Counterfeit parts and the issues posed by them are a growing concern throughout the electronic industry. However, counterfeit products are nothing new when it comes to consumer goods, and for many years, in any large city, traveling merchants have sold everything from purses to sunglasses on every street corner. While this might not be as large of a security / performance threat as posed by counterfeit electronic parts to their users, it does contribute to the growing value of counterfeit goods sold yearly.
Counterfeit parts not only hurt the end user of the product, but they can also lead to damaging a company’s reputation and a potential loss of future business. According to the International Chamber of Commerce, the global impact of counterfeiting and piracy is expected to reach $4.2 Trillion by 2022 (1)
Counterfeit Parts and Prevention
What is a counterfeit part? Counterfeit Parts are a part, component, module, or assembly whose origin, material source of manufacture performance, or characteristics are misrepresented. This term includes, but is not limited to, (A) parts that have been (re) marked to disguise them or falsely represent the identity of the manufacturer, (B) defective parts and/or surplus material scrapped by the original manufacturer, and (C) previously used parts pulled or reclaimed and provide as “new.” (2)
Combating this issue has taken many forms over the years including industry standards, AS5553, and even reassessing E-Waste Exportation. In 2017, Congress introduced H.R.917 (3), the Secure E-Waste Export and Recycling Act to help prevent parts that are easily counterfeited. The goal of this bill is to control exportation of e-waste that could be used to create counterfeit products, and at this time has only been introduced to the House. The coming years and months should prove to show how the US government chooses to address this growing issue.
How does Samtec prevent using / selling counterfeit parts? Samtec only uses parts/ components that were purchased directly from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) / Original Component Manufacturer (OCM) or through the OEMs/OCMs authorized distribution chain. Samtec will also never sell defective parts or parts previously scrapped as new. Samtec helps make your job easy by knowing our suppliers. Supplier audits, surveys, qualification testing, and incoming inspections play a part in assuring we are obtaining original / new products, and help to eliminate the overall risk associated with counterfeit products.
Samtec’s official statement regarding counterfeit parts can be found here, Samtec Counterfeit Part Prevention Policy.
If Compliance is a topic of interest to you, then make sure to check out our blog on Conflict Minerals.
- CHARDONNAL, Dawn. “Global Impacts of Counterfeiting and Piracy to Reach US$4.2 Trillion by 2022.” ICC, 2 June 2017, iccwbo.org/media-wall/news-speeches/global-impacts-counterfeiting-piracy-reach-us4-2-trillion-2022/