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end of life (EOL)

End of life (EOL), in the context of manufacturing and product lifecycles, is the final stages of a product’s existence.

The particular concerns of end-of-life depend on the product in question and whether the perspective is that of the manufacturer or the user. For the manufacturer, EOL concerns involve not only discontinuing production but also continuing to address the market needs that the product addresses -- which might lead to the development of a new product. For the business using the product, EOL concerns include disposing of the existing product responsibly, transitioning to a different product and ensuring that disruption will be minimal.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) is a systematic approach to managing the series of changes a product goes through, from its design and development to its ultimate retirement or disposal. PLM software can be used to automate the management of product-related data and integrate the data with other business processes such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MES).

This was last updated in December 2013

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