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Industry association COG Deutschland e.V. celebrates 10th anniversary of its founding
Ulrich Ermel, Chairman of COG Deutschland e.V., celebrated with more than 100 invited guests and members of the association at the historic Flugwerft Schleissheim (an aviation museum located in the German town of Oberschleissheim near Munich). During the ceremony, he stated pleasingly that the past 10 years had impressively demonstrated that even a relatively small industry association can set a lot of things in motion with suitable committed members in diverse working groups. According to Ulrich Ermel, it is particularly pleasing that today, thanks to the intensive work of the association, in addition to affected companies, many component manufacturers and distributors were much more open to obsolescence problems than was the case 10 years ago. This is also essential in view of the fact that currently up to 50 percent of the costs incurred throughout the entire life-cycle of an electronically controlled system are directly and indirectly caused by components that are discontinued or for other reasons no longer available. “Recent surveys and research carried out by COG Deutschland and its UK sister company IIOM (International Institute of Obsolescence Management) give cause to fear that these costs will probably increase even further in the future. It is therefore all the more important to search together for ways how obsolescence risks can be reduced and how to lessen any consequences. The continuous exchange of information, experience and expertise has long become an indispensable part of the obsolescence management of our members and in many cases also their cost management,” explained Ulrich Ermel.
COG Deutschland e.V., a non-profit interest grouping with currently 130 members, was launched in April 2005 by 26 industry, trade and service companies. Within just a few years, COG Deutschland developed into the most important national dialog platform for all companies that suffer from the consequences of shorter ‒ meanwhile, frequently less than one or two years ‒ product life cycles of electronic parts and components.
At the members’ quarterly meetings, it is no longer just about mutual exchange of practical experience and tips for the handling of obsolescence problems. Manufacturers and distributors, who want to present their obsolescence strategies to a wide audience of experts, are also very welcome guests at the expert meetings. Furthermore, the events serve as a platform for the diverse internal working groups to present problem solutions developed by them. A current example is the smartPCN Manager, developed over the course of several years by COG members, and now nearly ready to go into mass production. The user-specific configurable tool supports companies to achieve a drastic reduction of multiple processing of PCN (Product Change Notification) and EOL (End of Life) messages or in ideal cases to avoid them entirely. Making data available in XML format could reduce the manual effort by up to 75 percent and thus also contribute to a drastic reduction of processing costs.
Despite the significant successes of the past 10 years, Ulrich Ermel also sees lots of work ahead for the association in the next decade. “Obviously, we are aware that the discontinuation of products cannot be avoided in the future, especially not over periods of 10, 20 or more years. However, the sooner we receive the relevant information from manufacturers, the greater the chances are of not falling into the obsolescence trap. Without doubt much has developed very positively here in recent years, even though we are still a long way from reaching the end of our mission.”
Detailed information about the work of COG Deutschland e.V. can be found at their website: www.cog-d.de.
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