Damages from counterfeiting add up

Counterfeiting is not a huge problem for the overall electronics, but it’s an issue that creates major headaches for the small percentage who are impacted by it. Companies that buy fake parts can have major problems when parts fail prematurely, and the legitimate vendors who are victimized spend countless hours making sure their reputation isn’t tarnished.

Expensive chips, boards and systems get most of the attention when phony electronics are involved. But counterfeiters also prey on the manufacturing side of the industry.

Members of the IPC SMEMA Council are concerned about counterfeiting equipment parts. A case in point comes from pick and place supplier Juki Automation Systems. The company recently alerted its customer base that at least three Chinese manufacturers are making copies of Juki feeders. Some are even molding the JUKI logo onto those parts.

The potential problems can be huge. Juki said that on one feeder, the tape retention mechanism came unlatched and collided with a placement head at full speed.  The laser camera assembly, head guides, head mount, and numerous other assemblies were destroyed, causing $30,000 in damages.

Add in the downtime and time spent figuring out what went wrong and you’re talking serious headaches for many different operations at the manufacturer — and possibly for the company that sold the fake parts.

For Juki, the task of combating the many impacts linked to fake parts shows no signs of abating. The company’s also trying to prevent further sales of counterfeit nozzles that are causing high mis-pick rates on small chip parts. Juki joins many other companies and industry groups when it encourages buyers to avoid problems by only purchasing parts from authorized suppliers.

One Comment

  1. Kim Sterling
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Shameless plugs:

    IPC will hold a free forum at IPC Midwest on counterfeit components on September 23. More information is here: http://tinyurl.com/mdg4zx.

    Also, we have a one hour webinar archive available for sale in the bookstore. Details through this link: http://tinyurl.com/l36pzw

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