Are you sure the parts in your products are not counterfeit? A recent report from Technology Forecasters Inc., a research firm that focuses on contract manufacturing, finds that the average likelihood for “unrevealed replacement of AVL parts with lower cost components” averages 28 percent. Apparently, when products are produced in Asia and the contract manufacturer has the authority to buy parts, those parts have a fairly high likelihood of being counterfeit.
There is a service that checks parts for authenticity, “de-lidding.” The service is growing in popularity with the new pressures of environmental compliance with RoHS. In the past, most de-lidding was conducted to authenticate parts for the military and aerospace.
A new company that offers de-lidding services, E-Certa, takes a close look to verify parts. “Using our 400 to 600 times microscope, we can view the die to see if the brand logo and part number match,” says Joel Deutsch, president of E-Certa. “We can also check top-ink integrity, corrosion, house number part identification and small markings for green components.” He notes that sometimes part numbers are marked only on the tiny die and not on the exterior of the component package.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.