An article in the International Herald Tribune (Police seize counterfeit HP products) earlier this month described a police raid in Lahore that netted over 36000 counterfeit components as well as counterfeit HP ink and toner cartridges. Hewlett-Packard provided the intelligence information to the local authorities who carried out the raid. HP’s efforts remind those of us in the component testing industry that counterfeit components affect consumer products as well as aerospace and defense programs.
Many types of counterfeit inspection tests developed for the defense and aerospace industries can be adapted to the consumer products industries. Risk mitigation analyses like visual and dimensional inspection, marking permanency tests, as well as electrical and xray testing where appropriate will help uncover suspect components.
Our experience has shown that counterfeit components are manufactured all over the world, and it is often hard to tell the country of origin of a part. Efforts to contain the epidemic of counterfeit parts must continue throughout the world to insure that consumers and governments get the high quality authentic parts that they are paying for.