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IECQ Launches Anticounterfeit Certification Program

A certification aimed at reducing the number of counterfeit components entering the electronics supply chain has been launched by the International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ).

The certification program is a part of IECQ's Approved Process Scheme, a program of management processes designed to increase the quality of and reduce the costs of electronics engineering, manufacturing, and distribution.

The idea behind the anticounterfeiting certification program is that manufacturers and distributors can promote their products and services to adhere to a recognized program to combat counterfeiting. Certified companies also benefit from advanced detection of potential technical problems in the supply chain and are likely to achieve easier acceptance by regulators in many countries.

Increasing concern over the entry of counterfeit parts in electronic supply chains has led to a number of other developments in recent months. In April, US and UK industry groups, ERAI and UKEA, announced a joint anticounterfeiting information sharing program. The two organizations are aiming to develop a unified, transatlantic database of reported counterfeits entering the supply chain.

The US Department of Defense announced proposed rule changes in May requiring its contractors to implement anticounterfeiting programs for electronic components. The proposal requires that DoD contractors and subcontractors at all tiers obtain electronic parts only from “trusted suppliers” who themselves have proper anticounterfeiting procedures in place. It also mandates that companies institute policies regarding the training of personnel, inspection and testing of electronic parts, traceability of parts, and reporting of counterfeit and suspect electronic parts.

The first company to receive IECQ anticounterfeiting certification is Secure Components, an independent distributor based in Norristown, Pa., which specializes in sourcing hard to find components for the aerospace and defense industries.

“Before IECQ, industry had no reliable program at an international level to ensure a company's compliance to an effective counterfeit avoidance plan,” said Todd Kramer, Secure Components' CEO, in a statement. “A broker or distributor could claim compliance to systems without third party oversight or international recognition.” Kramer is also chairman of the Center for Counterfeit Avoidance, a forum for sharing ideas and best-practices on combating counterfeiting in electronics supply chains.

The problem of fake parts extends across the breadth of the electronics industry. Kramer added:

Counterfeiting is something that affects all industries across the board. Everyone is suffering from intellectual property being stolen and safety being compromised. Embracing this change will not only help business but more importantly this will increase the safety of the men and woman using the equipment.

Do these intial forays into certification do enough? Let us know what you think.

17 comments on “IECQ Launches Anticounterfeit Certification Program

  1. _hm
    August 14, 2013

    Counterfeit is very obvious to detect but very difficult to prevent. I do not know IECQ certified partners will in future not get caught with counterfeight parts. This will add more level of bureaucracy.

     

  2. Lavender
    August 15, 2013

    Whatever, the IECQ is a progress to prevent counterfeit. I believe, with more regulations and laws, as well as the increasing awareness toward consumer security, counterfeit prevention can get achievement. 

  3. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 16, 2013

    Such kind of certification requirement is a good measure against counterfeiting but it can only be useful for partners working in good faith.

     In my opinion unless there is  a defined procedure to fix the responsibility of supplying genuine parts and applying monetary penalties and criminal proceedings for cheating in case a counterfeit is detected , this menace cannot be curbed.

    If at the point in the supply chain where the counterfeit is detected ,  the supplier must be  held legally responsible to pay up the damages to the party who detected the counterfeit. The supplier cannot just throw up his hands and point his finger somewhere else.

     

  4. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    August 18, 2013

    _HM: i understand your concern about more beauracracy. At the same time, this remains a real problem. Who do you think is in the best position to make a useful difference?

  5. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    August 18, 2013

    In our recent chat, we discussed some of these complexities at length. One of hte things that suprised me is the cost of buying components that have been tested. Some of those present estimated teh cost to be THREE TIMES the  price for testing. I find myself wondering if there are ways to identify counterfeit products without this kind of premium. I understand why many organizations take an “I feel lucky” stance. I wonder if there's a way to make it more palatable rather than making teh penalites stiffer?

  6. prabhakar_deosthali
    August 18, 2013

    @Hailey,

    This counterfeit component problem has been the major headache for strategic defense products where in my opinion “I Feel Lucky” kind of stance won't do as it could possibly endanger precious lives or strategic loss.

    So I would recommend fixing the responsibility to the immediate link in the supply chain by default unless otherwise proved and having heavy penalties. This will create an urge in the supply chain to go up in the supply chain until the source of counterfeit is found  and punished.

     

     

  7. Daniel
    August 19, 2013

    “A certification aimed at reducing the number of counterfeit components entering the electronics supply chain has been launched by the International Electrotechnical Commission Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components (IECQ). The certification program is a part of IECQ's Approved Process Scheme, a program of management processes designed to increase the quality of and reduce the costs of electronics engineering, manufacturing, and distribution”

    Peter, certification program, good. But what I understood is programs curriculum has to develop in such a way that the user is able to identify the counterfeit components easily. Anyway counterfeit components will be in market all the time and now most of the users are not able to distinguish between the originals and counterfeit components.

  8. Daniel
    August 19, 2013

    “So I would recommend fixing the responsibility to the immediate link in the supply chain by default unless otherwise proved and having heavy penalties.”

    Prabhakar, I won't think that penalties can make such components out of market. Many of the customers prefer counterfeit or unbranded components because of its availability and cost effectiveness. In such components are getting mixed up with high grade defence/avionic components, then the vendor can be blacklist with necessary penalties.

  9. Daniel
    August 19, 2013

    “the cost of buying components that have been tested. Some of those present estimated teh cost to be THREE TIMES the  price for testing. I find myself wondering if there are ways to identify counterfeit products without this kind of premium.”

    Hailey, the main reason for flourishing counterfeit products in market is its cost effectiveness.  If companies or vendors are able to reduce the price gap between these two, 80% of the counterfeit components can be eliminated from market. Second role has to be play be the vendors, by make it available to the customer when they need it.

  10. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    August 19, 2013

    @Jacob, the high cost of protection is almost always a key component in the flourishing of various nefarious activities. People often aren't willing to pay for security.

  11. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    August 19, 2013

    This conversation is invaluable… and let's keep it going. Also, weigh in (and comment) on our most recent poll on Anti-Counterfitting. So far authenticity testing is far away the favored response. It will be interesting to see how that evolves.

  12. Daniel
    August 20, 2013

    “the high cost of protection is almost always a key component in the flourishing of various nefarious activities. People often aren't willing to pay for security.”

    Hailey, for majority of customers cost is the key factor.

  13. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    August 20, 2013

    @Jacob, that's surely true…and it won't change until folks realize that the cost for not taking precautions or trying to stop counterfeiting is exhorbinantly high compared to doing the work to create failsafes and testing.

  14. Daniel
    August 21, 2013

    “that's surely true…and it won't change until folks realize that the cost for not taking precautions or trying to stop counterfeiting is exhorbinantly high compared to doing the work to create failsafes and testing.”

    Hailey, one think I understood is that only up to some extent they are concerned about quality and security. If the counterfeit component are available at 1/4th price of branded item, they can replace the faulty items 4 times at the same cost of a branded item.

  15. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    August 22, 2013

    @Jacob, but it's penny wise, dollar foolish. Sure the component price may be 1/4 the price. But what about replacement labor? And shipping the product back and forth? And the constantly eroding customer relationship and the harm to the brand? These seem like potentially huge costs to me.

  16. Daniel
    August 22, 2013

    “Sure the component price may be 1/4 the price. But what about replacement labor? And shipping the product back and forth? And the constantly eroding customer relationship and the harm to the brand? These seem like potentially huge costs to me.”

    Hailey,you are right. Peoples are only calculating the component prices, not about the inconvenience and other related difficulties.

  17. Eldredge
    August 26, 2013

    If the IECQ can help foster collaboration across the supply chain and help identify an drive effective methods throguh that collaboration, it will be beneficial.

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