Everything we do we believe in long product life. We do this with great attention to detail. We engineer great solutions for our customers and we just happen to make PC/104 modules too. Contact us at: 608-256-0767 or customer.service@apexembeddedsystems.com

Sustaining Engineering Services

What the heck is sustainment engineering?

Sustaining engineering is all about managing the long term aspects of the product life cycle. This includes planning during the early years of a products life cycle as well as mitigating an end of life (EOL) or obsolescence challenge.

Apex Embedded Systems LLC has applied technology refreshes for a variety of hardware that is nearing EOL or has already entered obsolescence phase of its life cycle in order to extend the overall system production life cycle. This saves resources by minimizing system re-qualification and avoids complete redesign of an aging system.


Value of refreshing or updating existing hardware:

  • Mitigate risk
  • Minimize costly software rewrites and risks
  • Reduce capital expenditures
  • Take advantage of current technology
  • Extend production life cycles
  • Save time in re-qualification
  • Pay for improvements over time

Apex Embedded Systems LLC has performed hardware refreshing for OEM customers who have experienced EOL or obsolescence board level issues but wish to keep their system in production as their system still adds value to the market place.  Possible ways to refresh board level modules:  (1) drop-in replacement, (2) replacement with a software compatible replacement (hardware portion not 100% same), (3) merger of multiple EOL cards into a single card and/or (4) superset functionality adding much needed new features along with legacy functions.

Drop-in:   Apex Embedded Systems LLC has extended the production life cycle by providing a drop-in replacement for the board or module that has gone EOL. This eliminates the need to modify existing software, and avoid costly software or system re-qualification.

Software Compatible:  Apex Embedded Systems LLC has delivered software compatible PC/104 modules by modifying our existing PC/104 standard products and adapting them to other legacy or other third party cards; thus delivering a drop-in (or near drop-in) solution avoiding costly application software rewrites or system re-qualification.  In some cases, we become a second source option improving availability within your supply chain.

Multi-card Merge:  We have also taken old multi-card systems and merged to a single card solution, thus reducing costs and inventory outlays while still maintaining form-fit-function.

Superset Functions:  We have provided superset functionality while still maintaining software legacy interfaces. Our standard STX104 card is a great example of multiple card integration along side super-set functionality.


Systems we have delivered board level updates typically contain some of the following bus interfaces:

  • PCI
  • PC/104
  • PCMCIA
  • ISA bus (IEEE P996)
  • IEEE 583-1982 IEEE Standard Modular Instrumentation and Digital Interface System or Computer Automated Measurement and Control (CAMAC)
  • STD Bus
  • printer port (IEEE1284)
  • RS232, RS422, RS485 and any serial related
  • other proprietary parallel bus communication structures


Physics applications of a Computer Automated Measurement and Control (CAMAC)
CAMAC Multi-Card Merge Upgrade Example. Here we merged four separate cards into one card assembly, thus reducing inventory requirements and increasing reliability.




LPM/MCM-OPTO48 WinSystems Drop-in replacement card
Std Bus Drop-in Replacement Example.



Octagon Model 2656 Digital I/O drop-in replacement
PC/104 Drop-in Replacement Example. The one issue about drop-in replacements is that the original manual and documentation don't always give a clear picture of actual functionality!



APIX DSP32-STD-4A replacement sporting 16 Isolated high resolution analog input channels
STD Bus Hardware Compatible Example. In this case, the register set was not clearly defined but hardware requirements were well defined.