Avoiding counterfeit components
Suzanne Deffree - January 21, 2009
EDN sister publication Electronics Weekly has a short article live today on how to avoid counterfeit components.
The article highlights a new booklet from UK-based COG (Component Obsolescence Group) titled The Counterfeit Electronic Components Minefield. I’m familiar with COG but haven’t seen the booklet, although I am considering purchasing it, as I’m taken in by description and title.
"Minefield" is a great way to describe the counterfeit situation. After all, counterfeit components are scattered throughout the electronics supply chain, ready to trigger disaster in electronics. Even the most wary buyers can end up with counterfeit product, be it brought into the electronics supply chain through returns, direct imitation, or by other means.
But, to save a few bucks, normally wary people seem to be letting their guard down in this economic environment and going to the shady parts of the gray market instead of, say, sticking with their authorized distributor or at least a distribution channel they’ve worked with before. Not wise, not wise at all right now. That dollar saved could come back to bite you as hazardous counterfeit parts and a trashed reputation, which will stick with a company a lot longer than the downturn will stick around.
If you’ve already read the booklet and have something to share on it, do so below. Comments on the counterfeit situation are also welcome below.