Showing posts for January 2021
27 January 2021
How to avoid counterfeit components with Cyclops Electronics
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
You can use this list to check your own components.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Call us on 01904 415 415.
21 January 2021
2021 Top Manufacturers Lead Time Forecast
Click the link below to access our latest up to date lead-time forecast for 2021 from our top manufacturers.
20 January 2021
The Benefits of Electronic Component testing
Electronic component testing is an essential stage in your supply chain to ensure that the components you purchase are genuine and perform as expected. Without testing, you could end up with any old components.
Testing will safeguard you from counterfeit goods, prevent costly recalls, and help assure your manufacturing capability.
We provide electronic component testing as part of our service, inspecting and testing components upon delivery to us and prior to shipment to you. We do this for a few reasons, which we’ll take a closer look at below.
Testing prevents counterfeit components from entering your supply chain
One of the biggest challenges the electronic components industry faces is the increasing number of sophisticated counterfeiters. These counterfeiters build factories faster than they can be shut down, creating a problem that gets bigger over time.
As an electronic component distributor, we source components for our customers. This means we are at a high risk of counterfeits. There are several ways we mitigate this risk, and the number #1 way is with electronic component testing.
Component testing takes place within our own warehouses. We only use ESD-qualified personnel and procedures set out by ISO9001:2015. We also use a variety of procedures, including IC testing using a sentry machine which tests the electrical signature (PinPrint) of components to ensure they are genuine.
Testing ensures that the components you receive function as intended
One of the great things about modern manufacturing techniques is the quality of components is consistently high. Sure, you get bad batches now and again that lead to recalls, but by and large the components from top OEMs are consistently good. This is why we like to source components from leading manufacturers.
Of course, some components will be duds. Testing helps to catch these duds, so they don’t enter your supply chain. This is critically important if you don’t conduct your own testing, so that product recalls as a result of dodgy components don’t happen.
Testing is a key part of circuit design and this is especially true of PCBs and integrated circuits. Not all components need to be tested, but those that are prone to interference and damage from external elements should be tested.
Testing saves you from costly product recalls as a result of bad components
Leading on from our points about testing with regards to product recalls and counterfeit components, it is a fact that bad components (be them malfunctioning or counterfeits) are bad for business. They will cost you money.
At Cyclops Electronics, we specialise in testing electronic components to ensure they are genuine and function as intended. We conduct these tests as part of our service, acting as a component distribution partner to other businesses.
Our ties with leading OEMs and distributors means we can source electronic components from all over the world, including end of life and rare components. The quality of our work and our network means we can offer a 1-year quality guarantee. This is a guarantee that we will replace components that fail manufacturer standards.
15 January 2021
Cyclops Electronics: What we do and how we can help your electronic component needs
Cyclops Electronics is classed as an electronic component distributor in the sense that electronic component distribution forms 80% of our business. However, this is only part of our operation. We actually provide a complete distribution solution, with sourcing, ordering, testing, and quality inspection included.
This ‘full-stack’ approach to electronic component distribution makes us a valuable partner to hundreds of companies around the world.
Electronic component distribution
We specialise in supplying other businesses with electronic components. We source, purchase, and fulfill component orders on our customer’s behalf. This means our customers only have to deal with us, which makes life easier.
Our customers also benefit from several service features, including:
- Fast component search
- Price Match Plus Promise
- Scheduled ordering
- Access to global supply chains
- A seamless and easy ordering process
The true value of our service is our wide network of trusted suppliers in the industry, which includes OEMs and specialised component manufacturers. Whether our customers need a sensor that’s in short supply or a PCB board ordered in the thousands, we can deliver.
Our global distribution network enables us to source components quickly. We take full control of the process. Our customers leave us to source what they need. This relationship is results-based, and we have a very high grade so far, following over 30 years’ in the industry (Cyclops Electronics was incorporated in 1990).
Excess inventory management
We also help businesses monetize excess components. Customers with excess components can move these components on through our network. This enables our customers to reduce inventory burdens and make money at the same time.
This service has 3 main benefits:
- An instant, positive cash injection
- Reduce your stockholding costs
- Reduce time spent managing surplus stock
If that sounds appealing to you, get in touch.
Electronic component testing and inspection
As part of our electronic component distribution service, we inspect the components delivered to verify their legitimacy and quality. We are members of the ERAI and have the best equipment to test components.
The purpose of testing and inspection is two-fold: 1) To verify that the components are legitimate, i.e. not counterfeit, and 2) To verify that the components are working, or that they have been manufactured to the correct standards.
With our service, our customers benefit from:
- A One Year Quality Guarantee
- An ISO 9001:2015 Certificate
- Cyclops Group Inspection Process
- Cyclops Quality Assurance Statement
In other words, we test and verify components to International Standards, and we stamp our work with a one-year quality guarantee.
How we can help your electronic component needs
We work for our customers to solve shortage and supply problems for active, passive, electro-mechanical, and other components. If you want to solidify your supply chain with greater access to electronic components, we are the partner for you. We have a rich history of success and hundreds of successful partnerships.
Fancy a chat about your needs? Call us on 01904 415 415 or email email@example.com and we’ll get back to you.
13 January 2021
How to deal with electronic component obsolescence
With technologies advancing at such a rapid rate, the rate of electronic component obsolescence is as high as it has ever been. OEMs have their work cut out to keep up with an industry where demand for electronic components is under increasing pressure as a result of innovation across the entire electronics industry.
Understanding the risks of obsolescence
Component obsolescence is bound to happen in time because all components have a diminishing lifespan. All components become obsolete eventually.
However, the rate of component obsolescence is increasing over time. This means the challenges facing you are growing.
Dealing with electronic component obsolescence
Now that you know obsolescence is nailed-on given a large enough timeframe, how can you deal with the challenge when you face it? Here are some tips:
- Understand why obsolescence happens
The three main reasons for electronic component obsolescence include short product life cycles, innovation, and increased demand.
A combination of these creates the perfect storm. A great example of this storm is with semiconductors, which are advancing at a rapid rate.
Which reasons for obsolescence will affect you the most? By understanding this, you can prepare properly for the future.
- If you are designing a product, look into the longevity
The best defense against obsolescence is designing products that use components that are not expected to become obsolete during your product’s lifecycle.
You can assure longevity in a few ways:
- Review the ‘Production Status’ of the component
- Ask your supplier about component longevity
- Look at the datasheet creation date - if it’s several years old, this could be an indication that the part may be due an upgrade sometime soon
Even when a component is due to become obsolete, it could be several years before this happens. This insight will be invaluable to your business.
- Get to the bottom of the type of obsolescence
If you get a notification that a component you use is becoming obsolete, take a step back and look into the reason why this is the case.
You can do this by looking at the PCN (Product Change Notification) which will provide the technical information you need.
If the component is a passive component, then there’s a good chance you will be able to source an equivalent component. If the component is an active component, you may have to upgrade to a newer component.
- How to deal with obsolescence when it happens
You have three options when dealing with obsolete components:
- Equivalence - this is when you look for an equivalent component. You can cross-reference many components, such as semiconductors, to find exact equivalents. You should review the datasheets to ensure cross-compatibility.
- Design - this is when you work with an OEM to manufacture a component on your behalf. It carries a high cost but reduced risk because the component is unique to you. NANDs and micro-controllers are common examples.
- Use old stock - somewhere in the world, there’s probably the component you need in storage. This is available if you can find it. An electronic component distributor is your best friend in this scenario to get the components you need.
If you are struggling to source your obsolete or hard to find electronic components Cyclops Electronics is here to help.
Contact us today.
Call: 01904 415 415
06 January 2021
Active and passive components to see strong 5G-driven demand
As the international rollout of 5G picks up pace, active and passive component demand is increasing at a rate of knots.
The buildout of 5G infrastructure requires significant investment in active and passive components for a wide range of different devices.
Examples include active antennas with integrated RF radio designs, small cell power base stations, C-RAN architecture and semiconductors.
One of the challenges faced with the 5G rollout this year has been COVID-19, which had immediate effects on global supply in demand. Some of the side effects included increased costs, a slowdown in logistics, and a squeeze on demand.
While these challenges were significant in early 2020 and are likely to remain for some time, the macroeconomics are unlikely to persist in their worst form.
Right now, the manufacturing sector in most countries is bouncing back fast and many manufacturers are having their best ever quarter.
A good example is Taiwan Semiconductor, who are the largest semiconductor foundry in the world. Then you have smaller but vital players like MaxLinear, who make wireless, PON, DSL, and terrestrial products for high-speed internet.
How 5G is driving demand for active and passive components
You can think of 5G as a tide that is going to raise all ships, and active and passive components manufacturers are the ships that will benefit from it most because they will make the components that build out the 5G infrastructure.
It’s easy to see why this is the case with a short list of active and passive components. Let’s start with examples of passive components first:
Now let’s list a few active components:
- Inductors / coils
Now let’s look at a few of the components that will build out 5G:
- Radio towers
- RF receivers
- Fibreoptic cable
Looking at these lists, it’s easy to see why 5G is driving such strong demand for active and passive components.
Can the components sector keep pace?
There are so many different manufacturers of electronic components that it is unlikely that the rollout of 5G will trouble the manufacturing sector.
However, local supply problems may exist for some enterprises. For example, a supplier of radio frequency devices in China may have to temporary shut production at a factory due to a fire or a health hazard. This would affect supply.
The best way for those involved in the rollout of 5G to safeguard their supply of active and passive components is to use an electronic component distributor. Electronic component distributor specialise in the procurement and delivery of electronic components and parts, so they can ensure you always have what you need.
A faster, more connected future awaits
5G will revolutionise our use of the internet in more ways than one, but the buildout is going to take time. Demand for active and passive components is at an all-time high, and competition is increasing for the best components. Having a component distributor on your side is a good way to ensure you can meet the challenge.
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