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.

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Information on the Senate’s Counterfeit Parts Amendment

The Senate recently approved a Counterfeit Parts Amendment  in an effort to reduce the number of counterfeit electronic components in the Armed Forces supply chain. The amendment was introduced by senators Carl Levin, D-Mich. And John McCain, R-Ariz., the chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The amendment was to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

The amendment includes several important steps towards reducing the amount of counterfeit electronic components in the armed forces supply chain.

Here is a list of some of the specific requirements in the amendment:

• It requires DOD officials and DOD contractors who become aware of counterfeit parts in the supply chain to provide written notification to the DOD Inspector General, the contracting officer, and the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) or similar program designated by the Secretary of Defense.

• It requires large DOD contractors to establish systems for detecting and avoiding counterfeit parts in their supply chains and authorizes reduction of contract payments to contractors that fail to develop adequate systems.

• It authorizes the suspension of contractors who repeatedly fail to detect and avoid counterfeit parts or otherwise fail to exercise due diligence in the detection and avoidance of counterfeit parts.

• Finally, the amendment requires DOD to define the term “counterfeit part” – a critical and long overdue step toward getting a handle on this problem.

For a more detailed list of provisions, see: http://levin.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/senate-approves-amendment-to-strengthen-protections-against-counterfeit-electronic-parts-in-defense-supply-system.

Vibration Analysis as a Counterfeit Dectection Tool

“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.