2011 was a record year for counterfeiters. With global demand for electronics on the rise, ERAI reported 1,000 counterfeit incidents covering millions of parts. Counterfeit components pose an ever-increasing threat to the supply chain; not only in the electronics manufacturing industry, but in the military, aerospace, and defense sectors as well.
ERAI’s goal is to stop the flow of counterfeit components before it starts. This week I’m at the 2012 ERAI Executive Conference to learn and exchange ideas on just that: developing new ideas and methods to better analyze, detect, and communicate the effect of counterfeit components before they hit the supply chain.
This year, one of the key topics discussed at the meeting has been H.R.1540: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Sec. 818. Detection and Avoidance of Counterfeit Electronic Parts). This legislation, signed by President Obama on December 31, 2011, will guarantee increased penalties levied against individuals who knowingly distribute counterfeit products that are intended for military use, or are identified as a military device.
Workshops, panel discussions and keynote sessions are being held to discuss the effects and changes that the language in this bill will have on all sectors of the supply chain. Topics being discussed include new personnel training requirements, processes to abolish counterfeit part proliferation, supply chain traceability, and new reporting requirements.
As an independent distributor, we owe it to our customers and suppliers to be a member of ERAI, and to attend conferences that improve our counterfeit detection capabilities. Despite more stringent requirements that H.R.1540 brings to our industry, Smith pledges to go above and beyond to ensure that counterfeit components do not enter the supply chain.