No place for fakes

Given the huge impact that the broad electronics industry has in nearly every culture on earth, it’s kind of easy to forget that other industries face the same problems. That came to mind recently when I sat through a session on counterfeiting.

This presentation was not about high end processors or even passive components or connectors. Counterfeiting’s also a big problem for ball bearings. Fake parts were one of four sessions presented during a day-long backgrounder on SKF, the 10-year-old Swedish firm that’s one of the world’s largest ball bearing manufacturers.

The importance of counterfeiting was underscored not only by its inclusion in the limited topic list. The CEO flew in from Sweden and stayed throughout the day, driving home the point that the issue is of high importance. The speaker noted that two industry trade associations, the American Bearing Manufacturers Association and the Bearing Specialists Association, also take counterfeiting as seriously as SKF.

In our segment of the electronics industry, the response is the same. Many fabricators and EMS suppliers companies are working with chipmakers and others to devise techniques that make it more difficult for counterfeiters to sell their wares.

One of those steps is to keep the issue in the forefront. That will be happening during the upcoming IPC Midwest, which will be held in Schaumburg, Ill., Sept. 21-22.

One of the technical conference sessions, Test and Measurement Solutions, will include a presentation by LaShawnda Scott of Trace Laboratories Baltimore office. Her presentation’s title sums it up: Developing a Counterfeit Testing Program.

Whether you’re making electronics or ball bearings, developing and upgrading your defenses is the best way to avoid the huge problems that can occur when bogus components in high reliability applications fail. The cost of fake parts can be huge, both financially and in terms of reputation.

Editor’s note: If you are interested in counterfeiting, a recent press announcement by the IPC Surface Mount Equipment Manufacturers Council Association may be of interest as well.


  1. Posted June 25, 2011 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Many Thanks to Terry Costlow for this article.

    Yes I am interesting to recieve the entire article regarding to counterfeiting componenets.

    Best Regards


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