The word “faux” conjures up thoughts of chic, stylish, affordable, and trendy such as faux painting techniques, faux eyelashes, faux stone work, or faux pearls. The word “counterfeit” emits a much different response, especially when it’s used in the same sentence as the word “electronic components”.
Recently, there have been numerous articles and guidelines published to help the electronics community understand and avoid suspect materials. As a trusted electronics project management service provider, we source, procure and kit for PC assemblies while protecting our customer’s product. We’ve added a couple steps to our processes, but our 25 year reputation is worth a little added effort.
1. We only buy components through Authorized Distribution and/or the Manufacturer. If a component is obsolete or cannot be crossed and we are forced to go to an Independent Distributor or a Broker, we proceed very cautiously. The customer is given the opportunity to approve the source, request component testing, or provide another solution.
2. All components received, despite the source, are counted and then visually inspected. The inspection includes the part markings, the condition of the component and the packaging. Many issues of the wrong part being shipped under the ordered part number have been uncovered. This bit of detective work is aided by using a good digital microscope and the manufacturer’s datasheet to confirm the part ordering number with the part received; verifying the part marking.
3. Handling of components is under the processes developed within the ANSI/ESD S20.20 – 2007 Standard. Internal procedures allow us to validate the working environment and ensure confidence in our ability to avoid an ESD event during handling.
4. Distributor’s and manufacturer’s package labeling indicating the lot code/date code of the components and other valuable traceability information is NOT sent to the assembly facility, but is retained for a minimum of 12 months. This proof of traceability to the manufacturer is valuable should a component not perform to specifications.
Avoiding counterfeit materials is becoming quite a challenge. I believe the customer
swho choose to outsource the procurement of electronic components to professionals , deserve and expect the highest level of confidence in the end product.
If you have found additional processes which can help in the avoidance of counterfeit components, please share them with me. firstname.lastname@example.org
or (530) 626-6168.