Counterfeit Part Issues for Military Programs

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William K.
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Production Synthesizer
counterfeit parts issues
William K.   2/9/2012 9:04:43 PM

The one "foolproof" method of avoiding faked, deffective, or substandard parts is incoming component testing. Several of my previous jobs have been designing test equipment to verify that components met standards prior to inclusion in a product. Of course this adds expense, there is no question about that, but our customers had always decided that it was less expensive to catch out of spec components prior to assembly than to have the customers find them. Of course, our testers had to be very reliable and quite accurate, and extremely robust, since if they failed our customers production lines would stop fairly quickly.

The one thing that I did have to remind some of our clients of early in the process is that it is simply not possible to test quality into a product. The testing is merely to verify that it is there.

Testing was often challenged as not being a value-added part of the production process,  and so sometimes I did have to point out the prices of the alternatives.

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Supply Network Guru
Re: Taking actions!
mfbertozzi   2/9/2012 2:26:56 PM

It is true, in addition, I am wondering if, in a such way, the program could receive benefits from ATCA - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement program and viceversa.

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Supply Network Guru
Re: Counterfeit or lower quality parts?
Jacob   2/9/2012 1:22:24 AM
1 saves

Dan, these types of activities from distributors can ruin the national saftey. Military qualified components are of high standard components based on different parameters like non volatile performance in high temperature, pressure, EMI, vibrations, high altitude etc. if counterfeit components are happened to be there, it may end up with the failure in mission critical projects/applications.

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Supply Network Guru
Stricter electronic waste management
prabhakar_deosthali   2/9/2012 1:10:06 AM

Apart from having strciter quality and process control norms for the second source manufactured parts, it is also necessary to have a well defined process to destroy the old and failed parts because they become the source for conuterfeiters.


It has been experienced that the conuterfeiter remove those failed parts from the elctronic waste and refurbish and repack them to look like brand new parts.

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Supply Network Guru
Counterfeit or lower quality parts?
_hm   2/8/2012 9:10:52 PM

Can this be called counterfeit part or lower quality part?


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Supply Network Guru
Interesting article
FLYINGSCOT   2/8/2012 4:16:43 PM

I enjoyed reading your article.  Do you have any data to show how big the problem actually is?  I wondered if such data existed as I could imagine the military would not be overly keen to broadcast it.

stochastic excursion
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Stock Keeper
Re: Counterfeit parts production
stochastic excursion   2/8/2012 3:26:39 PM

I can see the original supplier wanting the franchised manufacturer to adhere to specific process guidelines.  Also, a certain amount of parametric testing should go on at each stage of the supply chain to catch any gaps in performance that would indicate counterfeiting.

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Supply Network Guru
Taking actions!
Hospice_Houngbo   2/8/2012 2:09:48 PM

Thank you Dan,

Conterfeit part issues are a significant challenge for high-end electronic manufacturers that directly impact many industries, and they can turn projects into higher cost as described in this article. It is good to know that actions can still be taken to limit conterfeiting in military programs. 

Barbara Jorgensen
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Counterfeit parts production
Barbara Jorgensen   2/8/2012 1:47:18 PM

Dan: taking a look at after-market semiconductor suppliers will be of great value to our readers. One distinction I have seen over the years is that some companies are authorized by suppliers to manufacture obsolete parts. This is similar to companies being franchised to sell current components. The chip maker provides the masks, die and other elements needed to product EOL chips, which is a de factor warranty from the original supplier.

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