Enroll in EPTAC's Presentation of IDEA's Counterfeit and Substandard Component Mitigation & Inspection Training Program.
Based on IDEA-STD-1010: Acceptability of Electronic Components Distributed in the Open Market, this course provides a basic introduction to Counterfeit Mitigation as well as hands-on training in methods for the visual detection of counterfeit and substandard characteristics.
I think we will see an increase before we see a drop in counterfeit parts. I believe it takes time to educate and focus. Just as companies have documented expectations and agreements with their regular suppliers, I think, in the not too distant future, we will see proactive statements from distributors and wholesalers announcing anti-counterfeiting measures with correlating metrics in order to gain new customers' confidences. It will become a selling and marketing point as they will substantiate their claims with reports declaring so many parts sold with no returns for counterfeit etc. Likewise, customers will require that the suppliers have effective anti-counterfeiting measures in place before commencement of business. In a soon-to-be posted article titled "The Supplier Quality Audit", I have included both REACH and RoHS Compliance and anti-counterfeiting measures on the survey criteria. If that happens universally, then most companies will move towards an organized and sytematic approach towards thwarting the counterfeiters now working through the various licit supply chains. Maybe then we will see a reduction, but as the saying almost goes, build a better mousetrap and from the ones that got away, you'll create a race of super intelligent, highly evolved, criminally inclined, master race of malevolent rats.
I have no experience with non-electronic parts which are being counterfeited, however, it seems to me that we are all missing the point of how to eliminate the counterfeiting which is going on in the electronics industry's supply chains.
If the counterfeiters did not have any of the scrap material to use for counterfeiting, ( i.e. if you dried up their supply) then their ability to remove parts, remark them and sell them as new parts would be gone.I believe, as do others, that we would be served best if we did all the scrapping of used, old, unwanted electronic items here in the United States, where the reclamation of the desired materials could be done correctly and under our supervision.We need to stop shipping this unwanted material offshore, and, instead, do the reclamation here.
In order to do this, we would have to set up special centers where the scrap is processed.We could use currently unemployed workers to perform this work, and pay them out of the vast amount of money which is currently being spent on the effort to defeat the present counterfeit problem. We should keep the government out of the process, since we do not need an additional bureaucratic cost, and, instead, use one of the existing professional entities such as UL, or IEEE, or even NASA Goddard instead.
Those Component Engineers who have written specifications for parts for years would have the necessary knowledge on how to write the necessary specifications on how to reclaim and separate the desired materials obtainable from the scrap, such as gold, silver, lead and silicon.Perhaps you might have to throw a few metallurgists into the mix, along with people who know how to get rid of the excess ceramic which would result in order to get an efficient method defined, but there are plenty of unemployed people out there who could do this, and we should tap into this vast resource.
Passive parts such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, etcetera, would also be included into the reclamation mix, and anything else which might be of value, such as the metal from old washing machines & dryers, and other things – the list goes on and on.Let's keep our resources here and make appropriate useof them, instead of shipping them elsewhere (costly), and paying shipping cost (costly) for the resultant materials to return here as raw product.The cost of doing this could be shared by a variety of means (TBD), but a majority could come from the cost savings achieved by not having to test everything before using it.
If this was done here, in the US, it would provide jobs for the unemployed, but, most importantly, it would dry up the material used by the counterfeiters to make their spurious parts.If it were found that scrap electronic items were still being shipped offshore, the fines imposed on these offenders would also add to the amount of money available to perform the reclamation here in the US.
Yes, it would require oversight to impose and maintain, but the cost savings would be enormous.Imagine what it'd be like, if you didn't have to worry about counterfeiting and could only do the testing which is performed routinely.Do you believe that this would improve your bottom line?I do.
Now to address some of the comments in this thread:
@Dave:I fully agree with you that the pharmaceutical, chemical and medical industries also have a major problem with counterfeiting, but addressing items outside the electronic industry is not within my purview.Thus, since this is so far outside my solutions experience, I feel that it is prudent to leave to others better qualified than I am, to solve the non-electronics counterfeiting which is occurring.My best solution for the electronics industry (how to do it, I don't know for these industries) is to find a means of drying up their supply, but as I see it, this may not a perfect solution either, since the counterfeiting processes elsewhere are different.
@opeters & Douglas:I believe that we are trying to use very technical means to solve the problem, and that maybe we need to step back and look at how we can solve it using the "why" procedure to which Douglas referred above.In my opinion, if we "why" enough, we'll ultimately come to a simple solution (The easiest things are the hardest to find).
@Barbara:Why are we trying to "technology" the problem?Why not simplify and "cut them off at the pass" – eliminate their source of product to use for counterfeiting.Put the unemployed here to work solving the problem, don't give any raw material to the counterfeiters in China by not sending it there , make the visits and audits here in the US (much less costly than overseas) and shorten the length of time it takes to obtain the desired raw materials from the waste.The anti-counterfeiting industry is becoming like the border patrol along our southern border – too much effort expended and not enough results.Let's use the "KISS" principle.I won't go into how we could slam the southern border shut – it'd be "politically incorrect".
@Douglas:You're correct – let's go low tech, keep the waste product in the US & use presently unemployed workers to recycle the product here & keep the shipping costs down.Use unemployed CE's to write the recycling specs, etc., as discussed above and solve your $64,000 question.
@RoHScompliant:If I had a testing facility tell me that they would not guarantee the authenticity of a product which they were testing for me, I would cancel the testing contract and look elsewhere for someone who would stand behind their product & services.There's no excuse for that kind of attitude. It also implies that they're not doing a good job for you since they don't want to guarantee their work.
@Bolagi: Product contaminated by counterfeit parts is a well-known problem within the manufacturing industries discussed above (& probably others too).I believe that we need to cut them off at the foot by denying them raw material, rather than trying to find out if they've raped us after the fact. Let's be proactive rather than reactive.Also, let's get the emotions out of it – let's get the problem solved as fast and effectively as possible and work together for the common good (Impossible ?)
@Barbara:I wonder what Douglas did with his black powder after he "blended" his i-phone, and in what condition was the blender when he was through.I thought that I had a twisted sense of humor, but that is a weird thing to do.
@ Barbara & Douglas: I'll bump you both up with a recording of "Yes we have no bananas" just to make the game interesting.
@Bolaji: They couldn't fight a war if there was no material with which to fight.
@all:Yes I'm a radical thinker, but I believe that simpler is better.
Like I said before 95% of the countfiet product comes from CHINA.
I love counterfiet product Rolex Watches, Purses, Jewlery, I just want to know when I'm buy couterfiet product. I don't want a counterfiet Sony TV, Golf Clubs, Chey Volt made in CHINA, Etc. I really don't want counterfiet units in the Electronics of Military product, Boeing Aircraft, Military weapons, etc.
Bust some contract manufactors that are buying counterfiet units, take them to trial, put it in the new paper, internet, then lets see what happens.
Boy! That is ugly! In the coming weeks, I will look at who shoulders the liability for counterfeit parts as it relates to the Supply Chain.. If there is no real accountability, then that implies the motivation level to resolve the problem may be lower than needed. Definitely worth exploring that issue. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
There may be some sensitivity as to who wants to admit in particular that they have a counterfeiting problem with their supplier, but it is not just limited to electronics as I am sure you are aware. I just had a short talk with a company that provides water distillation systems and they said they had a recurring problem with a pump source. At design Con I met a major connector company that said when his customers started complaining about poor product, it turned out that the connectors were bootlegged and the plating was radically different. The part marking was forged. I will be interviewing this vivtimized company's officer soon. I know that drugs, cosmetics, white goods, clothing, jewelery, watches, etc have been "knocked off" for years. How else could I explain owning two genuine Rolex watches that I purchased in Taiwan for $20 each back in the early 80's? When I took them to a watch maker here in the uS, he got out his loop and hemmed and grunted for awhile and then asked me if they were real. I could have purchased genuine Guchi leather goods for about the same price....from the next outdoor stall to the right. The problem is very significant in the Electronics industry because the techniques for counterfeiting run the gammet from factories running two legitimate shifts, with a third shift using less qualified workers and no QC, to empty IC packages...no die whatsoever. In the latter case, the counterfeiter has access to some pretty significant equipment. That means we're up against some big money and organized criminals with well established transport mechanisms.
Douglas, You didn't address how pervasive counterfeiting is in the electronics industry. Could this be one reason why not too much attention is being paid to this problem? Or is it possible nobody wants to be known as the company whose products are targeted by counterfeiters?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.