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Testing Labs Key to Anti-Counterfeiting

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Unfortunately, there has never been a time in which the issue of counterfeiting in any industry wasn't a pressing topic. Counterfeit and sub-standard parts continue to present significant challenges to all of us along the semiconductor and electronics supply chain (see this recent report from iSuppli). Regardless of the type of end-product into which substandard or counterfeit parts penetrate, it is an unacceptable situation and one that continues to be at the top of all quality-focused companies' agendas.

Solutions and counterfeit mitigation tools in today's marketplace require a multi-pronged approach: focused and diligent quality management procedures that are understood and implemented across the company combined with sophisticated quality engineering to ensure and verify component validity from technically competent and industry accredited laboratories with certified staff. A real value chain partner and turnkey supplier in today's complex, global marketplace should have this two-pronged counterfeit mitigation process well in place.

Anti-counterfeiting programs essential

Here, at Smith, as one of the largest, multi-national, experienced, distributors, we have married our decades of experience and extensive database of components and vendor information into our highly successful SmithSecure program suite. SmithSecure is a custom-built program dedicated to ensure best-in-class quality service and parts from Smith.  We built this program not only on our rich experiences and our many industry standard accreditations for business, facilities, and technical competence, but also on the requirement to bea able to customize quality testing to meet each customer's needs.

Last week marked an important point in the anti-counterfeiting fight that rages on in our industry, it has been almost one year since the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) became law. This Fall, Section 818 came into force with increased requirements for "[…] electronic components for use in defense systems and equipment," as discussed by Victoria Kickham in an interesting round-table for Gobal Purchasing. As Kickham's round-table discussion underscores, regardless of the position held along the semiconductor supply chain, leading quality-focused companies are diligently working to continually improve and stay ahead of counterfeit threats. As these threats evolve, so must the tools that we use to detect and deter them.

High-tech labs to fight high-tech crime

Smith's most recent accreditation is to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard. In the semiconductor and electronics industry, testing laboratories can be accredited under the ISO/IEC 17025 quality standard. The ISO/IEC 17025 is an industry standard accreditation process for both management and for technical facility quality standards and is importantly related to ISO 9001, Quality Management Systems. Smith has received this important ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 9001 accreditation, having demonstrated not only that our O&P business and quality management procedures are well-established, adopted throughout the organization, and meet rigorous requirements, but we have also demonstrated that our technical laboratories, where testing is performed, is staffed by highly-trained and industry-standard competent professionals. Additionally, this accreditation demonstrates that our testing facility meets multiple levels of equipment, facility management, and that we are accredited to perform standard, non-standard, and laboratory-developed methods for testing and calibration of the products that we handle.

At Smith, we are proud of our long-standing commitment to best-in-class quality and to being a dedicated partner in counterfeit mitigation programs. Not only is our ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory a cornerstone to our SmithSecure programs for detecting substandard and counterfeit parts for customers, we are also able to act as a third-party testing facility for the semiconductor and electronics industry value chain.

Accredited laboratories can be found by searching The ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board, or similar accreditation board for specific capabilities and/or locations.


Kirk Wehby
Written on Monday, 08 October 2012 07:40 by Kirk Wehby

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