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30 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 identifying potential targets. Maintaining trust in existing supply chain partners becomes in- creasingly difficult, never mind the selection and onboarding of new suppliers. We are all at the mercy of the weakest links in our orga- nizations, those who believe that a short-term gain will not result in responsibilities or con- sequences for those people and organizations that they care about. For the Lack of a Single Part e pressure is on. With material shortag- es in the supply chain (real or perceived) be- ing a fact of life, doors have been opened to new sourcing strategies. With opportunities taken by many to hoard materials, things are worse than they needed to be. Just one miss- ing part in a BOM containing potentially thou- sands of items is enough to halt production. As product lines change, overstocked and unus- able materials become available, a burden to the holder in terms of investment, space, and depreciation. Off-loading such materials back into the supply chain can generate more prof- it than using them in assembly, if you can sell at the right time, to a desperate customer who will pay an extraordinary amount to ful- fill the final line item in the BOM that prevents the company from shutting down a configu- ration, and risk disappointing a customer. It's the balance of risk vs. pressure tips. For coun- terfeiters, there has never been such an amaz- ing opportunity to simply piggyback on this trend. The Joys of Counterfeit e best-case scenario with counterfeit ma- terials is a break-down in the supply chain, as substandard materials are found and quar- antined. Much worse scenarios are the resul- tant quality and reliability issues in products where counterfeits were not discovered, and worse still, created potential security and safe- ty concerns. Counterfeiters don't care about this, however; they don't believe that they themselves, for example, may become a victim of the compromised car, that may be hacked and driven into a ditch. Safety in numbers, and trust that the counterfeits are detected— as long as there is no link back to themselves— works as part of their business model. is is a dangerous equation to manage, but short-term gains are the only motivation, as they can sim- ply move their operations from one target to another, relatively unhindered. As there are many counterfeiters at work, they are just one of many. Individually, they can think that they are doing no significant harm. ey are wrong. Of course, there are many kinds of materi- als that we refer to as counterfeit, including the substitution of genuine parts of a different tol- erance, quality, or specifications close to what is needed. Other examples are simply plastic shapes with legs, designed to look just like the originals. At the other extreme, there are coun- terfeit materials that behave like the originals, but with some added nefarious content, such as back-doors and spyware. Ingress of each of these types of counterfeits represents signifi- cant risk. The Cost of Trust: Physical Inspection A couple decades ago, the quality of materi- als generally was far less than it is today. A re- gime of incoming inspection at that time was normal, built into most factory operations. Many procedures, rules, and standards were created over time, designed to build trust and assurance into the supply chain. e best MES solutions have incorporated these rules, mak- ing inspection efficient and effective. As trust is Just one missing part in a BOM containing potentially thousands of items is enough to halt production.

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