Detecting Counterfeit Electronic Components

Posted on June 27, 2012 John Smith Detecting Counterfeit Electronic Components

Know More About Electronics Components:

Imposters seem to be creeping into all facets of our life: fake IDs, knock-off designer handbags, and now even into our electronic components supply. But thanks to a program originated at NJ Micro Electronic Testing (NJMET), the imitation electronic devices that began infiltrating the industry close to a decade ago now can be detected.

The process begins with analyzing the shipping and packaging. It continues with the parts undergoing several levels of inspection including marking and dimensional checks, internal visual analysis, several levels of material analysis, and electrical testing to determine as well as ensure authenticity. In total, there are 14 options in this process to uncover counterfeit or cloned devices.

Incoming Inspection The inspection starts with checking the boxes for shipping damage or evidence of a counterfeit or suspect bar-code label and moves on to the component level after the packages are opened. An in-depth, near 100-point inspection process via a detailed checklist of suspect error types and optical microscopy (digital imaging) is per-formed to verify the component part number, marking, lead straightness, color, or any anomaly related to the integrity of the devices such as cracks, dents, scratches, mechanical anomalies, spelling errors, suspect date codes, suspect manufacturers’ logos, breaks, or corrosions.

ESD Surface Inspection Because ESD is one of the most serious problems facing the electronics industry today, a trained staff of operators thoroughly examines the components and packaging to detect evidence of plastic, Styrofoam, rubber bands, cardboard, scotch tape, or other substance capable of inducing static electricity to the product. Although ESD may seem harmless, it can damage electronic components and their assemblies when not packaged or handled properly.

Physical Dimensions The height, length, width, and depth as well as arc angle, curvature measure, and pin-count of the devices are checked. This ensures all data meets the manufacturer’s specification and that there is no evidence that the com-ponents have been altered.

Marking Permanency The purpose of this test is to verify that the markings will not become illegible on the component parts when subjected to solvents. Various military standard procedures are used that incorporate several chemicals mixed appropri-ately and in detail in accordance with the specifications. These chemicals consist of aliphatic alcohol, mineral spirits, ethyl-benzene, organic solvents, deionized water, propylene glycol monomethyl ether, or monoethanolamine.

 (Courtsey: NJMETL)

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