Introduction & Standardization

All members of the supply chain are able to create, exchange, process and distribute smartPCN records by using readily available IT tools. Each member has flexibility to develop policies, process and software solutions appropriate to their own trade-off between the level of investment they wish to make and the percentage of automation they would like to achieve. Industrial consultants can help with strategic decisions.

Automation of some of the more tedious and error prone obsolescence management tasks such as manual transmission, re-formatting, interpretation and oversight of PCN data creates new business improvement opportunities. These may include direct cost savings, closer partnering across the supply chain, simplified compilation of project metrics, and better product or system outcomes such as availability, maintainability, sustainability, affordability and profitability. The smartPCN standard helps to narrow down the process for everyone.

ROLE BENEFIT RATIONALE
Component supplier Efficient creation and transmission of one PCN format, no customised versions for different customers One-off effort to integrate smartPCN to process and systems establishes recurring savings
Electronics subcontract manufacturer The automated processing of both PCNs received from suppliers and regular PCN reports for customers at component and assembly levels Reduced processing costs, lower error rates, reduced latency between receipt of PCNs from suppliers and transmission of PCNs to customers
Automotive assemblies manufacturer Can add qualification evidence and configuration control records as an optional part of smartPCN dataset One coherent, integrated dataset for all customers instead of disparate multiple reports specific to each customer’s proprietary formats
Car maker (OEM) Common and standard interface to OEM’s assemblies manufacturers Removes cost overhead of multiple proprietary portals and PCN formats

Example of benefits within the automotive industry

Studies have shown that after allowing for initial investment in updates to process and systems and training in the use of PCN tools, savings in costs of over 70% are possible when smartPCN is adopted and automated exchange and processing is implemented. The smartPCN format is anchored in the German standards landscape via VDMA 24903:2017-12 “Obsolescence management – Exchange of information regarding change and discontinuance of products and items”. An extended version of VDMA 24903 is in preparation as an IEC standard. In the meantime smartPCN is already referenced in IEC 62402:2019 “Obsolescence Management” and is promoted through training courses and events sponsored by COGD.