Preventing counterfeiting through e-waste export control

With increased dialogue and networking of intelligence information between these organizations in the electronic component recycling and supply chains, I feel that the SEERA will decrease the supply of counterfeit electronic components,

I just read an article on the Secure E-waste Export and Recycling Act (SEERA) at http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20170207/rep-cook-reintroduces-bill-to-make-it-tougher-to-counterfeit-us-electronics .  This bill, introduced in the House of Representatives by Republican Paul Cook of California and Democrat Gene Green of Texas, aims to stop the export of e-waste to countries where it is used as source material for counterfeit electronics.

While the electronics industry continues to research stricter testing protocols to mitigate the risk of counterfeit products and to implement quality control practices to help protect the global supply change from this evolving threat, cutting off the supply of source materials is a great step forward.  If SEERA passes, non-working equipment would be recycled domestically.  Working equipment could be exported.  The US Customs and Border Protection would be part of the enforcement by inspecting equipment bound for export to make sure that it is working.

This program set up by SEERA could be even more effective if agencies inside the US Department of State and the US Department of Defense, who are already working to contain the epidemic of counterfeit electronic components, became involved in this process of preventing the export of e-waste.

With increased dialogue and networking of intelligence information between these organizations in the electronic component recycling and supply chains, I feel that the SEERA will decrease the supply of counterfeit electronic components, thereby increasing quality and safety in electronic equipment for consumers and the military alike.

I am looking forward to seeing SEERA move through the House to the Senate and then on to the president for signature.

Semiconductors Require Testing

I just read the press release from the Digital Journal announcing Transparency Market Research’s Analysis of the Radiation Hardened Electronics Market.  It comes as no surprise that high power semiconductors will be in critical demand in future aerospace space projects.

Semiconductors which are the “brains” inside electronic devices will be vital in controlling and converting power in electronic systems. These devices require extensive testing which includes screening and qualification to see if the components are susceptible to radiation damage in space application from high altitude flight around as well as nuclear reactors, particle accelerators, nuclear accidents and even nuclear warfare.

The screening and qualification of this product should include total dose ionizing, enhanced low-dose rate effect tests, neutron and proton displacement damage and single event effects. Furthermore, strict monitoring of the percent defective allowable ratio is paramount in the qualification of any future semiconductor product undergoing these radiation reliability tests.

Counterfeit Electronic Part Prevention Rules Issued by DOD

Department of Defense published a new rule aimed at preventing counterfeit electronic parts from entering the military supply chain at any level.

 The final version of the rule can be found in the Federal Register as: Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement: Detection and Avoidance of Counterfeit Electronic Parts-Further Implementation (DFARS Case 2014-D005) https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/08/02/2016-17956/defense-federal-acquisition-regulation-supplement-detection-and-avoidance-of-counterfeit-electronic#h-4.  The final version was drafted after a period of public commnet. It includes some changes in terminology to match industry standard terms and well as changes in requirements.

 I strongly feel that AS6171 will be a paramount aid to the future of quality-control testing and providing standardize techniques and practices. In uncovering counterfeit electronic component product. I also feel participating in these mandatory requirements shows a good faith effort in the purchasing, managing and disposal of the electronic components in question.

 

Proposed Changes to the Definition of Exempted Electronic Waste Items

This article describes the bill being considered by Congress that would amend existing export administration regulations. The change is that nonworking or non-tested used electronic items would be classified as electronic waste, so that they cannot be exported unless specific conditions are met.
I believe that one of the specific conditions that should be met for any electronic component that is disassembled and prepared for export is that the component be tested with a thorough risk mitigation and counterfeit test program with traceable paperwork results.

Reminder of Why Not to Buy Suspected Counterfeit or Gray Market Products

Electronic Products and Technology,  ept.ca, one of Canada’s Leading Electronics websites published two articles that outline the risks of buying and using counterfeit components. The articles are  Why Buy Authentic? The Case Against Counterfeit Products and Protecting Yourself from Counterfeit and Gray Market Components.

In addition to the practices and precautions mentioned in the articles, it is strongly recommended that any components that are purchased without an authentic manufacturers C of C Certificate of compliance should undergo Fraudulent/Counterfeit Electronic Parts: Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation testing in accordance with SAE Aerospace standard AS6081.

 

Digital Delay/Pulse Generator has Useful LED Output

The Model 577 Digital Delay/Pulse Generator from Berkeley Nucleonics includes several features to optimize measurement accuracy. The Model 577 offers 250-ps  width and delay resolution, while keeping internal jitter to less than 200 ps. The Model 577, which is outfitted with four or eight channels, performs gating, triggering, delaying, clocking, and synchronization with timing precision that is sufficient for almost any application.

Each of the Model 577’s outputs can be individually configured with its own trigger, gate, delay, and width settings, giving you maximum control over your measurements. Inputs and outputs can be all electrical, all optical, or a combination of both. I particularly appreciate the LED output stage, which is available at the front panel. This will simplify measurements in noisy environments or for communications applications. This modular option can be configured for two, four, or eight outputs at 820 nm or 1300 nm.

I recommend learning more about this model. You can read more here: http://www.edn.com/electronics-products/other/4440292/Delay-pulse-generator-delivers-picosecond-resolution.

Protect Yourself When Buying Obsolete Electronic Components

Tips to Identify and Avoid Counterfeit Components

You can’t be too careful when you are buying obsolete electronic components. Counterfeit electronic components are a pervasive issue,particularly when dealing with obsolete parts.  John Pallazola offers four “Golden Rules” to follow when buying obsolete parts:

  1. Verify the trustworthiness of the supplier
  2. Ensure the traceability of the paperwork, including COC and invoices
  3. Test the parts to confirm that they operate properly
  4. Confirm details such as quantity and date codes from the supplier

I strongly recommend comprehensive testing of the parts following AS5553’s counterfeit parts avoidance training compliance, IDEA’s method 1010 inspection and AS 6081 Fraudulent Electronics Parts Avoidance, Detection and Mitigation test practices.

For more information about counterfeit testing for obsolete parts and to learn how NJMET can help you, email jgfederico@njmet.com.

Article on Solvent Testing Published in October’s US Tech

I recently wrote an article for US Tech (published in the Oct, 2014 issue) describing the proper procedures for solvent testing for remarked and resurfaced electronic components and the occurrence of false positive results when a solvent test is applied to the wrong type of electronic component.  Examples of false positive results are shown where the Dynasolve and Mineral Spirits tests return false positive results when used on authentic can packaged devices.

While Mineral Spirits testing, Acetone testing, 1- Methyl 2- Pyrrolidone testing and Dynasolve testing have been vital in uncovering many anomalies associated with parts that have been remarked or resurfaced, we show that using these techniques improperly on hermetically sealed ceramic devices or can packages that have not been resurfaced can result in false positives.

NJ MET has developed a lot of expertise in correctly applying the appropriate solvent testing procedures, depending on the type of electronic component being tested.  We apply that expertise in all parts of our component testing programs.  Thorough testing with the appropriate procedures is necessary to identify counterfeit components and keep them out of the supply chain.

I invite you to join the conversation by commenting below your thoughts and experiences with these testing procedures.

Counterfeit Components in Consumer Products, Too

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.

Counterfeit Component Testing in the National Defense Authorization Act

I strongly feel that the National Defense Authorization Act signed by President Obama was a monumental step in combating the counterfeit electronics epidemic.  A more powerful objective would be to establish government standards defining clear and concise testing requirements for different electronics component types focusing on proper functional and parametric (DC/AC) electrical testing.  The basic level contact testing which is used by some companies today does not instill a high level of confidence in the electronic components tested. The government should establish the higher standard for all electronic components testing.

The National Defense Authorization Act is large and complex bill.  For a one-page summary of the section relating to counterfeit parts, see: Defense Authorization Act – Detection of Counterfeit Parts Requirements (http://www.martindale.com/government-contracts-law/article_Taft-Stettinius-Hollister-LLP_1460238.htm.)

For more information about NJMET’s Mission Imposter® Counterfeit Component Detection Program, see the Mission Imposter Page  at the NJMET website or call Joseph Federico at NJMET’s Clifton, NJ headquarters at 973 546-5393.