SMT007 Magazine

SMT007-Aug2020

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22 SMT007 MAGAZINE I AUGUST 2020 turing, as they cannot pinpoint issues back to the incoming source. These people are clever, and though they make very little amounts of money, for them, it's significant, and they don't care about the consequences. You can buy plenty of secondhand machines on the market now to re-label or re-make materials back onto reels. We have seen a huge rise in this. Talking to the typical manufacturing company in Europe, they see instances of counterfeits every few months. In areas such as military applications, there is likely to be a much wider problem because they typically use higher-value mate- rials. In one presentation, I saw that there is concern that 15% of the entire supply chain of the military is suspected to be counter- feit. There was even a case where program- mable devices were stolen from a warehouse and replaced with fake parts, which looked and behaved exactly the same as the originals except that there was suspicion that a degree of additional programming had been incorpo- rated, which could be spyware or a back door, with all of the associated risks. It is a serious problem. You would expect, then, that there would be a serious plan in place to take care of the ingress of counterfeit, but actually, we found that there's none at all. You can read a great deal about various standards, procedures, requirements, and other information related to counterfeit materials. There are many stan- dards that provide information about how to do the documentation and record the fact that you have a counterfeit, talk to your supplier about the counterfeit, test for counterfeit mate- rials, or visually identify counterfeits, but there has been nothing about how to prevent coun- terfeiting from happening in the first place. It's ridiculous that you have these technolo- gies and procedures, adding a significant cost to the industry in terms of incoming inspec- tion and testing, without delivering a bene- fit. Of course, you could argue that the filter- ing out of bad components is a benefit, but that's not only what standards should do. What was missing—and how we approached this from the IPC standard perspective—was if you are making a laptop with 2,000 compo- nents and there is just one tiny passive compo- nent missing, it's game over in manufacturing to make that work order. In that situation, peo- ple will do almost anything to get that prod- uct made and out the door, including buying materials from the gray market, which sim- ply means they don't know the true source of those materials. There are bad actors who use these opportunities to try to make money through the substitution of counterfeit parts of some kind for genuine parts. We've seen many cases where people have found cloned chips— some that seem to work but not very well, and others that are little more than a plastic box with legs on it. We've also seen one really concerning case where there was a reel of 1,000 components; the first 100 were genuine, but every seventh part after was counterfeit. That's clearly been created to specifically defeat the inspection process—which involves only the initial mate- rials, and then the subsequent distribution. Including the counterfeits create seemingly random chaos and confusion within manufac- Michael Ford

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