18 months in advance of a component being discontinued, so we urge customers to frequently ask about the shelf-life of their most frequently ordered parts.

2)    If you know that one of your high volume parts is slowly being phased out and will eventually become obsolete, get in touch with GD Rectifiers and let us help you find a replacement part or manufacture you an alternative. We manufacture a wide range of semiconductor components, including power assemblies, selenium rectifiers and suppressors, high voltage diodes, capacitors and heatsinks.


For further information on GD Rectifiers capabilities of manufacturing obsolete semiconductor components, including the manufacturer components we have access to, please contact our team today on 01444 243 452 or email:

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