Minimizing your long term cost of ownership is a key goal at Abaco. We do this in a variety of ways – from designing-in compatibility across generations of products to a range of long term support services that minimize the potential impact of obsolescence.
It starts with designing successive generations of products to be pin-compatible with their predecessors – making technology insertion to obtain incremental performance and functionality easier and more cost-effective. An example: the PPC11A we introduced recently was form, fit and function compatible with the PPC1A we introduced in 1995.
That’s one way in which we protect our customers from obsolescence. Another is our innovative, flexible range of PLM – Product Lifecycle Management – services. These can be tailored to your program’s specific requirements – and, in fact, your long term planning may choose to leverage both a technology insertion strategy and a long term support strategy.
You may want to take advantage of our product ‘health checks’. We’re members of the Component Obsolescence Group, and that allows us to monitor the projected availability of every part we use. Using this, you can get the advance information that makes long term planning possible. If you decide to make a lifetime buy of a component or product, we can store those for you in our state of the art, environmentally controlled storage facility for you to deploy as and when you need them.
We also maintain the facilities – such as test and diagnostic equipment - and personnel necessary to support any product we have ever sold. One of the founding principles of PLM is that we preserve the knowledge, skills and ability to support our products for as long as our customers need us to.
Our technology insertion philosophy allows customers to seamlessly integrate new, higher performance hardware technologies while retaining form, fit and function and application software compatibility. This capability is enormously attractive to companies in the defense and aerospace market where the life of a program is often measured in decades.
In addition, these companies have invested significant time and effort in detailed system integration and validation, and they want to be an integral part of the configuration management/change approval process throughout the life of the program. Controlling the configuration is an important part of their risk-reduction strategy. Our Configuration Management Service is designed for these customers.
Configuration Management enables customers to choose one of two options: you can choose to be informed of the changes as they occur, or you may choose to be party to approval of the changes, and therefore to control the configuration baseline.
The Configuration Management process generates a manufacturing data package which identifies and records both the hardware and software configurations. These include, for example: build state; address mapping; I/O configurations; BSP, drivers and BIT diagnostic firmware requirements; and revision level status of the system elements. Controlled configuration ensures that later purchases of the same equipment will be identical to the original.
Abaco Systems was among the first companies to bring to market commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products that were rugged by design–as opposed to commercial products that were ruggedized as an afterthought.Read more
With the defensive approach, you freeze the design of the system from the outset of production. The impact of obsolescence is then managed through a combination of component health checks, 'buy ahead' of spare parts and their long-term environmentally controlled storage. Abaco provides these services for customers who determine that the defensive approach is their best option.
The defensive approach sees configuration control used to manage any potential changes to the build state.
Although the potential for obsolescence increases with time and features/ performance may lag behind more up-to-date systems, this defensive approach ensures excellent equipment interchangeability and the highest in-service reliability for the whole program life.
The progressive approach brings technology insertion into play. This enables regular, planned system updates that can take advantage of the latest COTS technologies, facilitated by standard product architectures and layers of software insulation. This strategy minimizes the impact of obsolescence while ensuring that features and performance stay up to date.
Both the above strategies have potential downsides. With the defensive approach, that might be the cost of finding component EOL buys. With the progressive approach, there may be the possibility of introducing unforeseen problems with more up to-date products. It may simply be that the circumstances of a particular program do not suit either of these strategies.
Under a mixed approach, it is possible to combine the defensive approach with technology insertion to achieve the optimum result. An example of this is to break a 15-year project into three planned 5-year cycles. Having initially frozen the design, you would use defensive techniques for Phase 1 production - monitoring obsolescence and finding EOL buys while taking a progressive approach to planning for technology insertion system enhancements to be integrated for Phase 2.
This is a good compromise for many programs, providing the benefits of the two methods while minimizing the potential downside of each of them. Abaco Systems offers a flexible array of services enabling you to adopt the strategy best suited to your program scenario.
Product Lifecycle Management
Product Lifecycle Management for Mission Critical Electronics
Simple... Effective... Long Term Support services.
Flexible options to enable you to stay in control of your configuration
throughout your program’s lifetime.