A recent report released by the Senate Armed Services Committee reveals that counterfeit components have in fact been used in military vehicles and aircraft. The report is a result of a 14-month investigation into the use of counterfeit electronic components in the military.
As part of the investigation, a database was complied with 1,800 cases of counterfeiting involving over one million parts. In over 70% of the cases cited in the report, the parts came directly from China. In many remaining cases, the components were purchased from a company based elsewhere, but the parts themselves originated in China.
This Senate report once again illustrates the need for rigorous professional testing to ensure that all parts are genuine and meet their specifications. NJMET offers a full menu of counterfeit component testing under its Mission Imposter® Counterfeit Detection Program. For more information, see our website: http://www.njmetmtl.com/mission.aspx
For more information on the Senate Armed Services Committee report, see this Bloomberg News report: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/china-top-source-of-counterfeit-u-s-military-electronics.html
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.
Electronic Testing is the subject of a free downloadable book by Michael L. Bushnell and Wishavani D. Agrawal. This book nicely covers the 40-year history of Electronic Testing. It is comprehensive in what it covers, but is lacking a section on testing for counterfeit or cloned electronic components.
You can learn more about this book and download it at: http://www.allfreedownloadebooks.com/electrical-engineering/essentials-of-electronic-testing-free/
Book title: Essentials of Electronic Testing
By: Michael L. Bushnell, Wishavani D. Agrawal
Book type: PDF
“Vibration analysis is performed to identify defects or drifts in electronic equipment across various stages of its life. Vibration test systems are first employed to detect latent defects and faults in electrical, electromechanical, electronic and mechanical hardware at the manufacturing stage,” according to Importance of Vibration Testing for Electronic Equipment by Sam Jacob Thomas.
NJMET uses vibration analysis as part of our PIND (Particle Impact Noise Detection) testing to determine the authenticity of electronic components. We have recently discovered dangerous counterfeit components in two separate customer orders using PIND testing. For more information, see: Particle Impact Noise Detection Finds Non-Authentic Electronic Components.
PIND is just one process in NJMET’s Mission Imposter® Counterfeit Component Testing Program. Mission Imposter is a rigorous set of tests to determine the authenticity of electronic components.
When they return from August recess, one of the things Congress needs to take up is the S. 1228: Combating Military Counterfeits Act of 2011. This bill is an important step towards protecting the United States from counterfeit electronic components.
These fake components cost jobs and put Americans at risk. The danger is especially high in our military.
One category of counterfeit parts are civilian grade electronic components relabeled as military grade. Military grade parts have to meet strict standards to work in extreme conditions, such as very hot or extremely cold environments. These situations may be rare in civilian life, but are common for our military. A civilian grade electronic component may work well on the ground, but fail dangerously in a jet during combat.
For more information about the bill and its status, check out http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1228