Counterfeit component control
In an age of counterfeiting, Vigilant's customers can take comfort in the knowledge that our in-house test laboratory is equipped with the latest sophisticated equipment including specialist electronic component X-ray systems dedicated to performing stringent inspections and tests on electronic components.
Vigilant has implemented strict controls and robust processes to ensure that we avoid, and if necessary detect, counterfeit components. We've invested in equipment and developed internal procedures in order to identify suspect components. This means that we can quickly confirm component integrity to safeguard the long-term productivity of our customers.
Furthermore, we are committed to working with our supplier base to achieve the same quality standards and levels of vigilance to improve the prevention of spurious parts entering the supply chain. Highly trained and experienced component purchasing teams, coupled with extensive electronic component test facilities, mean that our customers don't have to worry about the risk of buying counterfeit electronic components, leaving them to concentrate resources on other areas of their business.
Detection of Counterfeit Electronic Components
It has become necessary for all distributors of electronic components and manufacturers of electronic equipment to inspect all incoming electronic components for authenticity. Vigilant's capabilities in this area have evolved over the past 20 years and specific anti-counterfeit processes have been in place for the last 5 of these. Partly from the experience gained in inspecting incoming components at our Group's three facilities around Europe and partly through involvement in industry groups focussing on obsolescence and the ever increasing threat posed by counterfeit devices.
It is well documented that the major portion of counterfeit product is coming from mainland China. Whilst Vigilant does not purchase directly from that region we have, on occasions, received counterfeit components from known good suppliers who simply do not have the necessary equipment, processes or people to detect counterfeit devices. These devices are detected by our inspectors, quarantined and disposed of appropriately.
Vigilant has the necessary tools equipment, processes and people to detect counterfeit or non conforming electronic components. There is no substitute for well trained, 'vigilant' inspectors. All our inspectors are trained to IPC610 and operate in accordance with the requirements of the IDEA-STD-1010-B standard (for the acceptability of electronic components distributed in the open market). Our people have at their disposal a range of equipment housed in Vigilant's dedicated in-house electronic component test laboratory. This includes high resolution microscopes, solvents to check for device marking permanence, equipment for electrical testing, solderability tests and a specialist X-ray system.
The verification of incoming electronic components starts with a visual inspection of all of the packaging. Some of the signs our inspectors look for are:
- Spelling and layout errors on the manufacturers labels
- Examination of the Indents
- Date codes on labels not matching date codes on the components
- Date codes that are not possible. eg. 0657
- Date codes that are in the future
- Incorrectly packaged devices – i.e. moisture sensitive components not in dry packs etc
- Checking country of origin against lot codes - a unique lot code would not have been manufactured in different countries
- Texture – using our microscopes to check for authenticity based on known rules
- Imperfections in logo - consistency of logo on devices
These visual checks are just the first stage that takes place in Vigilant's incoming inspection area . Once components have been through this stage they are passed on to the component testing laboratory for more detailed and sophisticated testing and verification.