I have been thinking about this a lot as counterfeit parts are a major problem for everyone including the military. I am thinking about this in the same terms as I think about drug trafficking. The people making and moving the narcotics don't give a rip about the lives they are destroying and it is possibly the most selfish manifestation of human nature and heartlessness around. Part counterfeiters don't care if their parts end up in critical use medical products that may have life and death ramifications. Thankfully, most Manufacturer's final test to eliminate bad product thus reducing and possibly eliminating any field impact of counterfeit parts, but imagine the counterfeit part is the right part but used and re-blacktopped to look new. Now the factory has inadvertently put a low reliability part in a hi-Rel application. The lifetime of the product is shortened and consequently, the product does not work at some point when it is needed desperately. I know EBN is covering counterfeiting in their blogs and it is something on which we all want to stay current. I have several ideas for detecting and preventing counterfeits but I am no expert in this field and suggest we all keep investigating the technology for counter-counterfeiting. If you know of a forum where ideas can be presented, I would be happy to participate. Otherwise, you can email me at Douglas@componentsengineering.com and I will share my thoughts with you or others who want to discuss this issue and possibly contribute to the solution and not just to the verbiage.
Explore alternative resources, including third-party component brokers or overseas suppliers.
@Douglas, Thanks for the informative post. How we do make sure if the parts imported from third-party component brokers or overseas suppliers are genuine and not conterfiet ? What precuation we should take while selecting the supplier ?
I think 2,4,5 and 6 requires a physical presence. It helps to have a face-to-face with a Design Engineer as it let's them know you don't think you have all the answers and it reenforces the fact that the DE owns the design. It can be a very valuable time for exchange on other related concerns, respecting the limited opportunities to have uninterrupted meetings with the DE. For cannibalization, you will want to inspect the candidate boards to verify fitness of the part that will be desoldered. Maybe it is a down rev part that cannot be used or was previously disqualified by lot number or date code. Generally speaking, the CE role is a very hands on position as so many things can go wrong if the most stringent attention is required in order to not compound problems.
You have raised a significant issue that we need to address in another article. Compliance is becoming an ever increasing concern in order to ship product these days. Up to this point in time it has required additional effort to meet all of the environmental qualifiers like RoHS and Halogen Free, but coming up fast in many countries, in particular the EU member states, are the additional REACH requirements. At the present time, there are 53 SVHC, substances of very high concern, and the list is growing. Because the REACH list is dynamic, every part in an Item Master will have to be under constant scrutiny by the CE and certification documentation will have to be as equally as dynamic. A good CE department will have to allocate additional time and effort to keep up with these environmental mandates. New strategies for part qualification will have to include an equally dynamic means of tracking and updating environmental certification records almost in real time. I strongly recommend that every supply chain professional and engineering support service related position, familiarize themselves with REACH related concerns as soon as possible. ECHA.org is the definitive website hosting the SVHC list, educational material, and legislation. I will also be writing about REACH for Component Engineers. If a company expects to ship product into the EU, Japan, Brazil, India and many others now joining the list for REACH required qualification, then NOW is the time to understand all of the ramifications of REACH and take measures to assure dynamic compliance. As you say _hm, every part will have to be certified as part of the alternate source effort.
I think in design phase itself we have to tabularize similar kinds of components based on parameters. So it becomes easy to identify the alternate components for replacement. Otherwise, it’s difficult and time consuming process.
I'm wondering if most of these steps can be done online. I would imagine they can. It still sounds like it is very time-consuming, but as you point out in the long run, it saves time once the design reaches the manufacturing phase.
Douglas' comment about having 2 or more alternates already approved for parts is particularly appropriate within the aerospace community. There, the parameter controls on parts are usually very tight, and there are not too many suppliers who can meet the requirements. Usually, this is handled by having the alternate sources already listed on the SCD and Purchasing has a choice of 2 or more supplliers who will be able to provide the tigtly-controlled part. This reduces the amount of time needed to obtain more parts to meet your requirements.
An SCD can be very short, and just specify minimal parameters, or very detailed and tightly control many. It's all based upon the criticality of the parameters of a part which determines whether or not an SCD is required.
Sometimes, though, an SCD is written to control who is the approved vendor, and then it is called a Source Control Document (SCD), the acronym is used for both types of controlling documents, s, you need to be aware that there are 2 types of SCDs.
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