- What does the term "NRND" present by some controllers on the maxon website mean in practice?
- How long will a controller be still available if it is marked as NRND?
"NRND" means that ...
- ... a controller is not recommended for the development of new machines or devices based on it. (NRND stands for is "Not recommended for new designs".)
- ... a controller was developed a long time ago (i.e. often more than 10 years ago) and it is at the end of its so-called product life cycle.
- ... there are newer and more state-of-the-art maxon controllers present with a similar and often more enhanced feature set and performance. These new controllers should be used for new projects and the development of new machines and devices.
- ... there will be no more firmware, software, driver, or manual updates available for this controller in future anymore.
- ... such controllers will not be present within the maxon catalog anymore, i.e. there will be no more marketing activities for these controllers.
"NRND" does NOT(!!) mean that such a product will be canceled soon.
- The controller in NRND state is still available, it can be ordered, and it is still produced in series. Typically the controller is available on stock (even in high quantities).
- Support and repair services is still ensured.
- All the data sheets, manuals, and software can be downloaded by the corresponding maxon product website.
Typically there is a time gap of about five years in between a product's initial NRND state and the end of production. Anyway it is even possible that it will be extended up to 10 years (or even more) if the ordered quantities are still high and all components are available. It is impossible to provide a guaranteed figure about this period in advance. All mentioned periods are based on some practical experience during the last years. Technical support and repair service will be still ensured as long as possible (even after a product has been finally canceled and cannot be ordered anymore).
There are mainly two influencing factors about the decision when production will be finally stopped:
- Market demands
As long as there is a market demand (by all customers) of more than 500 .... 1000 pcs. of a specific controller per year present, it will still be produced (if all components are available). Quite often there have been more than 10000 or 100000 pcs. of a controller type shipped within its product life cycle. These controllers are in use by machines and devices which may be still produced and sold by maxon customers. Finally the market requests is one criteria if the effort and increasing costs of an "old" controller's low volume production is still competitive or it will be more efficient to switch to a new controller type (e.g. EPOS2 -> EPOS4).
- Availability of components
A "killing" criteria which finally triggers end of production are specific components (e.g. processors) which are not available anymore and the component stock is also gone. maxon has a professional product and obsolescence management team which tracks the information of component manufacturers and availability of components on a regular base. This prevents from getting trapped by "suddenly" not available components which would result in a hard stop of a controller's production without any chance to build up some stock or investigate in alternative solutions.
maxon's professional product management
maxon's product management team monitors the market requests for each controller type and the availability of components permanently during any state of a product's life cycle. This team identifies varying market requests and is informed about discontinuation of electronic component of a controller. This is the base to plan end of production and inform customers before this actually happens.
maxon operates an active obsolescence management together with its EMS partners in order to recognize the discontinuation of components at an early stage and to initiate appropriate measures. As a rule, priority is given to evaluating a second-source component and qualifying it with appropriate tests in order to ensure continued production. If this is not possible from a technical or commercial point of view, the product discontinuation process will be initiated.
In case of a product discontinuation maxon follows the so-called Jedec Standard JESD48B. This means in practice that maxon informs known series customers affected by a product discontinuation. From this point in time (the so-called "LTB - Last time buy" or "Last time order" call) there typically remains a period of 6 months to order a discontinued controller. Each customer can order its long-tern demand during this period to ensure a sufficient at its own stock to ensure for future production as well as service availability.
maxon's sales engineers, as well as the support and product management teams are open to discuss each individual situation to find the best possible solution. If the usage of a new controller type for an existing device or system is focused, the support team can provide some hints concerning most important points which have to be taken into account and checked by tests before the final decision for a replacement or another strategy (e.g. "Last order") has to be chosen.
What does "NRND" mean for your product or project?
If there are any specific questions based on the "NRND" state or even discontinuation of a controller in use by your product or project, please do not hesitate to contact your maxon sales engineer or local maxon company. We are pleased to discuss your concrete case and recommended solution. Any serious discussion also requires that we get some more insight into your system design and what controller features have been actually in use in the past. Typical initial questions in case of an EPOS will be what operating modes and what objects have been in use.