Astute Electronics, a leading supplier of electronic components and value added services, has announced that is has gained certification to AS 6081, the SAE Aerospace Standard that addresses counterfeit mitigation which is designed to provide a very high level of protection for companies in the aerospace and defence industries. Astute is the first British and first European company to gain certification and only the fourth company in the world to achieve this. Astute is also the first company worldwide to have more than one location certified (UK and USA).
AS 6081 standardizes practices and methods to mitigate the risks of purchasing and supplying fraudulent/counterfeit electronic parts. It covers the following activities:
Identify reliable sources to procure parts;
Assess and mitigate risk of distributing fraudulent/counterfeit parts;
Control suspect or confirmed fraudulent/counterfeit parts;
Report suspect and confirmed fraudulent/counterfeit parts to other potential users and Authority Having Jurisdiction.
Comments Geoff Hill, MD of Astute Electronics: “With our customer base, Astute has been at the leading edge of preventing counterfeit components entering the supply chain for many years now. Back in 2006 we identified that industry needed to take this issue very much more seriously than before. Since then we have invested over £1M in test facilities in the UK which are used to determine the authenticity of any components that we source which do not come with full manufacturers’ tracing documentation – a situation that mostly occurs in the course of sourcing obsolescent components. We also have set up a similar facility in our premises in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.”
Astute takes testing much farther than simple visual inspection and functional test. The company uses scanning electron microscopy equipment to check to see if the part has the right marking and materials, and also to compare parts against a library of known good parts it has built up. Therefore, if a component shows up with a different material construction it can be identified immediately as a fake.
Adds Hill: “Effectively, our test facility allows us to check the ‘DNA’ of a device against a proven ‘gold standard’ in order to determine whether or not the part is genuine or counterfeit. This process enables us to offer a 10 year guarantee on all components that we source out of franchise. We are proud and delighted to be able to offer our customers the highest levels of protection.”