Parts Panic

Industry sources are telling me that for the past three to four months, some OEMs have been issuing waivers on incoming parts, basically saying “we don’t care if they are fake, just build the product.”

Given what we know about the extent of counterfeit components, that’s a galling attitude. Have we not learned that you can only kick the can so far down the road before the road rises and the can comes back and hits you in the face?

Expect more on this as I keep digging.

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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

3 thoughts on “Parts Panic

  1. Implications of OEMs taking on fake parts are staggering. An OEM with this attitude is sitting on a powder keg of possible legal fallout, PR backlash, possible loss of revenue, threats to reliability and perhaps a threat to human life. Suppliers who knowingly pass on counterfeit parts put themselves in the same path. Can’t really happen, can it?

  2. Not sure what this type of behavior represents…

    – Management/purchasing have no “back bone” to acknowledge… they can’t ship?
    (can’t say no / can’t give “bad news”)

    – Management being short sighted ? (we will deal with this later)

    – Management is stupid enough to believe it will not come back to haunt them?
    Maybe they are correct ? …. I have seen a lot of managers come/go with no apparent personal loss for their poor decisions.
    or maybe they don’t believe there is a relationship?

    I see most of the reasons for this situation as spiritual/moral in nature.
    Society has simply accepted and promoted …
    – personal gain is more important than concern for fellow man.
    – personal strength of conviction.. is somehow “naive” or stupid.
    – if there is no personal monetary impact (or explicitly illegal).. anything is fair.

    and some company cultures.. continue to promote these types of behavior.

    Using monetary reasoning alone.. will often create these kinds of distortion.
    What is the $ value … of a companies good name? … cost to do right vs cost to fix?.. cost to environment?..
    It is very hard to assign valid $ values to doing “right thing”


  3. If we are talking only prototypes, that is totally understandable. With the teaser that you have presented you can take this anywhere. When you post again after your ‘digging’ I will update.

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