Fake Numbers

I’m all for putting the flood of fake parts under the microscope.

But I take umbrage at the phony figures of the cost of counterfeits being floated by certain trade groups.

NEDA, for instance, claims in a Business Week story this week that fake parts costs the electronics industry up to $100 billion a year. Well, many economists peg the entire value of the electronics industry at roughly $1.2 trillion, give or take a hundred billion. So by NEDA’s accounting, fake parts cost us about 8% or so of the entire annual net worth of the global market.

I ask you: Does that sound even remotely plausible? And if not, does such blatant hyperbole come across as crying “wolf,” undercutting our attempts to sound the alarm on the problem?

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). 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