Microsoft Corporation’s Windows XP operating system was released in 2001 and quickly became the go-to computer operating system for many users. Since that time, Microsoft has introduced 4 + operating systems and discontinued Windows XP. On April 8th, 2014, support for Windows XP officially ended. What this means for the companies and individuals still running this operating system is that while the software will still run, patches and updates that kept the software safe and secure are no longer available. In situations where the machine running Windows XP is critical to the operation of a business, there is a greatly increased risk of downtime should the machine die and need to be replaced. Companies running programs written specifically for Windows XP will now face some hard decisions on how to move forward.
Like Microsoft, METTLER TOLEDO scale equipment has a lifecycle. A product is introduced. Eventually, it is discontinued and replaced with a new product. When a product is discontinued, it is then phased out. The phase-out includes a plan to have parts available for up to seven years after the discontinuance. In most cases, METTLER TOLEDO has parts available until the end of the designated period. Sometimes the parts availability is shorter, due either to a higher than expected demand or a discontinuance of component level parts from other manufacturers. Once the parts are gone, repairing the scale is no longer an option.
Do you know which of your scales are obsolete? What happens if they break? Can they be repaired? METTLER TOLEDO has a phase-out list available describing the last production date for a scale, the last date for available parts, and a suggested current model replacement. You can find the phase out list here.
You should have a plan in place to deal with a breakdown of scales critical to your manufacturing processes. For current model scales, you should consider purchasing key components to have on-hand. Having those components on-hand can mean the difference between getting up and running the same day versus 3 days from now, as most scale companies no longer stock all components for all scale models. For obsolete equipment, you should talk with your local scale provider. It can help you put an obsolescence plan in place. This plan can help you control costs through budgeting for replacement equipment. It can reduce downtime by identifying obsolete scales in critical processes, and help you either update or replace them before they fail.