Hi Douglas: I've spoken with America II, World Micro directly, and corresponded with several other independents within the past year or so. One of our bloggers, Dawn Gluskin, is a principal at an independent and writes at length about some of the techniques.
America II buys its own equipment which consists of x-ray and scanning equipment and really good (forget the term--micron?) microscopes. Components go through both tests before they are sold. Most of the independents seem to do their inspection in-house, although I've heard of some that outsource it.
I know there are a couple of different ways to scan/x-ray components. I know AmII uses the more robust of the options.
I'll check a few sites and back to you with more technical terms. "Really good" microscopes doesn't really cut it...
Could you identify some of the independent distributors and tell us what they do to catch the counterfeit parts before they go into their stockrooms? Do they hire outside companies to do the work or do they have internal people assigned full time to the job.
@BLYNCH: In theory, absolutely. In practice, independents don't just sell stuff, they buy it as well. The imperfections in forecasting mean there will always be a supply/demand imbalance. The supply chain is a two-way street where partners buy and sell, and most independents buy and sell the same factory-made products OEMs and EMS companies are buying. While it is true that buying from an independent increases the risk you may end up with a counterfeit part, the terms "independent distributor" and "counterfeit" are not interchangeable. Reputable independents go to great lengths to avoid counterfeits.
Wouldn't a large part of this problem go away if customers purchased from Authorized, Franchised Distributors / or Manufacturers direct, instead of searching the world for anyone who can supply a product for 'less'?
Paulwolb, I like the term "chain of custody" and especially your assessment that this cannot be relied upon to fight counterfeiting. In fact, the reliance on that "chain of custody" is the centerpiece of many people's argument. Buyers are asked to buy only from franchise distributors alone or the actual manufacturers. This presupposes that these sources cannot be corrupted. It represents a baseline, only, though. As you noted, people can be bought.
Douglas, Glad to see Barbara's name can be upended too. I have had the pleasure of being known as blji, bojali, bojo or some other variation of my name. Interestingly, some of these errors have come in emails, which makes me wonder about the emails I didn't receive because somebody couldn't figure out how my correct mailing address!
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.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
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.