SMT007 Magazine

SMT-Mar2014

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94 SMT Magazine • March 2014 tially serious violation of intellectual property rights, copyrights, or trademark laws. According to GAO 12-375, "After dissemi- nating requests for quotes on various platforms, GAO received responses from 396 vendors, of which 334 were located in China; 25 in the United States; and 37 in other countries, includ- ing the United Kingdom and Japan." Ironically, the responses sounded very familiar to veterans of the industry. For all 16 parts to be purchased, each vendor responded that the components were "in stock" with just a couple of days' lead- time. To choose which vendor to purchase the parts from, the GAO selected "the first of any vendor among those offering the lowest prices that provided enough information to purchase a given part, generally within two weeks." As it turned out, using the GAO methodology, all 16 parts were purchased from vendors in China. The GAO report explained that "Specifically, all 12 of the parts received after GAO requested rare part numbers or postproduction date codes were suspect counterfeit, according to the test- ing lab. Multiple authentication tests, ranging from inspection with electron microscopes to X-ray analysis, revealed that the parts had been re-marked to display the part numbers and manufacturer logos of authentic parts." X-ray analysis helps match up the wire bonds to what is called out in the schematic drawing. It was revealed that the parts had been re-marked to display the different part numbers and manu- facturer logos representing other functionalities of authentic parts. To the naked eye, these would have looked as good as new. According to the GAO, "For the parts requested using postpro- duction date codes, the vendors also altered date markings to represent the parts as newer than when they were last manufactured." The fact that these parts were not produced at the dates given was verified by the original component manufacturers. Additionally, the submission of requests for phony parts using invalid part num - bers yielded four parts from four vendors that KraMer on CoMponenTS INvESTIGaTIONS, EvIDENcE, aND aN UNcLEar SOLUTION FOr 2014 continues figure 2: global trading network—a place where buyers search for product.

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