Fixes For Phonies

With every market upswing comes a surge in counterfeit parts, and this one is no exception. In EE Times this week, John O’Boyle of QP Semiconductor offers these guidelines for avoiding fraudulent components from entering your product stream:

  1. Follow the procedures for product assurance and traceability (C of Cs).
  2. Understand that the price umbrella created by high-value parts encourages unscrupulous vendors to sell imitation parts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  3. Recognize that the military/aerospace community is just a fraction of the world’s total IC consumption and is of little interest to the IDM. So we’ll need to enforce our own “best practices” and require buyers to follow them.
  4. Don’t play into the unscrupulous vendors’ hands by ordering parts from them and then not reporting the fraud. Get some dialogue going. There are government agencies eager to locate, arrest, prosecute and shut down these vendors.
  5. Investigate security markings. There are firms that provide such services. We need to be able to trace the materials back to the original manufacturer via trusted paths.

Good luck!

This entry was posted in Hot Wires by Mike. Bookmark the permalink.

About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow