IECQ CAP wages war against counterfeit components



Counterfeiting has proven to be a viable and lucrative industry in many areas of the world, specifically the counterfeiting of microcircuits used in electronic devices. These counterfeit components often originate from material meant to be recycled from e-waste programmes. The fraudulent components are often re-fabricated with cheap materials, improper assembly, substitute dye and then exposed to harsh environments that significantly reduce the life and reliability of such components. Recently, there have been increases in counterfeit electronic parts entering the supply chain, posing significant performance, reliability, and safety risks worldwide. Militaries all over the world have admitted that thousands and in some cases millions of fake components have infiltrated their supply chain. Governments have investigated and found counterfeit electronic components that can pose extreme safety concerns to the public or soldiers in combat and can cause an unquantifiable amount of economic damage. The IECQ CAP (Counterfeit Avoidance Programme) is a part of the long established IECQ Approved Process Scheme, which encompasses management processes associated with avoidance and mitigation for dealing with counterfeit or fraudulent electronic components. The scheme was designed for manufacturers and distributors. First company to receive IECQ CAP certification Secure Components, located in Norristown, Pennsylvania, USA is an independent distributor specializing in sourcing no longer manufactured and hard to find components for the aerospace and defense industries. It is the first company to achieve Certification under the IECQ Counterfeit Avoidance Programme. "A proud achievement for Secure Components," advises CEO Todd Kramer. "The dramatic rise in counterfeit material, combined with an economy built on global trade over the past 5 to 10 years has led some of the world's largest companies to seek an industry based solution to this growing epidemic of counterfeit components. Before IECQ CAP, industry had no reliable programme at an international level to ensure a company's compliance to an effective counterfeit avoidance plan. A broker or distributor could claim compliance to systems without third party oversight or international recognition," Kramer explains. IECQ CAP Certificate of Conformity explained The IECQ CAP Certificate of Conformity provides confidence internationally that manufacturers or distributors have the processes in place to manage counterfeit avoidance in the selection and use of components. With IECQ CAP, manufacturers and distributors will be able to promote their products and services with more confidence as the Certification will be internationally recognized; obtain independent monitoring and verification of their components and systems, including their auditing system; benefit from advanced detection of potential technical problems in the supply chain; eliminate duplicate testing; and achieve easier acceptance by regulators and others in the supply chain in many countries. What the future holds In the future, IECQ CAP it is expected that other industries will make use of this International Scheme. Other industries may include telecommunications, biomedical and automotive. "Counterfeiting is something that affects all industries across the board," said Kramer. "Everyone is suffering from intellectual property being stolen and safety being compromised. Embracing this change will not only help business but more importantly this will increase the safety of the men and woman using the equipment." IEC IECQ