3 Reasons You Need to Attend a Counterfeit Electronic Component Conference
With alarming numbers of counterfeit electronics entering the supply chain, you are likely aware that there are multiple counterfeit electronic component conferences held globally to help combat the problem. If you haven’t been to one yet, or you need some encouragement to attend again, here are 3 reasons to head to another and some recommendations of which conferences you may find most helpful.
- Counterfeit parts are rampant and on the rise.
It’s important to know the latest in counterfeit part trends so you aware and informed, therefore best positioned to mitigate any risks with your own manufacturing supply chain. Many problems can be avoided by just knowing what counterfeiters are up to in the marketplace.
- You will learn important tips and tricks.
Many of these conferences will help you learn how to spot counterfeit parts and detect potential issues before they make it onto your manufacturing floor.
- Meet business critical partners.
These conferences are fantastic venues to meet new partners who can potentially transform your supply chain dynamics and therefore your business. Many of the organizations in attendance are thought leaders in counterfeit detection, mitigation, and problem resolution. It’s imperative to align with the right partners which have years of experience solving supply chain and counterfeit part issues. In some cases the right partner can save you from the loss of a customer, a lawsuit, or even worse, life or death.
There are a number of different venues in which you can learn more about counterfeit electronic components. Each one has its own distinct value. Depending on your needs, you may attend one or more of the following conferences or training courses. Here are some of the most reputable events that I recommend and often attend myself.
CCAW – Counterfeit Components Avoidance Workshop (Hosted By Components Technology Institute, Inc
- Held annually in different U.S. locations
- Very focused on counterfeit electronic components detection
- Great detail on how to detect counterfeits
- Knowledgeable veteran teachers from the manufacturing industry
- Perfect forum to send new electronic components inspectors
- Held each June in Maryland
- High level overview of counterfeit electronic components issues
- Introduction of potential tools to detect counterfeits
- Outlines of different quality standards available for the industry
- Workshops offered separately to learn counterfeit detection techniques
- Held annually in different U.S. locations
- Government contract focused
- Not specific to counterfeit electronic components
- Addresses a breadth of obsolete component and mechanical part issues
- Counterfeit electronic component topics peppered into overall schedule
- Held every other year in different U.S. locations
- Heavy focus on independent distributor issues
- Addresses counterfeits as well as other customer/supplier issues
- Workshops offered separately to learn counterfeit detection techniques
International Institute of Obsolescence Management Conference(Formerly Component Obsolescence Group)
- Held annually in the United Kingdom
- Broad obsolescence topic range, which includes counterfeit electronic components
- Heavy focus on UK and European issues and organizations
- Don’t miss the Gala dinner, which is always in a beautiful historic venue
IDEA Training Courses(Offered by EPTAC)
- Held multiple times a year in different U.S. locations
- Hands-On courses designed for technicians which receive electronic components
- 1 day and 2 day courses offered
- IDEA has the most well established document for the receiving of electronic components from the independent distribution channel, which is used during training
Your business depends on a fluid and consistent supply chain. Without an efficient supply chain and timely availability of parts, your business growth and profitability are at risk. This past year the electronic component supply chain has been hit by a number of disruptive events, some of which could not be foreseen or controlled. A few of these notable events were;
- First, an earthquake, in an important semiconductor region of Japan, greatly effected production at Renesas Semiconductor, Sony Semiconductor, and Mitsubishi facilities
- Also, a cluster of quality issues at Amphenol Aerospace caused the company to halt distribution of many products as well as lay off over 90 people.
- Additionally, one of the industries largest distributors, Avnet, struggled with the implementation of their new ERP system, causing them to delay shipments and double ship orders, which contributed to a cycle of other negative consequences.
As you may have experienced the repercussions of these few events first hand, or others like them, you know the impact it can have on your business. However, there are a number of ways to prepare for disruptions in the supply chain prior to an event. The smartest way to minimize disruption is to pre-prepare your contingency options for sourcing alternative materials. Doing your research by interviewing reliable alternative materials providers could be the difference between continued up time or a manufacturing disaster. Then begin to build partnerships with your emergency supply chain resource partners and proactively create contingency plan scenarios if resource needs were to arise.
When picking an electronic components supply partner, it’s critical to evaluate a few aspects of their business. Consider the time they have spent in their industry. It is important that the organization has years of experience solving nearly any type of supply chain crisis or disruption? Also, investigate their quality system by performing an audit. Many of the alternative sources are not souring their parts from the manufacturer directly, therefore it is essential that you understand their quality processes. Make sure to take a close look at their counterfeit mitigation plan, as a counterfeit would lead to even worse circumstances than a lack of supply. Ideally a supplier would be certified to the AS6081 counterfeit avoidance standard in order to give you peace of mind. Lastly, ensure they are able to source and deliver in a timely manner. Some of the most reputable suppliers have multiple offices around the globe to maximize the availability and speed of delivery to key partners in critical need.
So with prior planning and proper vetting of supply chain partners, manufacturing down time can be minimized, or even avoided. Naturally, the less down time, the more profitable and efficient your manufacturing operation can be. The end result will be a stellar business reputation and a satisfied executive management team. Investigate those potential partners and put your plans in place to secure your production line.
What you need to know about the newly released AS6171 Counterfeit Test Standard
The Long Awaited AS6171 Counterfeit Test Method Standard has recently been published. After more than 7 years of development, the AS6171 has finally been released and promises to standardize practices across the industry. Many in the industry have been impatiently awaiting its arrival as, until this standards creation, there has not been a detailed procedural document for many of the in depth counterfeit methods currently being deployed in the industry (X-ray, XRF, decapsulation, SEM, SAM, etc.)
The Good News
The AS6171 Counterfeit Test Method Standard will give test engineers a trusted path and standardized guideline to verify an electronic component’s authenticity. This detailed instructional manual was developed by an industry cross section of leading engineers and subject matter experts in their particular fields. The volunteer development team has spent thousands of hours studying and determining the most important tests necessary to assess the authenticity for any given component. The standard answers the following questions:
• How to assess risk based on the application and the origin of the parts?
• What depth of testing should be applied based on the assessed risk?
• What test method should be executed on which type of part?
• How exactly should the test be performed?
• What equipment is necessary?
• How should the test operators be trained to assure proficiency?
The Questionable News
Having these answers is great for many in the industry, but not everyone is excited. There are some contentious issues related to certain aspects of the document. First, is the cost of the tests suggested. Now that this is an official industry standard, many in the industry will make these recommended tests mandatory for their suppliers. The level of engineering expertise and equipment costs to perform the testing is significant. For large companies, that have likely already created counterfeit electronic component test plans on their own, being forced to utilize another procedure may end up being counterproductive and more expensive.
Additionally, there are differing opinions on risk assessment methods to determine when and how to test a product. The risk evaluation tool developed for the AS6171 has had some criticism. If a risk assessment tool is not well designed an organization may pay excessive testing fees to test components destined to play a non-critical role in, for example, a Department of Defense coffee maker. However, of greater concern is, for example, a critical component in an aircraft may not get the proper testing based on the risk tool’s lack of accuracy.
Now that the AS6171 is finally published we can all begin to openly evaluate its value to the industry as well as address the possible pitfalls. The development committee already has a list of edits and additions to add to the next revision and will certainly improve the standard with each generation. This new standard is a compliment to the already existing group of SAE counterfeit mitigation standards (AS5553, AS6081). We can now potentially benefit from additional common language and industry evaluation of standards. Post a comment below to share your thoughts on the release of this AS6171 standard.
For more information on the AS6171 or to buy a copy, visit http://standards.sae.org/as6171/. Keep in mind when purchasing the document, that there is a main document and a “slash sheet” for each test method to explain the procedures in detail. Each slash sheet must be purchased separately.
This video is a comprehensive overview of the AS6081 standard, which was created to provide guidelines for independent distributors of electronic components to avoid counterfeits. If you or your company is concerned about the possibility of receiving counterfeit electronic components from your distributor, this video will help guide you in how to utilize AS6081 to encourage safe buying practices.
Distributors of Obsolete Electronic Components are able to help equipment makers continue to add revenue long after they made the initial sale. This income is much larger for manufacturers than one might think. Read to find out more on how to take advantage of this trend here.
Counterfeit electronic components have caused many ripples in the electronics industry. One method of tackling the problem has been to create standards to deal with it. There are so many counterfeit avoidance documents now that it is getting hard to keep track of all of them. SAE, through their G19 committee, has created the most widely accepted counterfeit avoidance standards. This article is a general overview of all of their standards, and related documents, to help you make sense of it all.
It all begins with some end customer, the government or private entity, placing requirements on their subcontractor to have a counterfeit mitigation plan in place. SAE’s G19 committee has almost completed it’s suite of standards that will take this requirement from the original contractor all the way down to the company purchasing the components from the open market for electronic components.
How this plays out;
An OEM that is concerned with, or is required to mitigate the risk of counterfeits, can adopt and become certified to AS5553, which will guide them on methods to avoid and detect counterfeits (see more on AS5553). A sister standard, AS6081 was created for independent distributors to comply with an AS5553 compliant manufacturer’s requirements, making the two standards complimentary (see more on AS6081). The AS6171, which is soon to be published, will provide detailed risk evaluation instructions, as well as more detailed instructions on how to test electronic components for authenticity (see more on AS6171). The ISO/IEC 17025 standard is used for accrediting test facilities, such as those performing the tests prescribed in AS6171. An accreditation confirms that the test lab and their staff have the proper equipment and training to be able to perform specific tests (see more on ISO17025). The next revision of AS6081 will point to AS6171 for the required product verification tests as opposed to the current procedures within AS6081, which will then wrap all four of these documents together.
AS5553 OEM <buys from> AS6081 disty <accredited to> ISO17025 <to test specs> AS6171
Another counterfeit electronic component standard that has been added to the mix is the AS6496, which was created for Authorized Distribution, and primarily utilized for the return of product from their customers. SAE’s G19 committee has been working very hard to create all of these great documents. For more information please contact your AERI search expert for help or they can put you in touch with someone within our organization who has actually been heavily involved in the G19 committee.