Original Date: 11/01/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Design Refresh Planning
The Center for Advanced Life-Cycle Engineering has developed a robust analysis tool to provide a stochastic solution for Design Refresh Planning activities that can result in significant cost avoidance for sustainment- dominated systems. The facility’s Mitigation of Obsolescence Cost Analysis provides a more reliable planning predictor than common industry alternatives.
The increased semiconductor market dominance of consumer electronics has forced large-scale incorporation of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) assemblies into systems designed for extended lifecycles. However, COTS assemblies typically have a shorter procurement life-cycle than the overall system in which they are used. Diminishing Manufacturing Sources and Materials Shortages (DMSMS) is the term used by the military to describe the condition that results from parts becoming obsolete before the system they are in. In fact, the problem is most acute in avionics and complex military systems with long development and support life-cycles. The typical strategic approach has been to mitigate this obsolescence through reactive measures (e.g., life-time buy, last-time buy, part replacements, aftermarket sources, uprating, salvage). CALCE is a leader in developing strategic approaches to mitigate the obsolescence. The methodology, known as Mitigation of Obsolescence Cost Analysis (MOCA), has shown to be an industry-leading strategic approach to managing the obsolescence impact. In contrast, most existing methodologies used to mitigate DMSMS rely on databases that are effective only in determining the current availability of parts and possibly the identification of alternative parts.
CALCE’s Mitigation of Obsolescence Cost Analysis (MOCA) is a unique methodology that uses a detailed cost analysis model based on future production projections, maintenance requirements, and parts obsolescence forecasts. It provides the basis for determining the optimum Design Refresh Plan for specific components. Design Refresh is a system design strategy that sets a target point along the procurement timeline for revising the design to eliminate obsolete parts. MOCA determines the number of refresh activities (redesign) that will optimize the system sustainment costs, and identifies the dates for these activities. It uses inputs from the bills of material, part obsolescence forecasters, future production projections (including spares), and obsolescence mitigation choices. This methodology results in a robust analysis, since it is a stochastic tool that is supported by data represented by probability distributions. This is key to assuring that the results are within reasonable ranges, even though the problem being addressed is highly subjective.
The most mature MOCA methodology is known as the Technology Sustainment MOCA. This form of the tool provides planning data that supports refreshing the design at its current configuration. It provides a series of unique benefits: The analysis can be performed earlier in the development cycle allowing for more effective refresh budget planning. This extends the reaction time allowing for more planning time.
Guidelines for addressing the refresh requirements are more accurate.
Operational availability is improved as the design refreshes mitigate the obsolete parts before they become critical to system operation.
“System-blind” results can be factored across systems. Because the methodology looks at components, it can be used to address planning for all systems using the same mix of components, i.e., enabling shard DMSMS management solutions across an enterprise.
Execution of the performance improvement roadmap is improved.
CALCE is developing an enhanced MOCA version known as the Technology Insertion MOCA. This version adds decision networks to the current sustainment methodology. The intended benefit is to consider other design factors besides obsolescence, making it possible to characterize key elements, such as performance and reliability, that influence design. Not only would it be possible to determine optimum refresh design dates but how the design might be improved. Although this methodology shows excellent promise, it is still not developed to the point of being a stable tool.
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