Friday, April 29, 2011

Defense and Aerospace at Greater Risk for Counterfeit Parts

The AIA report states that although the threat of counterfeit parts is widespread across industries, “Counterfeit electronic parts may pose the greatest risk to aerospace and defense programs in cost,
schedule, safety and overall mission success.” 

This report is on target. Over the past several years we have seen too many counterfeit electronic components. They can pose a grave danger to our military programs.  As the AIA report states:
“Regardless of how counterfeit parts—whether electronic, mechanical or other—enter the aerospace and defense supply chain, they can jeopardize the performance, reliability and safety of aerospace and defense products. Authentic parts have known performance histories and adhere to the manufacturers’ quality control plans, whereas counterfeit parts have unknown performance reliability and often limited quality controls. The cost of counterfeit parts entering the supply chain is greater than simple replacement of the counterfeit part. Ramifications could include potential product failure, warranty costs, inspections and testing, restocking, lost revenue, exfiltration of electronic data, loss of intellectual property such as trademark value and compromising national security. For space applications, the cost of mission failure may include the potential loss of entire platforms, such as satellites, due to inaccessibility for repair.”

Simply put, fake components are an unknown and can cause our military and space equipment to fail. This report and the Senate hearings I wrote about earlier this month (Armed Services Committee to Investigate Counterfeit Components) are both important steps towards putting the spotlight on the dangers we face from the growing problem of counterfeit electronic components.

NJMET’s Mission Imposter program provides comprehensive testing for counterfeit electronic components. Click here to learn more. NJMET is based in Clifton, NJ with additional offices in Denver, London and Hong Kong.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Counterfeit parts pose risks to government, industry and consumers

Continuing our discussion of the AIA report on counterfeit components:
Although focusing on the issues in the aerospace and defense fields, the report also looked at the issue in the broader marketplace. It found that although the aerospace and defense fields are particularly vulnerable to counterfeit parts, the threat exists in a wide range of industries. As the report states, there is risk for government, industry and consumers:
“The introduction of counterfeit parts — whether they are electronic, mechanical or other — adversely affects the U.S. supply chain. Possible effects may include:

For government:
• National security or civilian safety issues
• Costs of enforcement
• Lost tax revenue due to illegal sales of counterfeit parts

For industry:
• Costs to mitigate this risk
• Costs to replace failed parts
• Lost sales
• Lost brand value or damage to business image

For consumers:
• Costs when products fail due to lower quality and reliability of counterfeit parts
• Potential safety concerns.”

NJMET provides testing for a number of industries in addition to defense and aerospace. Other industries include textile, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

AIA Counterfeit Parts Report

The Aerospace Industry Association’s Counterfeit Parts-Integrated Project Team (CP-IPT) released a report last month detailing the threats posed by counterfeit parts and proposing solutions for both government and industry. Along with leaders in the industry, the effort included a number of organizations and government agencies, such as: SAE International and the Industrial Fasteners Institute, and government agencies such as DOD, including Defense Criminal Investigative Services, Air Force, NAVAIR, Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Defense Logistics Agency, NASA, DOJ, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection.

Here is a link to the full report:

Monday, April 4, 2011

NJMET Expands Testing Services to Textile Industry

Joseph Federico announced last week that NJMET is expanding its services to support the textile industry. Joe siad that NJMET's objective is "to provide our world recognized testing program and full service tenchical support to textile designers and manufacturers."

The textile testing services offered by NJMET include wet/dry crocking, hydrostatic water resistance testing and Wyzenbeek Abrasion analysis. These services will be performed at the Clifton, New Jersey laboratory of NJMET.

Armed Services Committee to Investigate Counterfeit Components

This past month, the Senate Armed Services Committee has opened an investigation into counterfeit electronic parts and their effect on national security. In the announcement from the committee, Senator Carl Levin noted the risks posed by counterfeit components to the military – the reliability of weapons systems and the safety of our service men and women. He also noted the damage that counterfeit components can do to the national economy.
The Armed Services committee investigation is a good thing for the industry and for the Department of Defense. I look forward to following the investigation and resulting hearings. Click here to see the announcement from Senator Levin. Click here to see the history of NJMET’s counterfeit component testing program.