LONDON A seminar at the DTI in London is planned to help medical sector keep vital equipment in service by tackling growing problem of component obsolescence.
Darian McBain, Head of the NHS Sustainability, Purchasing and Supply Agency will give the keynote speech at the seminar, which will be held at the DTI Conference Centre on July 7. Hosted by the Component Obsolescence Group (COG) the event should help healthcare professionals and medical device suppliers deal with the growing problem of how vital equipment can be maintained in service if components within it become obsolete.
Michael Trenchard, Chief Executive of COG, said, “Since healthcare budgets do not allow frequent replacement of existing devices, which in many cases still perform well, maximising their useful life expectancy is crucial. However, if parts become obsolete, expensive and vital equipment in need of repair may have to be taken out of service temporarily or even permanently. Even if replacement parts can be tracked down, they could be several times the original cost, and then there could be additional man-hours involved if parts of the equipment need to be re-designed to accommodate them.” “In addition to the difficulties in providing adequate after-sales maintenance which many suppliers may face, obsolescence can actually cause problems at an even earlier stage and affect the whole supply chain. Components may become obsolete even before the equipment they are to go into is ready for production. Designers may find they can no longer use particular technologies, and manufacturing lines could be disrupted if they cannot procure vital parts.” At the seminar Roger Rogowski of QinetiQ will address the Effect of Component Obsolescence on Long Life Equipment while William King of Elekta will examine the causes of Obsolescence and the Need to Manage it. Ian Blackman of Dionics will explain Obsolescence Management Principles and Peter Marstono Rochester Electronics will look at the Analysis of the Costs of Operation. Trenchard, adds, “Although component obsolescence is having an increasing impact on both medical equipment suppliers and healthcare providers, the message we are getting is that it remains largely unquantified and uncontrolled in the sector today. However, since it is an issue which has already affected a wide variety of other sectors which rely on expensive, long-lifespan equipment, there is a substantial bank of knowledge about the issues and solutions which can be applied to help them mitigate potential problems. These will be shared at this seminar.”