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50 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2022 First, we ensure the components come from our regular established distributors, who help validate the parts. But one distributor might not have enough of what we need, so we are trying to diversify, not put all our eggs in one basket. We have identified several key distribu- tors globally, but even those distributors might be having supply issues. We support procurement in our facilities, both in Dalian, China, and in Fremont, Cali- fornia. Over the past 20 years, we have estab- lished our own purchasing network. We use reliable suppliers on even small batch compo- nents. First, we verify by the data code (DC). If the DC is too old, we go through an inspec- tion process to test the components, verify- ing whether the component can be used in our assembly. Even for small suppliers, we choose the reli- able ones. All the component purchases come from an authorized vendor list (AVL), which has been certified and validated by both our purchasing and SQM teams. Every component goes through component validation by quality, engineering, process engineers, and produc- tion before it is used. Johnson: Meghan, are you testing every com- ponent? Zou: Every lot, especially if the DC is over two years old, needs to be verified as to whether it can work. It also depends on our procurement rules, especially for brand new vendors. Lillian Lin: We have validation for those new vendor situations. Zou: When we have a purchase from a new vendor, we go through a sample evaluation process. Johnson: Do you get samples for validation before you get it from them? How does it happen? Zou: Actually, we confirm it through two pro- cesses. First, the vendors bring in a small lot, and do the test themselves. ey need to give us their certificate, the guarantee letter stating we can use it without any quality issues. Sec- ond, when we have the goods in hand, we test it in our own factory. at is our double confir- mation. Johnson: What are the methodologies you use for testing? Crystal Zhang: Our incoming inspection will check the parts' solderability and electrical characteristics. With integrated circuits (ICs), they check more than solderability. ey track the lot number and the manufacturer ID. Sometimes we find that someone has tried to copy the manufacturer logo, so we check the logo and markings on the components. Foad Ghalili: On the ICs, they check the mark- ings. It's critical to ensure that the marking is legit and valid, as it's coming through. Zhang: ey test the tolerance and the resis- tance value on the resistant capacitor. Meghan Zou

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