“End of Life.” Sounds morbid, doesn’t it? But before you flood your mind with images of long black cars and gothic letters chiseled in granite, let me reassure you that we’ll only be discussing the phrase as it pertains to your medical imaging equipment.
What does "End of Life" mean?
“End of Life” (EOL) means that a product has reached the limits of its primary market viability, and as a result, support is discontinued or limited. If you have a system that is EOL, the OEM may find it difficult to help you in servicing/supporting the unit.
We’ve seen the major OEMs assign EOL designation a number of times to reliable, workhorse systems that could keep scanning if parts and engineers were available to nurse them through their occasional hiccups. But, in light of the never-ending stream of new and improved technology, these products are left behind, and OEM services are refocused on new and late-model equipment.
This can be a serious sticking point for facilities struggling to make their way to that next imaging equipment upgrade. Fortunately, through years of working through EOL designations, we’ve learned some things concerning EOL imaging equipment that can help facilities in this situation.
What we know about EOL equipment
Technical Support Phase-outs: It is our experience that when the OEM terms their product EOL, their technical support for the unit is generally phased out. The time frame for phase-out varies, but the endgame is the same.
One of the prompts for EOL designation is part scarcity. When the parts suppliers that manufacture components for OEMs no longer supply the parts for a particular unit the OEM begins to lean toward dubbing the system EOL.
In the case of an EOL service call, the OEMs still try to provide field service support, but there is no guarantee that there will be a trained engineer available to help. If a unit is no longer being sold, then it stands to reason that engineer training for it will cease.
HOW BLOCK IMAGING CAN HELP
Technical Support: In the event of an OEM phase-out, users can turn to Block Imaging for service support. Our team offers a variety of options to best serve your needs! From full service, to preventative maintenance, there's an option for everyone.
Parts Support: The used parts market is a great place to find reconditioned and tested parts from older equipment. Block Imaging has over 35,000 parts in stock AND offers same day shipping until 7:30PM EST MON-FRI.
Field Service Support: Our field service engineers are located around the United States and come equipped with knowledge across all modalities and manufacturers.
WHEN “END OF LIFE” IS REALLY “DEAD”
While you can add years to your medical imaging equipment via third-party parts & service providers after the OEM deems it EOL; not every problem can be cured.
Some equipment is so old that used parts vendors have abandoned the last few bits and pieces based on space constraints. Equipment made by smaller OEMs can pose a problem as well. Frequently these companies are bought out by the GE and Siemens of the world, and their product lines are EOL-ed before more than a few hundred can be made.
The same is true relative to engineering. The independent FSE might not make service calls anymore, and training provided to new engineers will cease, as their training will dedicate its time to learning the latest and greatest systems.
However, with the help of the used medical imaging industry, it’s safe to say that a piece of equipment outlast its OEM-designated end of life by several years.
Block Imaging is equipped to help with your equipment, parts, and service needs! You can enjoy 24/7 technical support, 35,000+ parts in stock, and seasoned field service engineers to keep your system up and running. Contact us today to explore your service options!