There are advanced plans for a Benelux branch of the International Institute of Obsolescence Management (IIOM). The objective of obsolescence management is to avoid premature termination of electronic product life cycles due to component discontinuation or a lack of good replacements. PCB manufacturers and OEMs in the Benelux presently operate under the umbrella of the German IIOM branch. Now the Benelux companies want to have their own branch.
Preparations for a separate Benelux branch are in full swing. In early February representatives of Belgian and Dutch companies in the production and distribution sectors attended a kickoff meeting at the head office of Elektor, located in Limbricht near Sittard (Netherlands). The meeting was chaired by Stuart Kelly, the British CEO of the IIOM.
Kelly was enthusiastic about the meeting, and he thinks the Benelux initiative has a good chance of succeeding. Membership is open to every interested company and is not limited to OEMs, PCB manufacturers, distributors or system integrators. Kelly thinks in terms of the entire supply chain, which also includes end users in the chemical, aviation and railway industries, among others. Membership is additionally open to individual persons. Among other things, members are eligible to attend meetings oriented to obsolescence management and view specific information on the website, as well as discounts on workshops and subscription to a periodic newsletter.
The IIOM has agreed with the Benelux initiators to hold a founding meeting in the near future. The provisional executive committee would presumably be formed by Benelux initiators such as Arcoss (Belgian tool vendor) and Alcom (Dutch component distributor). The board of directors (council) would then be elected by a meeting of the members. Further details about the founding meeting will be provided later. If a Benelux branch is founded, it will be the second one in continental Europe (along with the German branch).