Electronic parts and components form the building blocks of all electronic devices; our lives are filled with electronic products which are full of components such as semiconductors, resistors and capacitors. The average household has dozens of devices from children’s toys to audio/visual equipment to smoke detectors, and each year we become more and more dependent on these devices.The estimated global spending on electronic parts and components that go into all these devices we buy for 2009 is around 660 billion US dollars, so it’s easy to see why it’s caught the eye of component counterfeiters trying to get their piece of the pie through breaking the law.
But how can counterfeited electronic components affect the average person? Product failures are one example. When consumers buy electronic products they expect the device to last. Products that contain counterfeited parts jeopardize the consumer’s expectation, which can lead from the extreme (loss of life) to giving the manufacturer a bad name for supplying poor quality products. Counterfeited components are usually poor quality due to the corner cutting manufacturing processes, which are used to reduce the overall cost price or overrating product specifications, used in devices and conditions where they would otherwise not be suitable. Having a fake component in your stereo might give it a reduced life, but a fake part in a smoke detector or aircraft could be deadly. For more information, visit their website at linear technology.
There are several different methods used to counterfeit components. Removing individual parts from electronic scrap and then selling them as new is done on a large scale. Nowhere in the process of extraction is a quality control followed; the old, used and most probably non-functioning part is refinished and sold as new. Another method is to use material or parts from authentic manufacturers that did not meet quality control standards, this material or these parts are often stolen during the disposal process and used to make sub-standard parts.
Fighting against this problem puts pressure on the electronic component distribution industry and the end product device industry. No one wants to develop a bad reputation for supplying counterfeit items or installing them in their final products that are bought and taken into our homes by the general population.The electronic component and part supplying industry is taking steps to reduce exposure to counterfeit parts utilizing authorized suppliers or parts brokers or joining associations related to increasing quality control systems and the detection of counterfeit parts as well by creating quality inspection processes that check every part taken into their warehouse and quality assurances which give their customers piece of mind that their purchases are protected.