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Counterfeit, Substandard and High Risk Parts

Authored on: Mar 1, 2011

Technical Paper / Product Paper

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The International Chamber of Commerce and World Customs Organization estimated that the value of counterfeit products reached $1 trillion globally in 2010. Counterfeit or sub-standard parts are a serious and growing threat. Some industry sources say that up to 10 percent of technology products worldwide are counterfeit. Your supply chain is under assault and may already be infiltrated. Just one counterfeit incident poses risk ranging from catastrophic brand damage to costly halts in production or unnecessary design and development. It's time to act. Read this white paper to learn more about solutions to combat counterfeits, substandard, and high-risk parts in the supply chain.

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urq20v Posted Mar 23, 2011

This is not a tech paper. This is an advertisement.

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Jeff.Petro Posted Mar 30, 2011

Thanks for the heads up ... ignoring

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GravelK Posted Mar 30, 2011

I agree... disappointed that I have to wade through several links to get to an ad.

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Bibliognost Posted Mar 31, 2011

Maybe we can still do something constructive on this forum. This topic was originally a webinar, and I signed up for it because we recently discovered our first counterfeit on a production board that was about to ship. The part in question was a plain, vanilla op-amp with the name of a major US semiconductor manufacturer on the top. It was inside a conditioning circuit of a temperature sensor that I monitor to shut down a power stage if its heatsink gets too hot. This is a rare fault, usually caused by a customer putting it in an environment outside our specked range. The final product has been shipping without significant incident for over 4 years. The op-amp was receiving a low-level, dc input, and outputting a 600 Hz periodic wave of unknown origin. This signal enters a microcontroller at the A/D where I imposed an extreme low-pass filter to get rid of system noise (Temperatures don't change at 600 Hz). The filter worked so well that it almost masked the problem. By almost, I mean that the ac signal increased the RMS right to the overtemp threshold, such that our production crew was getting intermittent, nuisance trips. I only got involved because they were approaching a ship deadline, I work in the same lab, and they were banging their heads on the wall so hard I couldn't concentrate. I'm not even certain that something didn't get out the door with that part still installed. Our boards are stuffed by a contract house, and I don't know much about their supply chain (We did mention it to them, however). The employee responsible for quality wants to ban all products by that manufacturer (and they are broad). I'm not so sure this will make a difference, as what I have read indicates the ICs may not have originated with them at all. Does anyone have similar experiences, and if so, what did you do about it?

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Mongo647 Posted Apr 6, 2011

I've been watching the GIDEP reports(from a industry-government orgn that issues part-related reports for aerospace and nuclear) about counterfeit parts, usually ICs and connectors, and what they all have in common is that the victim company had been buying hard-to-find parts (usually obsolete) from third-party suppliers, i.e. not from authorized distributors or direct from the manufacturer. ISO 9000 is still the butt of jokes from those who haven't enjoyed it's advantages, but buying from an ISO9000 distributor if you can't buy from an authorized distributor is a good next avenue. Good luck!

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Mongo647 Posted Apr 6, 2011

And by the way, the manufacturer who is the victim of the counterfeiter has you as a customer. Have you contacted them to see how to identify genuine parts? In all cases I have read about, the parts are easily identified if you know what symbols or typefaces to look for. That's the cost of scrutiny and of quality, but I disagree with your quality employee about blanket rejection, because on that basis ALL IC MAKERS who make parts good enough to be in short supply are potentially counterfeitable.

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