MILAERO007 The Rise of Counterfeit Components
(This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue of SMT Magazine)
The increase in counterfeit incidents observed by the author’s supplier is scary, but not surprising given recent reporting trends from other sources.
The author discusses an “arms race” of counterfeiting methods vs countermeasures. A number of subject matter experts actively engaged in counterfeit detection would agree with the author here.
Re “it is not unheard of for counterfeit products to be received via the franchised distribution network”, I still have yet to see a specific report of such an incident. I observe that the 1,700 incidents decribed in the Senate Armed Services Committee imvestigation were attributed to sourcing through Independant Distributors and brokers…. None were sourced from OCMs or “authorized dealers”. I also observe this pattern from a study of GIDEP reports published over the past decade.
The author’s observation about “more products coming to market from ‘OEM excess’ that is considered suspect counterfeit” rings true with specific events that I am aware of. In one case, a contract manufacturer bought out other contract manufacturers and assimilated their stock without verifying that this stock consisted of authentic product. The discovery of a counterfeit part escape from this inventory was a big wake up call for this contract manufacturer. Other contract manufacturers, however, seem reluctant to perform due dilligence on inventory they’ve acquired despite their awareness of how counterfeits find their way into the supply chain. The author’s observation seems to bear this out. On the other hand, I observe comments from others concerning this article that challenge the author’s observations.
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