Regarding the capacitors that failed, I doubt that it was counterfeit parts, but contaminated dielectric. The capacitors were made in the US and purchased directly from the manufacturer. They were leaded monolithic chip capacitors. I suspect that the dielectric was contiminated during the making of the chip, or by the rosin used in the soldering, or even by the cleaning after soldering, or maybe even by the epoxy coating.
Of course, the chips may have been made overseas and purchased by the US capacitor manufacturer for fabrication into the leaded package, but in that case, the US manufacturer would have purchased them directly from the factory and not through an agent or distributor.
Regardless of the cause of the failure, it was costly for me to replace thousands of capacitors mounted on double sided board, with most capacitors soldered through a ground plane!
For a number of years, I worked for a company whose top management and founders came out of the aerospace industry. The president was a former "jet jockey" test pilot. He had a simple rule that saved us all a lot of grief: "Glue always fails eventually. Never use glue where its failure causes a product defect."
That may certainly be the case, Cadman-LT. Many companies end up using counterfeit parts without knowing it. But there seems to be a lot of other reasons products are failing to last. Shifting manufacturing to Asia sees to run coincidentally with lower quality products.
Cadman-LT, counterfeit parts take a number of shapes. Generally, they are inferior. Many of them are stripped from electronic products that get shipped from the U.S. to developing countries. Poor families, strip out the components and the parts are flushed back into circulation. This also causes health hazards for the familites stripping the parts.
Battar, those parts may have gone to the external market as well, in which case they were good parts, but counterfeit nonetheless. I once did an article that discussed that some of the counterfeits (such as in this instance) were actually good parts. That statement caused quite a few fires out there in the parts distribution world.
Why do the counterfeit on the night shift? Daylight is good, too. Our former CEO once worked for a company which outsourced production to a nameless country (whose national flag is mostly red in color), and on a visit to the factory they discovered that alongside parts being produced with the company logo, identical parts were being produced with no logo. They probably went to the internal market, not export.
California State University, Chico was the first school in California to offer an ABET-accredited degree program in mechatronic engineering. Now its California Mechatronics Center works with industry on machinery, robotics, and surveillance vehicles.
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