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Showing posts tagged 'erai'


28 April 2021

Electronics Counterfeiters Capitalize on Component Shortages

component checking

The electronics industry is experiencing a components shortage which is bad news for everyone except counterfeiters who are seeing greater demand than ever.

The total available market for counterfeit electronic components is billions of pounds, so it makes no wonder this illegal activity is seeing rapid growth.

What is a counterfeit part?

A counterfeit part is an unauthorised copy, imitation, substitute, or modification of an original component. Counterfeit components are a misrepresentation of the real thing but can be extremely convincing they are legitimate.

Giveaways that components are counterfeits include:

  • Colour variances
  • Misspellings and incorrect labelling
  • Mismatched date codes
  • Duplicate date codes and labels
  • Missing items
  • Poor packaging and quality control
  • Font variances
  • Country of origin problems
  • Signs of “resurfacing”
  • Failure in tests and performance issues

How are counterfeiters capitalising on component shortages?

Electronics counterfeiters are capitalising on component shortages by penetrating weakened supply chains, taking advantage of inadequate quality control processes and taking advantage of inadequate reporting.

Demand is exceeding supply for many electronic components, exasperating the issue. The semiconductor shortage is the current big one.

As lead times get pushed out, buyers are faced with a dilemma: should they stick with trusted suppliers and put up with delays or look for another supplier? The risk is the ‘other supplier’ being a counterfeiter or not having the necessary controls in place to ensure that shipments do not get intercepted and changed.

This dilemma is when counterfeiters strike to take advantage. The wrong decision can have significant financial and economic consequences.

Another area of focus for counterfeiters is the scarcity of parts caused by end-of-life designations. There is significant demand for end-of-life components, but they can be very hard to find. Counterfeiters pray on this weakness with illegitimate copies.

There’s also a grey market for used electronic components that are refurbished or reconditioned and sold as new. The danger with this is using components that are spent and not repaired properly. When you buy “new” the components should be exactly that. Buying used is never a good idea, unless you want used parts.

How can I protect myself from counterfeiters?

First of all, you should read our 8 Step Guide To Buying Electronic Components With Confidence and Avoiding Counterfeits.

Secondly, you should only work with electronic component suppliers who have a compliance program in place. A good benchmark is suppliers who are ERAI (Electronic Resellers Association International) members. We are ERAI members, so we are on the ERAI database and use ERAI supply chain risk mitigation solutions.

Secondly, it’s really important that you have adequate inspection and testing processes in place to verify the components you receive. If your supplier tests components for you, what testing facilities do they use, and which services are performed?

Summing up

Electronics counterfeiters are capitalising on component shortages by taking advantage of inadequate quality control and reporting processes and weakened supply chains.

A robust supply chain and trusted parts suppliers are the two keys to protecting your organisation. If you are concerned about counterfeit components in your supply chain we’re happy to provide advice. Call us on 01904 415 415 for a chat.

Tags: counterfeiters electronic components lead times 8 step guide to buying electronic components with confidence and avoiding counterfeits electronic component suppliers erai


27 January 2021

How to avoid counterfeit components with Cyclops Electronics

shutterstock_1729995952

Counterfeit electronic components are a plague on the electronics industry and they are an ongoing problem with no solution. The companies behind counterfeit components are unstoppable because their factories rise faster than they can be shut down. The market is set for them to continue operating forever.

Counterfeit components are problematic because they are more likely to malfunction than genuine components. They can also be dangerous.

Looking at the bigger picture, eliminating counterfeit components from your supply chain is important for social responsibility and corporate governance.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce and eliminate counterfeit components in your supply chain. Here’s where we would start:

  1. Partner with a trusted electronic component distributor

Electronic component distributors like Cyclops verify the legitimacy of electronic components before payment. By using us or another trusted distributor, you can assure the legitimacy of the components in your supply chain.

Another benefit to using Cyclops Electronics is we can find hard to find components in countries where counterfeits are common. Our ability to source genuine parts in haystacks of counterfeits makes us a valuable partner.

  1. Rigorously control purchase sources

If you don’t use an electronic component distributor, you should still rigorously control your purchase sources. Your sources should be vetted, and new sources should be verified, to ensure they are reputable and reliable.

We strongly recommend working with industry leaders where possible. If you have to use smaller suppliers, this is fine so long as you can trust them. Either way, it’s crucial for your sources to have full security over their products.

  1. Conduct your own rigorous quality inspections

One of the mistakes companies make with counterfeit components is assuming that the genuine shipment hasn’t been tampered with. It is common practice for counterfeiters to intercept and replace genuine components with fakes. The main reason they do this is so they can jeopardize the reputation of others.

We recommend conducting your own quality inspections when you receive your products, which may require you to test bulk batches.

Some of the common giveaways of counterfeit components include:

  • Colour variances
  • Misspellings and incorrect labelling
  • Mismatched date codes
  • Duplicate date codes and labels
  • Missing items
  • Poor packaging and quality control
  • Font variances
  • Country of origin problems
  • Signs of “resurfacing”
  • Failure in tests and performance issues

Click here to view Cyclops Electronics 8 Step guide to avoid Counterfeits

You can use this list to check your own components.

  1. Source components from ERAI members

ERAI (Electronic Resellers Association International) is the world leader in counterfeit components mitigation. Members of this organisation are required to be legitimate with a minimum of 10 trade references and no unresolved complaints.

Cyclops Electronics are an ERAI member in the United Kingdom, which means we are on the ERAI database and use ERAI supply chain risk mitigation solutions. We have specialised training and systems to detect, report and deal with counterfeit components.

If you are concerned you have counterfeit components in your supply chain, we’re happy to provide advice. Email sales@cyclops-electronics.com or Call us on 01904 415 415.

Tags: trusted electronic component distributor quality inspections erai members


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