ACT is One of Few Facilities that Can Comply
The fact that counterfeit EEE parts are in the supply chain, and may be unwittingly purchased by those requiring components that are unavailable through direct or franchised channels, has been a known issue for over a decade. During this time, counterfeiters keep finding new ways to make and profit from seemingly authentic parts that are refurbished, mislabeled, substandard and/or non-functional.
In order to mitigate the numerous costs and even potentially catastrophic risks associated with counterfeit electronic components, industry organizations and U.S. agencies have been developing standards that various supply chain actors can (and in many cases, must) comply with in an effort to weed out counterfeit parts and improve the overall integrity of the supply chain. As the problem continues to evolve, so do the standards in the form of sporadic revisions and altogether new standards that provide increasing granular detail with respect to requirements and test methods.
SAE international released its latest standard, AS6171, in late 2016. A few AS6171 highlights include:
- For use in aviation, space, defense and other high performance applications when parts lack traceability to an OCM or OEM
- Specifies testing as per acceptable risk levels to identify anomalies or performance issues that may indicate parts are counterfeit
- Specifies detailed test methods that must be performed by a responsible laboratory that is accredited to ISO 17025 for the tests executed (ACT is compliant for AS6171 testing)
- .The counterpart to AS6081 (for distributors) and AS5553 (for manufacturers); with similar, complementary requirements and detailed methods
- Visit the SAE landing page on AS6171 for more information
If you are a supplier to the aerospace industry and you possess, or are purchasing, a EEE part for an aerospace application lacking full traceability than you may want (or need) to adhere to AS 6171 in order to either meet flowdown requirements or simply to take maximum precautions against the use of a substandard component within an aerospace assembly or system. After all, counterfeiters are getting more sophisticated in their techniques every year. With that in mind, it seems prudent for those who buy or utilize electronic components to adopt the latest and greatest safeguards against potentially substandard inauthentic devices.