When you receive end-of-life (EOL) or end-of-service life (EOSL) notifications for your trusted instrument, it can be concerning. The difference between the two terms is not always clear. Understanding the differences is crucial to evaluating your aging device’s risks and planning for the future.
While your lab has an extensive history with this quality equipment, it must be understood that as equipment ages, the risk of failure increases yearly.
What is End of Life (EOL)?
The end of life of a product means the product has been discontinued and is no longer offered for sale.
Some manufacturers will offer extended service support following the end-of-life date. During that time, they will continue to service or repair for as long as the spare parts are available. The terms and conditions are at the discretion of the manufacturer.
Typically, manufacturers offer a replacement product that builds on the legacy of the product that has reached the end of its life. They also may have the last buy on the product being discontinued. In addition, strategic manufacturers will often ease the transition for existing customers by providing retrofit capabilities to newer products. This helps labs plan and budget for the latest instrumentation.
As a lab, one must plan for the current year and the years ahead. Therefore, if the requirement for the calibrator is immediate and short-term, it may make sense to take advantage of the last buy.
What is End of Service Life (EOSL)?
End of service means a product has outlived the parts required to repair it.
This situation is a risk to laboratories that depend on their equipment daily. Without planning, it can create a loss of production or revenue. To prevent these risks, knowing the typical end-of-service life cycles on critical instruments is essential. This will help you properly plan the process of replacing aging equipment and eliminate the surprise of obsolete equipment.
When a product reaches the end of life, a manufacturer can do some repairs for a little longer to buy you some time. However, once it comes to the end of service life, some components or parts are no longer replaceable or fixable.
The Equipment May Still Work
With regular care and maintenance of equipment, it maintains longevity. When you get an EOL or EOSL notice, it can be easy to assume that the instrument is no longer working. However, that is not necessarily the case. If those are the only notice you receive, then the equipment is still operational for the time being. However, once the equipment does need repairs, it may not be possible.
Tips for Transitioning
Once a notice is received, it is time to begin planning and transitioning to the new piece of equipment.
Utilize EOL and EOSL notices in budgetary planning. More companies than ever are utilizing three to five-year planning to minimize the risks of production stoppage. In addition, the notices can be used as a case to management that old equipment presents a financial risk. Being proactive with management and the budget can minimize catastrophes.
Check on trade-in stipulations. Many manufacturers will offer a month or two to keep the old and new equipment running side by side to ensure no issues with the new unit. Trading in an old model for promotional savings will help with budgeting.
End of life and end of service are investable for all equipment, but it does not have to be painful. Careful planning can not only minimize the risks to your production and profitability, but it can open up more efficiency. If you are having trouble figuring out your next best step, SRP control systems can help. Contact us today.