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Don’t Keep Quiet on Counterfeits & Counterfeiters

The counterfeit issue within the semiconductor industry has been a hot topic throughout the United States more recently than in years past due to the increase in reported cases.

In a recent article, CBC News in Canada reported about Canada's most recent encounter with fake parts in a major military aircraft, which, to our surprise, has not pushed for immediate replacement of the questionable components.

The Canadian military was quoted in the article as saying: “At this point in time, other than continuing to be vigilant, we don't have any particular concerns in this country…” It is messages like this that are discouraging to members of the semiconductor supply chain who have been diligent in providing the required traceable devices to help out customers, both domestically and internationally.

Fortunately, there are “messengers” all over the world talking about the dangers of counterfeit. In Canada, one of them is Mark Tayles. Below is an excerpt from his latest article, “Still Clear, Still Present, Still Dangerous“:

A follow-on CBC News report this week doesn't reassure me that we appreciate the intrinsic nature of electronics and the potential danger from counterfeit devices.

Quoted is Martine Simard-Normandin (president and founder of Ottawa-based laboratory, MuAnalysis, a leading test facility for suspect counterfeit parts). 'I would not feel comfortable flying that aircraft, knowing they have used parts of essentially unknown traceability.'

Are you willing to be one of the industry's “messengers” about the dangers of counterfeiting? Let us know.

14 comments on “Don’t Keep Quiet on Counterfeits & Counterfeiters

  1. bolaji ojo
    January 24, 2013

    One of the scariest parts of watching and tracking discussions on counterfeits is the reality that a disaster could happen anytime as we wait and we may not be aware it is building up. By keeping quiet we assume the problem will go away or that it will not impact us. It's the quiet before the storm that can be most regrettable.

  2. FLYINGSCOT
    January 24, 2013

    A Jumbo jet has more than 6 million components so I wonder on average how many are fake in each plane.  That is why when I fly I take the precaution of having a nice glass of wine before during and after 😉

  3. Adeniji Kayode
    January 25, 2013

    One small component of an important part of a plane that is fake can cause a serious disaster and that is why counterfeit cannot be allowed to grow out of country.

  4. owen
    January 25, 2013

    UPDATE – DNA AUTHENTICATION MARKING ON ITEMS IN FSC 5962 

    DNA Marking requirements are unique to FSC 5962 and are being instituted for the safety of our service men and women. Effective immediately, only trusted sources who comply with Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) marking requirements in DLAD 52.211-9074 are eligible to receive FSC 5962 awards from DLA. There are no exceptions.

    Trusted sources are defined as either an original component manufacturer (OCM), a supplier on the qualified suppliers list of distributors (QSLD), an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), an authorized distributor, a manufacturer on the qualified manufacturers list (QML), a supplier on the qualified testing suppliers list (QTSL), or the manufacturer of generalized emulated parts (SRI). All trusted sources except those listed on the QTSL must have full traceability documentation for the item being procured.

    DLA recognizes there are situations where small businesses and other trusted sources of FSC 5962 are not prepared to comply with the new DNA marking requirements within the cost constraints and time frames required for product deliveries. Therefore, DLA is implementing a strategy to reimburse trusted sources who receive awards for the direct costs of the annual DNA marking license that must be obtained from Applied DNA Sciences (unique DNA mark, ink, authentication program, monthly reports, detector set (UV and IR), and training). Trusted sources will be reimbursed through a CLIN for “Contractor DNA Marking” in the award document. DLA will track reimbursements to ensure that trusted sources are only reimbursed for one license per year.
     

  5. bolaji ojo
    January 25, 2013

    Flyingscot, As long as its not counterfeit wine 🙂

  6. mfbertozzi
    January 27, 2013

    Well, although here at EBN we focus on electronics, we don't forget to understimate how critical is the matter for goods, in general (including food). I guess in the future a worldwide organization for beating any counterfeit action (it doesn't matter the field) will be setup.

  7. Taimoor Zubar
    January 28, 2013

    “One small component of an important part of a plane that is fake can cause a serious disaster and that is why counterfeit cannot be allowed to grow out of country.”

    @Adeniji: I agree. Unfortunately, it's impossible to tell after a plane crash if the malfunctioning in the aircraft was caused due to counterfeit parts. This is one reason why counterfeiters are able to get away.

  8. Taimoor Zubar
    January 28, 2013

    “By keeping quiet we assume the problem will go away or that it will not impact us. It's the quiet before the storm that can be most regrettable.”

    @Bolaji: Indeed. And the issue becomes much more critical when the counterfeit products impact human lives as may be in the case of counterfeit medicines or food products. Nothing is more precious than human lives in my view.

  9. Anna Young
    January 29, 2013

    TaimoorZ, It is certainly a critical issue, moreso when it involves lives. In the case of the Canadian military aircraft encounter with fake parts, I think the parts should have been traced and dealt with appropriately. Directly or indirectly incidents of this sort does impact lives negatively. It is a ticking bomb!

  10. Adeniji Kayode
    January 30, 2013

    Hmm, in the case of the military aircraft, its not that counterfeiters built the whole plane and then canada bought it over from them, I mean to say that somebody should atleast be able to identify authentic components or have a reliable source who has a reliable source who has a relaible source that checks and checks before the components are being sold out .

  11. Taimoor Zubar
    January 30, 2013

    “In the case of the Canadian military aircraft encounter with fake parts, I think the parts should have been traced and dealt with appropriately.”

    @Anna: I agree. There have been several other incidents like these but unfortunately the cause has not been traced down. If it is really because of counterfeit parts then severe action should be taken.

  12. Anna Young
    January 31, 2013

    I'm just curious to know why no one advocated following up? Fake parts if discovered should be taken seriously.

  13. Anna Young
    January 31, 2013

     Kayode, I'm sure necessary checks are carried out on aircrafts. However, Occasional you do have a case of odd one slipping through the net. I will assume this to be case in this scenario.

  14. Taimoor Zubar
    January 31, 2013

    I'm just curious to know why no one advocated following up? Fake parts if discovered should be taken seriously.”

    @Anna: That's because normally after a crash the parts are not in a state to be examined so no one can really tell if the malfunction was because of counterfeit or low quality parts.

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