Can something as simple as good planning contribute to anti-counterfeiting measures? Of course it can. But a successful plan has to be proactive rather than reactive. In other words, a plan has to be put in place before a key component in your design ends up as an end-of-life (EOL) device.
The best way to avoid counterfeit components is to put a plan in place while the device is still active. Once a component reaches its end-of-life (EOL), the chances of sourcing a counterfeit part skyrocket. Some companies buy EOL inventory and resell authentic products. Others may take substandard parts and pass them off as EOL devices. A buyer or repair-person desperate for an EOL part might not know the difference.
If you are a manufacturer, look at your new product design and ask the following question: How many of these components will go EOL before my production schedule has reached its end?
Chances are, a good number of these parts will be EOL, particularly if you manufacture a product with a long lifecycle. Any product designed to last a decade or more likely requires extensive certification and qualification approvals. Medical, aerospace, communications, and transportation systems face the EOL challenge every day. So what do you do?
First, talk to a long-term authorized component specialist while the product is still active. Spell out your needs. Try to anticipate how long your production cycle may last to avoid a future hassle. Don't concentrate on what products are funded today, think about what will have to be funded tomorrow.
Few manufacturers can confidently predict how long their product will be in production. Markets and customer demands can change a lot in 10 years. Funding allocations also change. However, a proactive company will plan for EOL anyway and talk to specialists in that market. With a proper long-term supply plan and the right authorized partner, it is possible to ensure a safe, financially-sound supply chain for years to come.
Tomorrow, at 11:00 a.m. PST/2:00 p.m. EST, panelists from Rochester Electronics and Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) will discuss EOL and anticounterfeit measures in a Webinar, The Holistic Approach to Anti-Counterfeiting. ADI, a leading chip manufacturer, has worked with Rochester for more than a decade. As an authorized source for ADI products, Rochester supplies both EOL and active components to ADI customers. The two companies work in conjunction with customers to ensure the authenticity and continuing supply of EOL parts. Find out more tomorrow by registering at the link above.