Monday, 28 May 2012

Combating Counterfeit

Evolution of the Counterfeit Trade


It's the three words every purchasing department dreads - "the grey market."

Counterfeit electronic components have been making their way to the UK market for some time now and it is estimated that 95% of these unsafe and unreliable parts are arriving from Asia - a recent study revealed that the counterfeit industry accounts for 8% of China's gross domestic profit. The Chinese counterfeit market is becoming more and more sophisticated and those involved are spending vast amounts of time and money on developing new ways to "fake" components.

Components being removed from PCBs in China. © Kevin Lee/Getty Images 
Most CEMs, franchised brokers and non-franchised brokers have had some experience of counterfeit components in the past. Using these parts can lead to massive financial liability as well as loss of reputation - it is believed that counterfeiting costs the semiconductor industry around $7.5 billion every year in lost revenue.

Combating Counterfeit Worldwide


There are ways to stop the spread of counterfeit components. 

Retronix has been at the forefront of the "combating counterfeit" initiative for a number of years and has recently invested significantly in state of the art testing equipment to help in the fight to stop counterfeit components reaching production lines all over the globe.

Ensuring Authenticity of Components


For Retronix's strategy to be effective, it is vital for the purchasing professionals, distributors and brokers to become part of the fight and use Retronix's services as the first line of defence. Send your grey market components to Retronix for testing before you purchase them and, provided that they pass our scrupulous testing process, you will be able to hand them over to your customer with our certificate of authenticity.

Retronix has also developed a revolutionary process that allows us to recover components safely from obsolete PCBs without the component die reaching reflow temperatures. Apart from the obvious cost savings, this also ensures that the history of the component is traceable - meaning that you have no doubts about their authenticity.

All components that are recovered using the Retronix method are tested, baked, packaged in tape and reel or waffle trays then vacuum sealed. Working to IDEA-STD-1010-B standard, Retronix offers various tests including:

  • Visual Inspection
  • Acid Wipe Test (examining component for changes to screen printing)
  • Curve Trace Test (powered and un-powered)
  • Key Functional Test
  • De-capsulation
  • Ionic Contamination Test
  • Solderability Test
  • X-Ray
  • XRF    

We know that careful and thorough testing combined with our unique component recovery process will help in the fight against counterfeiting and ensure that you provide your customers with authentic and reliable components. To find out more about what Retronix can offer, please visit our website or email one of our team members.

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