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76 SMT Magazine • December 2014 Recent news reports of people maimed by shrapnel slicing through a car's interior has the public shocked, mainly because we all climb into the crosshairs of an airbag many times a day. The manufacturer's recall was limited to warmer cli- mates in response to information linking high- er temperatures and humidity as contributing factors. Just days before, an article surfaced about loaded missile racks falling from warplanes— victim of faulty attachment assemblies. Both cases can be traced to substandard components either not meeting design specifi- cations or not being evaluated thoroughly. The AS6081 Counterfeit Mitigation standard pro- vides direction for the detection, mitigation and disposition of fraudulent and counterfeit components. It's this document that supple- ments the purchasing process while augment- ing quality/reliability and safety requirement flow-down. When cost and schedule are allowed to su- persede quality and safety like a carrot on a stick, a mentality is nurtured that induces la- tent defects. Cheap parts are hard to resist, but it's these fakes that risk human life and criti- cal systems. Electronic assemblies are seeing a much longer life than originally expected, such as those used in the B-52 bomber designed in the 1950s, or the growing number of vehicles that are older than 10 years on today's roads. The demand for pre-owned vehicles has not slowed as the economy sputters back to health, making the practice of driving cars longer a ne- cessity. Maintaining these systems puts pressure on suppliers to find ever-diminishing supplies of replacement components, which produces opportunity for counterfeit parts. Fake, substan- dard components that have failed, shorted out, or are otherwise beyond their useful life, dam- aged or rejected by the manufacturer are inher- ently hazardous. Integrating them into circuits, subsystems or systems only increases the risk. As parts become obsolete, finding a trusted source that meets OCM specification evolves by Todd Kramer SECurE CoMponEnTS llC KrAmer ON cOUNTerFeITS ColuMn bad customers

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