Avoiding Supply Chain Counterfeit Components

The global trade in counterfeit electronics and equipment currently stands at $121 billion, but counterfeit products don’t just cost companies money, they ruin reputations, they’re dangerous and what’s worse, they can become harder to identify.  In March 2018, the Anti-Counterfeiting Forum, held at BAE System headquarters brought together a range of speakers who explained the steps that should be taken to prevent and combat counterfeit products.   A key topic proved to be the importance of ‘knowing your supply chain’.

A key speaker stated the U.S. Department of Defense has identified upwards of a million counterfeit components in its military supply chain, caused by poor supplier control and weak buying practices.  When sourcing parts, tell the subcontractors the full manufacturer’s part number and the current name, and if relevant, any previous names. He also said to avoid only identifying a component by using a distributor’s part number.  The problem of counterfeiting isn’t new, so existing stock should also be checked. Visual inspection alone is not sufficient, so the best course of action is to send suspicious products to a testing company.  He went on to explain that obsolete products are one of the main opportunities for counterfeiters. To combat this, he suggested better anticipating the demand for products and stocking up on them.

 

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